Comments about iran

Comments from our travelers to Iran
Jim and I have traveled to Iran with Gwen and Bahman. It was a fantastic trip! Iranians love us!
–Retta (and Jim) – Passage Through Persian April 2010 (commented 4/22/18)
I loved my Iran trip and wanted to tell you that.

Words really can’t describe how much I loved my trip to Iran. I am fairly well-traveled but this may be my favorite trip thus far. Bahman Zenhari is indeed a guide and host par excellence and Iran is a country so varied and so historic that I fell in love with it. He knows everything so well that his logistics were outstanding, and he obviously loves his country and its history and culture. He is highly knowledgeable and I appreciate all of his work, including small surprises, such as seeing the Cinema Museum. In addition, everything was ready for us, or found for us (an extra bag to carry home part of my treasures), taken care of for us, by our charming host, Bahman.

The sites that we saw were fascinating – and we saw everything on the itinerary plus some other things, like a quirky, cool little restaurant that was one of those hidden gems one would never find on one’s own. The places were all beautiful in their own way, and every city varied from the others. Isfahan’s Blue Mosque was breathtaking, and lesser known sites, such as the Contemporary Art Museum, were a delight. Iranian cuisine had a thread of similarity running through it, but the dishes vary from region to region and (cook by cook). There was always variety, and everyone found delicious things to their liking everywhere we went. Our hotels were terrific, too. They were all great, but for me, the Abbas and the Moshir Garden were my favorites as I loved the historic architecture and the unique decor of both.

Perhaps the greatest surprise was the welcome we received from Iranian people everywhere we went. My experiences with Iranians had already taught me that they are perhaps the world’s most polite people, and their hospitality is legendary. However, to receive such warm and personal welcomes from people on the street, in markets, and at historical sites was really amazing. Over and over we heard “, We love the American people.” We were invited to people’s homes and asked to be in photos with their families. Reading about the welcome is one thing but experiencing it is a joy.

Now for the one thing that disappointed me about the trip: we couldn’t be without our guide’s supervision. I understand that this was not his decision and of course as a guest, I would mind my manners as well as local law and custom. I couldn’t visit my Iranian family in their home and was told that it was a provision of my visa, which I wish had been made clear when I applied for the visa. That would have made things easier in arranging our visits together which ultimately took place in the hotel lobby. I also love to shop in an area where there are handicrafts and art items, and I did not have enough time for this (usually I take more time to wander and peruse, etc.). If Bahman reads this, he’ll wonder how I could have shopped any more but it is one of my loves and something for which I’m known (proudly-my friends love my gifts). I do understand that these were the provisions of my visa and Bahman did try to give us free time. Circumstances just did not permit the kind of freedom I would prefer.
As you now know, the trip was a great success for me and I thank you for an outstanding experience.
Barbara G. – Passage Through Persian November 2017

This was a wonderful and unique travel experience that I will treasure. Great itinerary, fabulous guide who treated us like family and incredible shopping.
Barbara S, Passage Through Persian History & Culture November 2017
The meals Bahman ordered or recommended were always good choices and everyone seemed to find their favorite(s). Needless to say we all pretty much got addicted to the saffron ice cream.

I am so glad that a friend gave me your company information so many years ago (before she stopped traveling due to health issues) as I don’t think we could have had a better Iranian experience with another company and with anyone except Bahman. He really made the trip.
Thanks again,
Ethel, Passage Through Persian History & Culture November 2017

We were so busy upon returning from Iran that I don’t remember if I ever emailed you. Assuming not, I want you to know we had a great time. We truly enjoyed both the country and the people we met there. Bahman was even better than advertised. I know you went to a great deal of trouble to make certain we made the trip, and I thank you and Sarah. We have encouraged friends to take your tour, but the current situation in the Middle East scares folks away. I hope we can reestablish friendly relations with the good people of Iran.
Best, Bob
Robert Schlieman, Persian History & Culture Revisited April 2014

“I’m sorry that I did not have a chance to say goodbye and to thank you for a really marvelous trip. It was everything that I had hoped for and more–perfectly organized and a terrific guide. You can count me among your permanent fan club!”
James Lowenstein, Treasure of Iran February 2014

“I want to thank you and Gwen for organizing and leading such a wonderful experience for me. You both have such a knack for taking care of each individual traveler and seeing that they have a top notch experience. I appreciated all the little “extra” things you did. The trip far exceeded my expectations. It is definitely at the top of trips I have taken ( and there have been many). I will certainly encourage my friends to take a trip to Iran.”
Marge Haruff, Treasure of Iran February 2014

“My trip to Iran changed my view of all things middle eastern, particularly Iran. Your goal of fostering communication between Americans and Iranians has definitely worked with me! If Obama could take the same trip that I did, if our government could meet and mingle among the Iranian people the way we did, then the face of the people, not the Iranian government, would be foremost in the minds of those who would wage war. Again, my sincere thanks to you. I look forward to a second trip to Iran.”
Lettie Lupis, Persia Revisited November 2011

“Paulette [my roommate] kept telling me about how Iranians would come up to us and welcome us to their country, and she was right…even though her experiences were a few years earlier.
Everywhere we went we ran into Iranians from other cities visiting the same sites we were visiting. We also saw lots of students on field trips. The approach would often be the same: a small group would walk past us, and would quietly say hello. If we responded they knew they could speak English to us. Invariably, they started off by asking where we were from. Never did “America” elicit an unhappy look or a turning away. Instead, we heard phrases like “We love America. How long have you been here? Where have you been? Do you like our country? We want to visit/study in America. Please tell your friends to come and visit Iran, etc.” Almost all wanted to take pictures of us alone and of us with them, using their ever-present cell phones primarily. None objected to having their photos taken by us once we started talking.
As I told you, I saw a familiar face at our baggage carousel at JFK and went over to recount to her the kinds of friendly conversations we had had. It was Madeline Albright. She thanked me and introduced me to her young female colleague, who was from Iran.”
Susan Dilloway, Persia Revisited November 2011
“Many thanks for putting together such a fabulous trip. I felt very safe in Iran. Our leader, Bahman was superb. I only have one suggestion: too much food.
Anyway, thanks again for a great adventure. Hope to take another one with your agency.”
Barbara Weiss Treasures of Iran February/March 2011

“Back home trying to put into place my thoughts, impressions and feelings about the trip (in addition to my laundry, remembrance gifts and memories). I’m still sorting things out. First and foremost, it was a superb adventure. Without Bahman it would have been good (possibly) but with him it became spectacular. What a fine human being he is and how nurturing he was. Every need (voiced or unvoiced) was met. He regaled us with oranges, tangerines, dates, andforbidden fruits such as ice creams and candies. His commentaries provided an outline and his good spirits pervaded. Inasmuch as we were a small group getting on and off the bus was effortless and everyone was incredibly prompt. We were the least seasoned of the travelers and enjoyed other fellow “groupies” comparisons with other culturesetc.
What emerged, at least for me, was the hospitality of the people. Their open admiration for and curiosity about us was ingenuous and endearing. When they found out that we were Americans they literally embraced us and made us feel comfortable, nay loved. The food, alas, was too copious and quite delicious. I would suggest smaller lunches as three major meals a day is overwhelming and I certainly am paying the price now that I am home as the scale taunts me. (I know….Ididn’t have to eat it all, but I did). Our bus driver was so competent that no one felt skeptical about some of the formidable traffic problems or the traffic.
The crescendo built and by the time we reached Isfahan we were delirious with joy and those final days in that charming city seemed too fleeting. I, for one, can’t wait to sign on to another ofyour trips based on my experiences with this one. My son and daughter(and I am certain that they will convey their thoughts) were hugely impressed and it was great for me having them along (as they pushed me and pulled me up those almost insurmountable high steps). You have a great mission andyour execution, beginning with the pre travel information, was flawless. Please convey at your first opportunity our appreciation to Bahman as without him the trip would undoubtedly have been great….but with him it became memorable. Good luck on future trips and do keep me on your mailing list. The last two hotel choices, prior to returning to Tehran, were outstanding.”
Sally Levin – Treasures of Iran Febraury/March 2011

“Bahman is sensational! What a gem… fun, full of information, anticipating all of our needs. It was a most wonderful trip. The Iranian people are the warmest and sweetest that I have met in my many travels. The country was not at all what I expected. The people, the cities were beyond what I could ever imagined. I would recommend it to all of my friends.
Thanks for a glorious adventure.”
Regina Coxe Treasures of Iran Febraury/March 2