After finishing the successful shows in Tehran, I had planned to ride through the Alamut Valley to Qazvin, to visit the castles of the Assassins on the way. Then on to Tabriz, and up to Armenia.
However, in the meantime, through CouchSurfing I’d met Komeil, who worked in the film industry and had been involved with documentaries on various topics including Iranian culture and tourism. During the last days of my stay in Tehran we met a few times (in the earlier described Café Un), first just with him, then with a whole team headed by Reza Fahramand, director of the award-winning films Tajrish and Shirzad.
We decided to make a film of a trip undertaken by musician Majjid Rahnama and yours truly, to play a concert somewhere in the valley, or in Qazvin. But this didn’t happen. After long consideratons, the location was changed to the foothills of the Alborz mountains on the Caspian Sea. The reasons were never entirely clear to me, though I did gather that in those more remote areas, filming without all the official permits would be less of a problem. Anyway, I had no reason to complain about this change of plans, the whole trip was amazingly beautiful.
And wet. For some reason (possibly the fact that a large part of their country is made of dry sand and gravel, as I experienced earlier), Iranians love the wetness of the north. “Just like where you’re from!” – as if that was a recommendation.
After the amazing Karaj-Chalus road, we rode up the coast for a while. Before heading into the mountains, we stayed at a beach house in Nashtarud for a couple of nights, swimming in the (cold!) waves and jamming on the beach. In the rain, of course.