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Day 14: A day in the country
November 21st, 2004

The brothers and I had a late breakfast and were finally ready to leave at around 11AM. August told me to bring a jacket because it would get cold up in the mountains. We got in the car and started the hour and a half drive to our destination. I sat in the back of the car and stared out of the window at all the greenery. The Caspian area was very temperate, with an abundance of deciduous trees and some coniferous. There were medium sized mountains rising up around us and you could see the snow-capped Alborz  range and Mt. Damavand in the distance. I hadn’t slept well the previous night so it wasn’t long until I fell asleep.

I awoke when the car stopped. Aniki was picking up fruit in the small valley town of Zirab. We were deeper in the mountains in an area that used to be seabed. “Zir” means “under”, and “ab” means “water.” As we drove further up the valley on a narrow canyon road the greenness gave way to the dry brown dirt and brush of Iran. We drove past a large coal mine and numerous rice paddies, now dry for the winter. There were many sheep and cows on the sides of the roads grazing the desert scrub. The road kept going higher and higher switchback after switchback. We saw little clusters of houses along the tops of ridges. The weather was perfect with the usual Iranian azure sky, and I could feel the air outside getting chillier.

  
Grand Central Station
Birthplace of Reza Shah
Birthplace of Reza Shah, Alesht
Mayor of Alesht