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Where We've Been: Brian Allen is Back from Iran

by Tmac Lee

May 31, 2019 Trip Notes

Asia & Middle East Regional Specialist Brian Allen is just back from Iran, where he joined MT Sobek’s 15-day Treasures of Iran adventure. His travels took him through the home of several of world’s best-preserved archaeological sites, including ancient Persepolis and historic Yazd.

Brian’s favorite aspect of the trip was getting to spend time in parks and public spaces and just observe people spending time together, picnicking, and going about their lives. Brian says, “I found Iran to be an incredibly sophisticated, elegant society in so many respects. Not at all what is portrayed in the media.

Every conversation I had with local people was characterized by friendliness and warmth. People were incredibly thoughtful and nuanced in their beliefs and opinions. They will go out of their way to say hello and welcome you to their country and are thrilled to meet you. Getting to meet and talk with local people in Iran is such a special experience and very eye opening.”

On the question of safety, Brian says, “I never once felt unsafe and was warmly welcomed by everyone I met. Iran felt to me like one of the safest counties I’ve ever visited.”

The 2,500-year history of Iran is ever present as you move from antiquity to antiquity, all in the company of top guides who lead immersive cultural adventures. The ancient royal necropolis of Naqsh-e Rostam was one of Brian’s many highlights.

So too were the quiet, reflective moments…

…and the time spent in the mountains. Brian says, “A lot of people might not realize that Iran is full of spectacular snow-capped mountains. There is a thriving hiking culture in the Zagros Mountains (pictured here), and the Alborz Mountains just outside the capitol Tehran are equally accessible and popular with Iranians of all ages.”

So, did anything unusual happen? Brian says, “Honestly, everything was very cool and mellow throughout. Maybe the funniest thing was when a security guy at the airport pulled me aside…to tell me he was a big fan of WWE wrestling.” 

MT Sobek runs expert-led adventures in Iran. Join us!