Below is the first of several posts just received from a member of our tour group in Iran. Enjoy!
Hello family, friends and neighbors:
I’ve landed in Tehran this morning around 2:30, got into the hotel with the group and into my hotel room around 5:00AM, woke up around 7:30 so I’m operating on about 2.5 hours of sleep.
I don’t have many experiences to report naturally, but I have many impressions. One of the questions that someone asked me back in the States was “Where are you flying out of to go to Iran?” The answer is London, and I’ve since learned that there are flights from London, Paris, and Frankfort five days a week, so not as rare of an occasion as one might think.
We flew in a Boeing 747 which was 75% to 80% full. Our Iranian tour guide tells us that 1000 non-Iranian American-Americans flew to Tehran last year. I’m guessing the number of Iranian Americans is much higher than that, and of course there are many, many other nationalities that come and go.
As I was reading the English translation Iranian Newspaper I came across an article on a recent Iranian 747 whose engine caught fire and had to have an emergency landing. The article also stated that another plane had to turn back for another major mechanical failure not that long ago. It went on to discuss that because of the U.S. sanctions, getting parts for the Iranian domestic air fleet was not possible.
Someone needs to tell the State department that 747 airplane parts are not interchangeable with military plane parts and therefore should not be included as part of the sanctions. WHY? Because, I still have to get home! Call your congressmen now. Thank you.
ON a more serious note, the breakfast was very good. And the coffee, too, was excellent.
Today, we will explore Tehran and I’m hoping, Gail, that we will get to see the ceramics museum. IN any case, ceramics will be explored sometime on this trip.
Rita is our American tour guide an organizer. She is absolutely great. She has taken so many of these trips that most of the 12 of us (my first trip with her) travel only with her where ever she goes, she has done this for numerous years. She has taken U.S. congressmen to Iraq for instance, so she is the right person for this trip and her knowledge is extensive. I trust her completely.
No big surprise to me, but perhaps to many of you, people here are open and hospitable. People are friendly and there are no open hostilities toward Americans. Of course people are aware of the tensions between our two countries, but the people here are very apt at distinguishing between another country’s policies and it’s people. Something that I fear may not be as widely held in our dear United States.
Well, that’s it for now but I intend to write everyday as long as internet is accessible and it seems that it will be.
Hope you are all doing well, and for my wife and friends in Georgia (the state) hope that hurricane goes somewhere other than near you all.