Iran, keeper of a rich history tucked under its wings, is ready to share its story with the traveller who is willing. Becki Enright recently visited and we've shared some of her photos for our pics of the week so you too can see how Iran shines brilliantly.
Leave your preconceptions at home
Little understood and seldom visited by Western tourists, Iran can seem opaque and enigmatic. Many preconceptions are based on its confusion with the Arab world, a fact lost on many in the West and a mistake many in Iran, with its over 2,500 years of Persian history, would probably take issue with. An essential stop on the Silk Road, the Persian Empire stretched from Greece to India and brought its famously tolerant culture – including early medicine – to a world mired in comparative medieval backwardness. Today's Iran is still a place of bustling bazaars, glorious architecture, and mountain villages with a young, friendly, and open population. As long as you're not too attached to that glass of wine (curiously, it was invented here), a visit will take you beyond the rhetoric into one of the world's truly great cultures.