My favourite road in the whole world: Chelgerd to Shushtar

 Our trip from Borujerd to Chelgerd (we went there secretly hoping to snowboard one last time) was beautiful, passing rivers and green plains and snowcapped mountains.

The road from Borujerd to Chelgerd, Iran

Sar Agha Seyed is a beautiful terraced village that we would have liked to see but mountains of snow lay on one side of the road and the other. Not a chance for our small car to get through. After asking the hotel owner, we did manage to find somebody to take us there, on an 18-hour roundtrip. Wow! Next time, for sure. /either way, the views were some of the wildest I’d seen in Iran and my life/

Chelgerd, Iran

Chelgerd, Iran

Chelgerd, Iran

There wasn’t any opportunity to find havij bastani in the mountain town or anything vegetarian (except some French fries), but ultimately, combined with the pickles from Vanai and with an ice cream bought from a local store, I was happy to be able to eat something before going to bed. It was a very funny moment, one that I’ll always remember.  


The road from Chelgerd to Shushtar crosses from Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province (Bakhtiari are herders) to Khuzestan Province (where the highest temperatures in Iran are constantly recorded).

Chelgerd to Shushtar, Iran

It goes through the mountains and – with the snow melting –, groups of people moving with their sheep, goats, and donkeys were not a singular sight.

Chelgerd to Shushtar, Iran

Chelgerd to Shushtar, Iran

One turquoise river winding through the desert, another bright turquoise lake, and a landscape that crosses from high peaks full of snow to shrubs dotting the cliffs… these were all extremes that we’d stop for… in a trip that should’ve taken 6 hours but took 8.

Chelgerd to Shushtar, Iran

Chelgerd to Shushtar, Iran

Chelgerd to Shushtar, Iran

Chelgerd to Shushtar, Iran

Such is the glory of the road, of the wows, of how free you feel in your heart.

Of how the cool air on one side of the mountain turns to dampness at almost 40°C.  


How was Shushtar?

☼ People were even friendlier than in other parts of Iran (and people in Iran are amongst the most welcoming nations I’ve encountered)

☼ We made friends (and we still keep in touch!) at a car wash, where we went to wash our car

Friendship at a car wash in Shushtar, Iran

☼ We got free bread from a store we passed by

☼ Marcel got a free haircut

☼ I was taken to buy havij bastani to the best place in town by our kind receptionist, whom we met again downtown Shushtar by chance

38°C at 6pm. 36°C at 10pm. Beginning of May. I never felt – up to that point and from that point on – that I couldn’t breathe and walk.

The ancient hydraulic system is a wonder. You feel and are surrounded by water.

Shushtar ancient hydraulic system, Iran

If you’re lucky, you may spot otters in the parks along the river.

And it’s nice and cool in the traditional houses, where there’s also a sense of centuries past.

Traditional house in Shushtar, Iran


…and a beauty lingering in the air, along the streets, and in the hearts of the people.

You know that you are where you need to be.

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