An American touring Iran, Uzbekistan,Armenia, Georgia and Eastern Turkey
Mr. Hossein Lotfi
Silk Road Tours
I wanted to write a letter thanking you for the wonderful trip you organized for me. I was trying to put together a tour for Iran, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan when I found your website. With not much time you were able to put together a tour that incorporated all of my desired places and sites. We were able to procure all the visas within a matter of two weeks, a near impossibility without your company.
As for the actual trip, it was beyond my wildest imagination. Uzbekistan has some of the most spectacular sites and monuments I have ever seen, and I have been to many of the greatest sites around the world. If I had more time I would definitely spend it in Samarkand. The intricate beauty of the tiled mosaics in the mosques and schools has to been seen in person to fully comprehend. I was in awe the first moment we drove by. Bhukara and Khiva were both unique cities unlike any other I have visited before. Their combined histories are rich with stories and rulers that are as vivid as the wildest stories of any European country. The driver that we had in Uzbekistan was polite, friendly, and was willing to do whatever he could to make our trip memorable. When we wanted to do something off the scheduled itinerary, he arranged it with no problems. In Uzbekistan we had a different guide in each city, all of which spoke fluent English, and all of which we very helpful and court! eous. I am interested in photography and the guides were able to show me the best places to take photos.
I was not sure what to expect in Iran. I had read up on the country and its lengthy history, but was pleasantly surprised. Iran is a country of many contrasts, at least from what I saw. There is the modern bustling town of Tehran with all of its fast food and Iranian made cars, to the local villages dotting the countryside, many whom have a traditional ways of life. My senses were totally overwhelmed by the scents of blooming flowers, to the best kebabs I have ever eaten. As a scholar of ancient history Persopolis was key on my list of sites to see. It lived up to all that has been written about it, to some it up in one word - incredible! From the Griffin statues, to the graffiti from previous tourists, some that is over 200 years old, it was all worth seeing. We had one guide throughout our trip to Iran, Valy was his name. He was educated in the USA, and his English was perfect. He stuck by our sides and made sure our trip was the best it could be. My friend wanted to v! isit an ancient church so Valy found out how to get in, then reorganized our day so my friend could go to mass at the church. It was the highlight of her trip, and all organized at the spur of the moment. Our driver was a younger man, who though spoke little English, was so sweet and friendly. He invited us to his home and we enjoyed a traditional dinner with an Iranian family. Everyone was very eager to speak to us, all being friendly. I look like the stereotypical Norman Rockwell painting of an American, so I really stuck out there, but all who approached me were happy to see me, and ask of what I thought of their country.
Overall this trip was far above my expectations. I don't think I could have ever accomplished all I did without Silk Road Tours arrangements. On the plane ride home my mind was already planning my return, as though I saw so much in three weeks, it will take more time to really see all the magnificent beauty, culture, and sites this part of the world has. Everyone I talk to I highly recommend traveling there, as I feel in the future many more tourists will discover the gems in Central Asia and Iran.
After the success of the first trip I planned with Silk Road Tours, I have eagerly awaited my next trip back to Iran. I am happy to confirm that I have just made the arrangements to go back to Iran for 18 days starting in late September, 2001. I am going to cover the North and West of the country which I had not seen in the previous visit. Iran is such a big country with so many magnificent sites that after traveling there for a combined 28 days there is still much more to see. I am excited about visiting the ancient ruins of Choqa Zambil and the much talked about city of Tabriz.
After Iran, Hossein at Silk Road Tours have booked me to go to Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. I could not have managed all the logistics involved in just visiting just one of these countries, but they have made it possible for me to effortlessly visit all of them on one trip. I look forward to this trip, and knowing myself I will discover more there and want to return at another date!