Upon our return to Tehran from Kashan, we immediately submitted our paperwork for Turkmenistan visas and were advised it would take five working days. This meant we would need to stay in Iran for at least another five days. We planned to pick up the visas from Mashhad (a city close to the Turkmen border), which allowed us to then visit some areas in northern and western Iran. Dizin was our first stop, a small village famous for its massive ski slopes in the Alborz Mountain ranges.
We took a bus there from Tehran. It was a beautiful, scenic drive up through the snow capped mountains. Once again we experienced the kind Persian hospitality when we were dropped off from the bus, thirteen kilometres from Dizin, and a man with his mother, father and daughter gave us a lift to the village.
As we were in Dizin during an offpeak period, it was generally very quiet and we were the only guests at the hotel we stayed in (kind of spooky… and Travis did mention it felt like ‘The Shining’). The following day we decided to hit the slopes at the Dizin ski resort. With both of us having very little experience with skiing (having only done it once before in Harbin, China), we had an interesting time trying to familiarise ourselves with the sport! There were many other skiers at the resort. Skiing in Iran is a lot less expensive compared to other places, in total we paid about $70 for both of us, including day entry into the slopes and equipment hire. The views were simply amazing.