|Some traditionally dressed Iranian women take the ski lifts all the way to the top to admire the view.|
Then return the same way. At least they don't have to worry about putting on sun protection cream.
It is quite rare to see Bedouins come to Northern Europe looking for patches of sand to explore. Just about as rare as seeing Norwegians travelling to the Middle East to go skiing. But amazing conditions in Iranian mountains ought to change that.
|Wanja celebrating her completed skiing course.|
- You should learn to ski in Iran, I told her.
|Øystein dressed for the occasion.|
But enough about Europe.
Dizin and Shemshak
|Sit down and enjoy the view.|
Wanja did indeed learn how to ski, through her own local skiing instructor. The 18 year old seemed older than his actual age, and came with vast amounts of experience.
|Mount Damāvand in the background.|
|Dizin has 8-10 ski lifts of various kinds.|
Cheaper flying to Iran than within Norway
|Three local snowboarders.|
We had great days skiing in the mountains surrounding Dizin. And from the very top of the slope, we could even see Mount Damāvand, the highest in the country with its 5,610 meters.
|Øystein 60 seconds before breaking a rib.|
- The conditions were just too good, so I was tempted to jump higher than I should have. It’s been 10 years since last time, so I am out of practice, he explained.
Luckily the pain killers in Iran are much stronger than in Europe, and much cheaper. He ate a few of them the following days.
The after-ski doesn't quite deliver
|Me, chilling on the top of a café on top of the world.|
- This is our way of protest the government, they said and explained that the government should be changed.
Young people are certainly not too happy with the current leadership and the rather strict rules on everything from drinking to dress code. Quite a few girls we met had ditched their mandatory hijabs, or head scarfs, while skiing.
|What would you expect? It's Iran.|
How about experienced snowboarder Øystein - would he prefer skiing in Norway or in Dizin?
- After-ski in Norway, the rest in Dizin, he quipped and laughed.
On our way back to Tehran we got to experience the infamous traffic. Six lanes of cars challenged the three lane road to the limit, as the traffic very slowly moved towards town. No wonder perhaps, in a city that has 11 million people during the night, and 18 million people during the day. That is how many people commute, primarily by car and busses.
The capital has quite a young population, and we meet several students. They are protesting too, on Facebook and other social media. Most of them are blocked, but they have no problems getting access through the use of VPN. There the girls dress rather daringly, if at all, in their photos. Hijabs are certainly not at all used.
Maybe the country is in for a second revolution. The young population seems to want one.
The last one was in 1979, the year Wanja was born.
Too bad about the stubborn and conservative old religious and political leaders. Which pretty much amounts to the same in Islamic Republic of Iran. They ought to hit the slopes and have some fun.
They might realize what being young is about. And possible even smile again.
|Always watching you, even in the café in the middle of the slopes.|
|Not quite Norway, but the road tunnels and the |
spectacular mountains made us feel at home.
|The view between Tehran and Dizin is pretty OK.|
|Øystein walking to one of the 8-10 ski lifts.|
|Not the most crowded of slopes.|
|800 height meters or so to the bottom.|
|Dressed for the occasion.|
|Anti-American propaganda painted on the outside wall of the former US embassy.|
|In Grand Bazaar, Tehran.|
|In Grand Bazaar, Tehran.|
|Outside Grand Bazaar.|