R. takes me to the mountains. At seven in the morning, we get into her father-in-law's car and rush off, both drowsy. The evening before we ate and talked late into the night. After four hours of sleep, R. dozes of within a short time. For me everything is new. There is no way I can sleep now although I can hardly keep my eyes open. I toss around for some time and eventually rest my eyes on the retail stores lined up along the street. Auto mechanics, screw shops, auto door repair shops, bakers, electronics retailers, fruit stands and much more. They line up along the road from village to village. The mountains still seem to be far away. How long will we be travelling? I don't know. I forgot to ask.
At some point, I open my eyes. We are in the middle of it all. Right and left of us the mountain masses pile up and the water bubbles from all corners. The mountains are covered with lush green trees. I last saw this much green in Georgia. I feel right at home. R. jumps out of the car and crosses over a tiny bridge. The bridge railings are not made of wood or metal but poured concrete. They imitate a wood structure as if a plant had grown in an optimal diamond pattern along the abyss. The splashing of water, the chirping of birds and the slowly increasing morning sun create an idyllic picture. The otherwise pretty touristy village is still in morning slumber, most shops are closed, and a fresh breeze blows through the narrow streets.
We meander slowly up into the increasingly sunny terraces. This is the Iran I haven't seen yet and can't explore on my own. Traveling alone as a woman, the way I would like isn't possible. We find a touristy and overpriced breakfast with a lovely veranda and settle down. The tranquillity is incredibly relaxing, the environment not only beautiful but also well maintained. This is what I've missed. I want to spend my day here, sunbathe in the shade and drink tea. We do just that. Later we walk a bit further and come back for another tea. Before twelve o'clock we have seen enough and the sleep deficit is noticeable. After a short phone call, we get back in the car. Although this time I know how long we are on the road, I don't manage to fall asleep. My exhaustion only takes over at home.