With 196 independent countries in the world, choosing a travel destination can definitely be difficult. Most people choose their vacation location based on what they see in the media, for example, one may want to go to Hawaii after watching Blue Crush, or they may want to go to Thailand after seeing Hangover 2. Media can deeply influence the perception one has of a country and unfortunately sometimes politics can affect the way media televises certain countries. To show you what I mean, let’s take a little test. Can you guess which country this is? It was the first country ever to establish a declaration of human rights; it is known for inventing hospitals, a taxation system and even insurance! It is currently one of the few countries (in its area) where women have great success in education and make up 49% of the student population in secondary education. This land withholds 15 UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites and contains one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. If you haven’t already guessed it, this country is Iran! People know little about this great land and its ancient culture and traditions and mostly just know that Iran has a lot of oil. So if I were given the opportunity to take my friends to a vacation location of my choice it would be Iran. I want to surprise them with how much this land has to offer and prove to them that sometimes we must see for ourselves to believe. Media has not always portrayed Iran in the best way, and so my friends will be shocked to witness a land like no other!
My friends and I would arrive to the capital of Iran, Tehran on March 17 the official day for the Chahar-Shanbeh Soori (Festival of Fire), which is a celebration of the last Wednesday of the Persian Year(the Persian New Year is on March 21 in conjunction with the first day of spring.) During the Festival of Fire, it is tradition to have Bonfires lit all over the city as the fire represents enlightenment and happiness for the upcoming New Year. It is customary to jump over the small fires, symbolizing the release of badness!
Children go around houses knocking for treats, similar to Halloween, while adult’s distribuate delicious home-made food to neighbors in order to make their wishes for the New Year come true. This holiday is like none other and my friends will be shocked by the celebration and the happiness shared amongst all people.
While we are still in the Tehran which is actually also the birth place of the first Bazaar (market) we would take the time to visit the Grand Bazaar where we would lavish ourselves with the finest spices, makeup, jewellery and clothes.
We would get a lot for our money considering the currency rate is 1.00 US dollar equals 12 250.00 Rial. We would also look at gold stores where the finest and most unique jewelry are sold. Perhaps, if we brought enough money we could even buy ourselves a pair of gold earrings or a bracelet. We would also visit the famous Persian rug stores and gaze at the fascinating designs and murals created on each rug.
Once we have shopped till we dropped, we would take a train to Southern Iran to visit the former capital of Iran, Esfahan.
While we take the four hour long journey from Tehran to Esfahan, my friends would be shocked to experience breath-taking views of the Zagros Mountains which are much different than our own Rocky Mountains.Once we have arrived to one of the most beautiful city in the world and considered Iran’s number one honeymoon destination we would immediately go to the Manar Jonban. This is a unique building that is considered to have ‘magical’ powers. The building consists of two minarets separated by a distance of 10 meters and each are 17 meters high.
They are considered ‘magic’ towers because when one of the minarets starts to shake the other simultaneously begins to shake as well; causing a vibration to be felt amongst the entire structure. The structure was built in the 16thcentury and continues to stand today even with the regular swaying of the structure. My friends and I would go and stand at the top of the towers even though it might be a little scary, the experience is worth it!
Afterwards, perhaps we would go and walk across the Khajou Bridge and let our eyes wander the architecture while eating Persian Ice cream made with Saffron and rosewater.
As our journey in Esfahan comes to an end, we will pack our bags again and take another train or plane ride to my birth place Shiraz! From there we would have to take a bus ride 70 km north to reach one of Iran’s UNESCO Heritage sites called Persepolis or as Persians say it Takht-e Jamshid.
Persepolis is one of the most fascinating sites in Iran because of its amazing architecture. Persepolis was created in 515 B.C and was home to the king of the Persian Empire. The building interests many by its remarkable design and structure considering how old it is. My friends will enjoy walking around the ruins and learning more about this ancient cultural site by tour guide. Some of us will probably enjoy soaking up the sun all the while.
Of course this journey would be nothing without some friends! I would love to take all of the Miss Teen Canada – World finalists on this journey.
Miss Teen Canada-World
Why not share the beauty of Iran with girls from all across Canada who can then share their experience with their friends at home. This trip would be amazing with all my new friends from the pageant. Travelling is a lot more enjoyable when you can share the experience with your friends and being able to reminiscence the experience with your friends when you get back home is great!
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