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Alfons Gabriel

Alfons Gabriel

Alfons Gabriel (1894 – 1976) was an Austrian geographer and travel writer who made several trips to Iran’s deserts. Gabriel wrote five books about his trips and findings. His book, Durch Persiens Wüsten (1935), has been translated into Persian. On his second trip to Iran in 1933 he crossed Dasht-e Kavir (the Central Desert) where he discovered the flagstone road dating back to the time of Shah Abbas, the Safavid King. He made his third trip to Iran in 1937 crossing the southern part of Dasht-e Lut. Not many pictures of Gabriel survived but it is said that one of them, taken with his wife in front of their tent, is of Aroosan village in the Central Desert. Gabriel has written many beautiful things about this village in his books. This Dasht-e Kavir Desert trekking route in the Tehran to Yazd trek is based on the one followed by the great pioneer, Alfons Gabriel.

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Sven Hedin

Sven Hedin

Sven Anders Hedin, the Swedish geographer, topographer, explorer, photographer and travel writer arrived by paddle steamer in 1886. He journeyed to Persia twice in 1886 and 1890. In 1887, Hedin published a book about these travels entitled Through Persia, Mesopotamia and the Caucasus. Sven Hedin is Sweden’s greatest explorer and adventurer of all time. He was born in Stockholm in 1865 and decided to follow this path in his early teens. The first step in his career was in 1885 when he was just 20 years old. He had the opportunity to travel to Baku, Azerbaijan, to work as a private tutor for the son of a Swedish engineer in the Nobel-owned oil industry. When Hedin had fulfilled his duties as a tutor, he set out on a three-month journey through Persia – today’s Iran. This was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with Iran’s rich nature, history and culture so much so he returned twice (Wahlquist 2007). Hedin’s second visit to Iran was as a member of the Swedish King Oscar II’s diplomatic mission to the Persian King Naser-ed-din Shah in 1890. After the formal assignment was completed, Hedin followed the Shah to the Elburz Mountains and made…

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Silk Road In Iran

Silk Road in Iran

Iran was known as Persia during the Silk Road period. It was the main ring of the chain from East to West. It was strategically placed for the Silk Road trade with several routes passing through Iran’s ancient and beautiful country. Nowadays, Iran is no longer considered so famous for the Silk Road route compared to other central Asian countries. The Iranian tourism industry didn’t invest much time in marketing this interesting piece of history due to Iran being at the centre of several difficult issues during the last 40 years. In spite of this unfortunate drawback, Iran is firmly back on the map. Thanks to its attractiveness, and numerous ‘little-explored’ parts of this amazingly diverse country, there is so much to offer experienced travellers wishing to journey through Iran’s part of the Silk Road route which runs from China to Turkey. One of the main highlights of Iran Silk Road is to see the many historical sites alongside this route. In Iran’s Silk Road, there are plenty of ancient castles, caravanserais, citadels and mosques that date back to over a thousand years. There are a huge number of caravanserais, a lot of which have been renovated as boutique hotels.…

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Iran Nomadic Tribes

Iran Nomadic Tribes

Iran is a multi-ethnic country, made up of different ethnic groups who live in every corner of the land. There are also umpteen types of nomadic tribes living in the various regions of the Alborz and Zagros mountain ranges. They consist of Bakhtiari, Qashqai, Shah Savan (Ilsavan nomads), Mamiand, Boier Ahmadi, Khamseh, Behmaiee, Mamasani, Kord, Taiebi, Jalali, Zalaki, Baluchi, and Afshar. Their customs, language, culture, and food are dissimilar to each other. They are supported by the Nomads Affairs Organization of Iran, a government organization responsible for supplying services to mountain climbers by managing the migration and relocation of nomads. It regulates the essential guidelines and schemes in coordination with the superior organizations such as parliament, government, and the Nomads supreme council. The nomads with their families and herds generally move from lower altitudes to higher mountains during the hot season, moving again to lower altitudes during the cold season. The majority start moving from early spring “depending on the region” till mid-autumn with their families and sheep. The biggest and best-known nomads are the Bakhtiari who live mainly in the provinces of Esfahan, Khuzestan, and Chaharmahal with the remaining ones, (approximately 200,000 people), located in the west. Qashghaie with…

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