This morning we say goodbye to another one of our journey companions who must go back home for some personal reasons: its Niko, the person responsible for the planning of the daily scheduled episodes, and who has promised in any case, to keep on working on them from home with all the information that we will be sending him daily. So, with an eight-people team, we hit the road again towards the “infinite and beyond” and its the perfect symbol of this number which is related to our never ending wandering spirit for roaming around the world.. and never quenching this thirst for knowledge.
So, we leave Teheran behind by exiting from Azadi square (Independence) where a big granite arch stands 45 meters high, finished in 1971 for the celebration of the 2500 years of the Persian monarchy, and go to Qazvin, the former capital of Iran. The road is very busy: it is, according to the Muslim calendar, the beginning of the week-end, many people go out of town to spend two relaxing days along with their families. It’s a small world after all…! Here, between queues and overtakings we lose sight of Tony, our forth vehicle of the caravan, yet, promptly we manage to trace it with the use of Visirun and give it directions on the roads to take in order to reach us. And eventually, after 150 km we manage to reach Qazvin, a town certainly very rich with history and which hosts several monuments among which the one that once was the royal palace Chehel Sutun (the forty columns) because of its peculiar columns which are reflected in the waters of the fountain in front. Now, its internal rooms serve as a calligraphy museum. In the outer garden, we meet a group of students sketching the palace on their drawing paper. Useless to talk about their excellent artistic vein, they are Persians after all, and naturally artists by tradition. Inside the town we find the oldest and largest water tank, it is able to collect the water coming from the surrounding mountains through an incredible network of Qanats.
Since lunchtime is already over, we decide to stop along the road to prepare our usual homemade lunch (which is the simplest solution during these days) and then head to Zanjan.
We keep on travelling on the highway where, of course, we must pay several tolls.
Yet, not all of them! Furia, driven by Stefania, is at the head of the caravan, and since Filippo is on board, he is the “cashier” of the whole expedition. As she reached a toll, with money at hand, she tried to pay, uselessly! “Welcome to Iran”.. the hospitality of Iranians is astonishing here too. We keep on travelling towards Zanjan where we eventually reach by dinnertime.