Patricia Engel - Cultural April 2016

"Iran to me was a place of hospitality, poetry and impressive roots in the past. Due to the fact that Shirin was our guide and her parents and friends of them were with us, we got a glimpse of the country and established personal contacts with its people.

The long trips gave us an idea of its huge size and a great appreciation of nature of the geography, geology and vegetation of Iran. The works of art we have seen at Persepolis and other places were equally impressive.

What made the deepest impression on me, however, was the striking difference between the unfriendly and menacing desert and plains and the overwhelming beauty of the gardens, the walls separating the inner and the outer environment, the contrast of the burning sun and the green shade, the dry dust and the fountains with glass-like sparkling water, stones and architecture, roses, lemon tree smells, soft movements of grain grass in the wind, the red pomegranate blossoms, the age-old olive trees and the wine.Who was able to visualise and create such beauty?"

Patricia Engel


Ron Kenyon - Cultural April 2016

Ron and Shirin at Nahghsh-e Jahan square - Isfahan

Ron and Shirin at Nahghsh-e Jahan square - Isfahan

"I have been wanting to go to Iran since 1978 when I had planned to visit a friend working there in Tehran - however events there made this not possible.  The country has a vast history and this was highlighted by a book I found called "Crossroads of Civilisation" written in 1979 by Clive Irving - this is well worth finding and reading covering 3000 years of history to 1979.  In 2015 there were moves to reduce sanctions on Iran. Also Shirin advertised a trip to Iran to ski up (and down) Damavand, in 2016, which I had wanted to do for years and I contacted her about this. In the end this was not going to happen - however she told me about the Cultural Tour from Tehran to Kashan, Esfahan, Shiriz and Yazd - including Percepolis and Passgadae -  WOW - got to go !  After communications and flight I was met at the airport by Farid, our guide,  and eventually met the team in the hotel in Tehran.  I was the sole Brit with others from Austria and Germany - my German is limited to "eine bier bitte" but everyone (as usual) spoke perfect English. 

We were transported in a super bus driven by the great driver Siavash- he is also a good reader of poetry as well as a "good laugh".

We had a rough idea of the itiniary but not the detail - and that detail unrolled over the next 10 ten days - this was not a cultural tour but a bombardment !

There were so many places - palaces, mosques, gardens, bridges, tombs and much more-  and there did not seem to be much lost time. There were also the people of Iran - they all seemed so pleased to see us including someone from England.  Many smiles and interest including attractive English Literature students from Tehran University and a seat in a park in Shiriz containing four generations.

We covered about 2500 km - so one has be happy to travel - I am reasonably fit but had a bit of a cold and had to miss some trips due to the cold but my cup of culture was still overflowing.

Shirin and Persian Pursuits have a vast knowledge of the country and plan full itiniaries which can be personalised for the group.

Iran is a country which one has to visit-  and then visit again and again !"

Ron Kenyon - Penrith, UK

The 2500 year old Persopolis near Shiraz

The 2500 year old Persopolis near Shiraz