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Daily stories about toiran. Read stories about our road trips adventures in different cities and office life.

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Four-season land of hospitality

Iran lies between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea in the south and north, the Alborz and Zagros Mountain ranges in the north and west and has two deserts,Markazi and Lut, at its heart. The hottest spot on earth has been identified in Lut Desert where temperatures reach 70.7 °C.

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Blossoms mark the start of spring in Iran

This geographical situation has made Iran dry and warm in its central parts, hot and humid near the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf, and cold in the northwest and areas close to the mountains. This geographical variety has resulted in the country experiencing four seasons often at the same time.

 

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Summer – Chabahar , Tis Beach (Photo by Shahin Kamali)

This has also contributed to the unique landscape of the country, bestowing upon it long winding rivers, captivating waterfalls, aquatic caves, snow-topped mountains, lush valleys, golden deserts and green forests which are thousands and sometimes millions of years old. One of the many natural treasures of Iran is the Caspian Hyrcanian Mixed Forests, which have survived from the Tertiary. The lush landscape of these ancient forests captivates all with their relic and endemic plant species. These forests were once the habitant of the now extinct Caspian Tiger and are considered a living museum that showcases the evolution of plant and animal lives over 40 million years.

There is a Persian saying that guests bring with them bread and blessing to the Sofreh (table spread where food is set) of the host. The importance of the Sofreh and its blessing to Iranians highlights the significance of the culture of hospitality among them.

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Autumn in Tehran,Iran. (Niavaran Park)

Accounts given by adventurers, explorers of the ancient world and modern travelers about their journey to Persia/Iran each detail the graciousness, warmth and hospitality of Iranians and often urge others to visit this mysterious land. In Persian literature there are numerous examples encouraging the importance of hospitality to familiars and strangers alike. These values have been passed down through the words of Persian bards from one generation to the next and are instilled in Iranian children from a young age.

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Winter. Dizin,Iran.

This is perhaps one of the reasons behind thousands of years of peaceful coexistence among different nations and ethnicities in the Iranian plateau. What is known today as the Persian culture is the result of the amalgamation of Kurdish, Azeri, Baluch, Lur, Arab, Turkmen and… subcultures. This unique model of peaceful diversity is definitely one of the many reasons that makes Iran great.

 

Distillation of Rosewater ‘Golabgiri’

The city of Kashan, which lies in a desert at the eastern foot of the Central Iranian Plateau, 220 kilometers south of Tehran, was once a popular vacation spot for Safavid Kings.

The city has found fame for its many traditional mansions including the Tabatabaei House,Boroujerdi HouseAmeri House and Abbasi House.  The most delicate of Persian arts and crafts have been employed in the design and decoration of these mansions. The 10th century Kashan Bazaar with its magnificent lightwells, the heavenly Fin Garden with its Safavid and Qajar bathhouses and the Jame Mosque of Kashan are some of the city’s major attractions.

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Kashan is also popular for its rosewater, In Ordibehesht (Mid May to early June), an annual festival of Rose and Rose Water is being held in this city , which is the product of Qamsar, Niyasar and Barzak, smaller towns of Kashan province, and the three main producers of rosewater (Golab) for over 800 years.

Golab (rosewater) is a fragrant distillate of rose which in Iran is used in different traditional dishes to flavor them or consumed as a religious perfume as well. Although there are many modern manufactories constructed to produce rosewater but it is still made traditionally in kashan and around kashan with distillation equipment containing large copper pots with special pipes to obtain herb hydrosol and special oven made by bricks.

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In spring, The Ceremony of Rosewater Distillation, flower picking (Mohammadi roses) and extraction of rosewater (Golabgiri), starts when rose buds begin to open. In this season, the whole town is filled with the aroma of roses and rosewater. Before distillation people starts collecting Mohammadi roses and collect their petals to put into the copper pots. Then the pots are put on the oven made from bricks or stones and mud.

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Almost every 30 Kg of rose petals are poured into the pot containing 80 liters of water. The pot is then covered to steam the water and rose. The pots include iron or aluminum pipes for the steam moving through to obtain hydrosol.

In the evenings music is played and people sing till midnight, to entertain the visitors and tourists, and to sooth the weary gardeners and their families. The festival is truly worth visiting.

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Nomads OF Persia

 

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Iranian civilization dates back to thousands of years ago. While Iran is known for fascinating historic architecture as well as fabulous city and garden designs, the non-settled nomadic way of life is another intriguing aspect of Iranian culture. The mobile civilization or the nomadic lifestyle is the oldest way of life of human beings that still exists in Iran despite all the difficulties.

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One exceptional opportunity that traveling in Iran offers is visiting and getting a taste of the nomadic way a life with certain tribes. The nomadic lifestyle in Iran has been lived for thousands of years and it still exists. Even though the nomadic life is becoming more and more difficult, the nomads of Persia are holding on tight not wanting to change their life style. Today there are 1.5 Million registered nomads still living in Iran.

Nomadic culture usually means that people move around through out the year with their tribe, tents, animals and belongings. Most of the nomadic tribes Migrate in fall and spring. However, some tribe of Iran who live in tents do not move around any more and therefore it is advised that they be called clans instead of tribes. The tribes of Iran are divided to two groups of full migrating nomads and semi nomads.

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There are several nomadic tribes in Iran from different ethnic origins such as Turks, Turkmans, Kurds, Lurs, Baluchis, Arabs and Persians. The nomads of Persia each speak a different language, have different biological make-ups and keep a distinct culture. Quashkis, Bakhtiari’s, and Baseri’s are amongst the most famous tribes of Iran.

The nomadic lifestyle of Iran is based on the pastoral livestock. They distinctively use the wool and the dairy products of their animals for different productions, trades and their own use. The diet of the nomads usually consists of dairy products and local vegetable and rice. Nomads consume very little meat and meat is usually considered a food of special occasions such as weddings.

The tribes of Iran in large scales do the production of beautiful Iranian carpets, rugs and qulims. Women and girls solely do the making of the rugs and they know the designs by heart and do not use cartoons. The patterned textiles of the nomads each tell a tale of an era.

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The tribal culture is very music oriented and their music is usually inspired by nature. They have their own distinct instruments and use music in celebrations as well as in mourning ceremonies. Music is also a way to cope with life and day to day difficulties for the nomads. The wedding celebrations are usually very festive and take a few days. Family creation is a necessity to nomadic culture and divorce is prohibited in many tribes and considered a shame in others. The wedding customs outfits of the nomads are very colorful and tastefully designed. Qashqi’s tribal designs and outfits are amongst the most beautiful Iranian designs.

 

 

ToIran.com Short-Video Competition

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How would you like the world to see Iran? If you were to give the world a tale about your land, what story would you tell? If you were to reveal an unexposed part of the culture, nature or the history of Iran, what would you show?

Toiran.com has created a collaborative project inviting all the Iranian creative individuals who are interested in filmmaking to take part and give us a short film about Iran. Please give it your best passionate shot and submit a short film by March 3rd.

This is a competition where the first winner would win one GoPro Hero 4 camera and all the filmmakers would get credit for their clips used on our international website. We’ll announce the winner by March 6th. To obtain further information please visit toiran.com. We are looking forward to see Iran through your eyes and share it with the world.

SKI WITH US :)

This holiday season look for a ski adventure, come to a place you have never been before. Experience the fresh powder and let the enchanting Iranian mountains take your breath away. Enjoy an exciting ski vacation at a value price.

Abundant snow, high slopes, adventure and fun await you! You will never experience skiing in the Middle East like this again!

Four marvelous ski resorts within a half hour drive from one another and between 45 minutes to 2 hours from Tehran, the heartbeat of Iran. You can ski down the Alborz Mountain with a view of a bustling metropolis like Tehran so grab your ski gear and prepare yourself for our crisp mountain air and beautiful slopes.

For your comfort and convenience, Toiran.com offers you different ski packages in order to make your ski trip an unforgettable one ! 

Read more www.toiran.com/ski 


Shiraz, the city of history, love & poetry

Even though I (Saman) come from Rasht, one of the cities in northern Iran, Shiraz has always been one of my favorite places in the country. So when our photographer Houman and Amir Sina from customer service decided to go on a trip to Shiraz, I jumped at the opportunity to accompany them.

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Tomb of Cyrus the Great who decreed the first Human Rights Charter known to man (toiran.com photo/ Shahin Kamali)

We spent an unforgettable night at the historical Bekhradi House in Isfahan and early the next day headed towards Pasargadae, the first dynastical capital of the Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC), which lies on the way to Shiraz. No matter how many times I see the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the monument still leaves me speechless every time.

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The tombs of Daruis I and three other Achaemenid kings are located in Naqsh-e Rostam. (toiran.com photo/ Houman Nobakht)

Our next stop was Naqsh-e Rostam, the site which is said to have served as a cemetery for Achaemenid royals. I was excited to see Naqsh-e Rostam as even though I had traveled to Shiraz several times somehow there had never been enough time for the 70-kilometer drive to this site. I stood before the four Achaemenid tombs hewn high above a cliff at Naqsh-e Rostam and could not help but wonder what technology had been employed to create these tombs and their rock carvings in ancient times? The sheer scale of these rock creations left me awestruck!

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Relief showing the triumph of Shapur I (241-272 CE) over Roman Emperor Valerian (reign 253–260 CE). (toiran.com photo/ Houman Nobakht)

I could not get enough of looking at the details of the seven Sassanid rock reliefs depicting scenes from the lives, conquests and ascensions of the ancient rulers of Iran. I noticed an eighth slab which seemed like an empty canvas ready for the chisel of a skilled craftsman. Houman told me that this slab was prepared for another royal scene but was never used.

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The Cube of Zoroaster is a mystery that has never been solved as no one knows what its function was. (toiran.com photo/ Houman Nobakht)

Amir Sina pointed out the Cube of Zoroaster to me, the building that has kept scholars and researchers guessing for centuries.  No one knows what this Achaemenid structure was used for. Its walls have inscriptions cataloging Sassanid victories but no mention of the Achaemenids, who created it. Some say it was a royal tomb and others believe it was a depository for objects of dynastic or religious importance.

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Persepolis is the best-known symbol of ancient Persian Civilization. (toiran.com photo/ Houman Nobakht)

We had a few more kilometers to go before reaching Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire which was once known as the richest city under the sun. The scale and skill employed to create Persepolis is mind-blowing.

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Persepolis is a UNESCO registered World Heritage Site and one of the must-see wonders of the world! (toiran.com photo/ Houman Nobakht)

Even though a fire destroyed this glorious capital and only its ruins stand today, the surviving remains kick started my overactive imagination and took me back to times when representatives from all nations of the known world would come to seek audience with the reigning Achaemenid king and showered him with presents and paid him their respects.

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Reading poetry at Hafezih at night (toiran.com photo/ Amir Sina Rezaei)

We arrived in Shiraz late in the afternoon and checked into Shiraz Grand Hotel. We decided to visit the tomb of Hafez, the poet of love and the bard whose poems are cherished by every Iranian. If you ask the people of Shiraz they will all recommend going to Hafezieh after sunset. This is the time when you will see people reciting Hafez poetry or breaking into song just because they feel inspired to sing. I would also recommend having dinner at the Hafezieh Café and trying the Shirazi Faloudeh – a dessert made with thin vermicelli noodles mixed in a semi-frozen sugar and rosewater syrup served with lime juice.

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Eram Garden is an example of the UNESCO registered Persian Garden. (toiran.com photo/ Houman Nobakht)

We spent a comfortable night at the hotel and in the morning decided to visit the famous Eram Garden. The name of this garden ‘Eram’ means Eden in Persian and with its palm trees, flower beds and fountains it could well be what a heavenly garden looks like.

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A Persian garden full of life, intoxicating scent of flowers and color (toiran.com photo/ Saman Kazemi)

Beautiful ponds full of little fish, colorful flowers, the smell of orange blossoms and a cup of herbal tea were the perfect start to my day.

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Vakil Bazaar is always full of shoppers from Iran and other parts of the world. (toiran.com photo/ Amir Sina Rezaei)

We had lunch and decided to go for a stroll through the inviting vaulted streets and alleys of Vakil Bazaar. I could not stop myself from buying herbal teas and distillates called ‘Araq’ in Persian. On any warm summer day all you need to do to make yourself a refreshing sherbet is to add some aromatic herbal distillate to ice water and stir in some sugar and voila your sherbet is ready to be served!

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Vakil Mosque is a Zand era (1750-1794) monument of great architectural and artistic significance. (toiran.com photo/ Houman Nobakht)

When in Shiraz you should not miss the chance to visit Vakil Mosque. This 18th century mosque, which is still used for prayers, is a shining jewel that captures one’s eye with its colorful tile decorations and its unique Shabistan (inner sanctum) that has 48 monolithic marble pillars carved in spirals.

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Inside Vakil Bath (toiran.com photo/ Houman Nobakht)

The founder of the Zand Dynasty, Karim Khan (1705–1779), who built Vakil Bazaar and Vakil Mosque, also built a public bathhouse in this neighborhood. The bath is now a wax museum where visitors can learn about the Persian culture, customs and costumes.

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A wax figure in Vakil Bath (toiran.com photo/ Saman Kazemi)

Saying goodbye to Shiraz is always hard as this city is an enchantress and my love for it grows with each visit. If you haven’t already been, trust me this city is one for the bucket list.

Want to see more of Shiraz? Toiran.com is at your service!

A new milestone for toiran.com

 

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Because of the importance of content for us, we decided to pursue other ways to make our project stronger. We talked to several different people and film crews about the possibility of making a video. This was when we met Sohrab Shah-Mohammadlou. Sohrab and his brother Kaveh were both environmental activists. They knew a lot about Iran’s wildlife and nature.  We saw some of their work; they had made beautiful videos about Iran’s nature and wildlife and had taste and goals similar to us. We decided to work with this team and for the first video, we asked them to make a short film about Shemshak, Dizin and Darbandsar to show the world these three ski resorts, which are popular in winter and hangout spots during the warmer months of the year. The result was a spectacular video that went from summer to winter and showed life in these three resorts, which are only 45 minutes from Tehran. The video became a hit on YouTube and was shared hundreds of times on various social media platforms. We were proud to have created such a professional video about Iran and excited about making more videos about Iran. We hope our next videos will be shared thousands of times.

Next week we have a surprise for you, so stay tuned for news about it on Life.

A short video introduction to the three most popular ski resorts in Iran: Dizin, Shemshak and Darbandsar. These three resorts are frequented by Iranians and international skiers during winter.

Dizin is the largest ski resort in Iran and one of the 40 highest ski resorts in the world with a ski season that lasts from mid-November to mid-May.

Shemshak is the second largest ski resort in Iran and usually attracts more advanced skiers.

Darbandsar is one of the newest ski resorts in Iran and the second most challenging resort in the region after Shemshak.

Mysterious Iran awaits you!

 

 

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One for all and all for one

Our team expanded to include Taraneh Salehi, who came to us via recommendation and who had years of experience in accounting in Iran. She took on the role of financial adviser and began structuring the Accounting Department.

Golnaz Khaleghi came to us via social media ads. We chose her as she had experience in content management and data entry and soon realized she was also a right fit for our team.  She introduced us to Safoura Sadeqianpour, whom we chose for HR and Administration due to her energy and life experience abroad. Vahid introduced us to Mohammad Rostami who joined our Development team.

As we moved towards our launch date, our team began working longer hours and almost every day of the week. Despite the enormous stress levels, everyone was excited about the project bearing fruit.

On September 21, we launched our website. It was a beautiful moment seeing the result of eight months of hard work. Our team took on a massive project on a national scale, we grew together, learned together and we became a family. One for all and all for one.

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The idea behind toiran.com was and is to show the people of the world the wonders of Iran and provide them with services that will allow them to experience mysterious Iran for themselves.

We now need the support of every single one of you, our loyal fans, who have stayed with us throughout this incredible journey. Help us to make Iran great.

More stories coming about our office life and our future road trip.

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