Narelle and I headed to the bus station this morning and after a lot of pointing and broken Farsi we ended up on a bus to Rasht. The 6 hour journey was briefly halted at a police check point when the Police took an interest in the only two foreigners on the bus...yep Narelle and I. We had to open our bags for them to search and then answer a few questions before with wonderful smiles and in their very best farsi/english the very polite officers said: thank you and enjoy Iran. I suppose not many foreigners come their way!
We arrived in the small city of Rasht and again after lots of pointing, referring to the lonely planet and using my iphone translator we managed to buy bus tickets on Tuesday to Tabriz and then fluke a safari (public shared taxi car) up the mountain to Masuleh. Some poor lady was kicked out to let us and our bags in. we apologised profusously to her and all she wanted was to know what we though of Iran and again she shook our hands and said welcome to Iran and enjoy your trip.
The little village of Matuleh with only a few hundred residents is situated high in the densely forested mountains near the Caspian Sea. It is well off the normal foreigners tourist track but we had heard it is well worth the extra effort to get here. We will reserve judgement at this point as we have seen nothing but fog and rain since we arrived.
After a billy goat walk up a winding cobble path to the hotel we found out they knew nothing of our reservation. So again, using our best Farsi we managed fluke a room over looking the valley, we had to take his word on this as the visibility with the fog and rain is about 50m.
We will stay here for two days before heading off on an overnight bus to Tabriz on Tuesday.