Denmark -Iran

In October 1999 we, a Danish family of four, set out on our adventurous journey of driving from Denmark to India in a orange Ford Transit. The van was quickly named the Orange by the boys who were 2 and 6 when we started out. Making a journey like this took a lot of work and one of the hardest things was to get an Iranian visa. When we finally got it they had a put a deadline for entering the country a month away. Suddenly we were in a major hurry.
We drove through Europe as fast as we could and was preoccupied with the thoughts of how Iran was going to be. I, as a woman, knew that there were very strict dresscodes which I hoped that I could fulfill without buying a chador and  we were also afraid of not making it to the border in time.

We made it one day before our entry date expired and early on a warm October day we drove to the Iranian border. Going through the Turkish part was fast and uneventful, but when we came to the Iranian checkpoint they said that there was problems with our visas. The Iranian embassy had written no to us being accompanied by anyone, which meant that the children were not in the visas. Disaster and a very long day rose before us. Suddenly a man appeared before us. He spoke a very good English and wanted to help us.We had met Mr. Hossein. Mr. Hossein worked all day trying to convince the people at the border to let us in and the reply was all the time, No, go back to Turkey and apply for a visa there. He tried everything, talked to everyone and finally when everything seemed in vain he came up with the last idea. We should call our consulate in Teheran and get them to call the Foreign Ministry and they should then fax to the border and in this way let us enter the country. It seemed impossible and the woman at the embassy did not sound hopeful about it, butt miracle happened and 12 hours of waiting at the border ended when a fax arrived from Teheran. We were so grateful to Mr. Hossein who then invited us to his house in Tabriz. We spent 4 wonderful days with his beautiful family, saw the sights, went on a picnic, ate great Iranian food and just eased into Iran, which turned out to be a truly great country to travel in. The culture, people and the warmth and hospitality we and our children encountered were mindblowing.
So we will forever be grateful that we met Mr. Hossein and his family. Our children speak of them often and we are all quite sure that we would like to visit Iran again and then Tabriz is a must.So we can give our warmest recommendation to Mr. Hossein and Iran. We think of them with gratefulness and joy.

Per, Pernille, Frederik and William Thorbøll.
Copenhagen, Denmark
June 2002.

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