“Iran is one of the safest countries that I have visited as a woman,” German tourist Dorothea Wisse, 26, told the Tehran Times.
On a hot afternoon, I met Dorothea in a cozy room at the Nakhoda Amini homestay in Tabl village on the Persian Gulf island of Qeshm. She, along with her fiancé, was on a 21-day visit to Iran, planning to stay on Qeshm for four days.
Dorothea had already visited many European countries as well as several other places including Canada, South Africa, and Ecuador.
“No one threatened us nor tried to rob us during our excursion in Iran,” she said.
The couple had visited several cities in Iran, including Kashan, Abyaneh, Natanz, Isfahan, Shahr-e Kord, Koohrang, Khur, and Yazd, and had come to see Hormuz and Qeshm islands.
“It is very hard to say, which one of these places is the most beautiful. Each of them has its own fascination and is very beautiful,” she said.
However, Khur was her choice as the best place she visited in Iran. Khur is a desert city located near Lut Desert in the central province of Isfahan.
In her view, Iran is not an expensive destination. “Food is quite cheap but it is not the case for tourist and historical sites,” she added.
“I have some problems with delicious Persian food since I am a vegetarian. I miss German bread as well,” she laughed.
Even in historical sites, Iranian visitors are the majority in comparison to foreign tourists, she said.
I think this is good. In cities like Paris you only see tourists and there are no Parisians in historical sites, Dorothea added.
“Friendly and nice people in Iran make our trip to the country very special,” she explained.
During their stay on Qeshm, Dorothea and her fiancé visited Mangrove forests, the geo-park sites, Star Valley, Chahku Valley, and Qeshm roof.
She said she was fascinated by seeing turtles and sharks on Hormuz and Hengam islands.
“As a Western tourist, I find Iran very different from what you see in European countries. In France, the U.S. and many other Western countries, the lifestyle of people are the same,” she said.
The reason is that Iran has a different civilization and religion, different history and even different climate, she explained.
“Iran opens its door to tourists and you can experience what you have heard about the country,” she smiled.
She said that from the political viewpoint, media in the world only cover nuclear program, economic and political problems of Iran.
“Many people live a happy life in Iran and they are very open-minded people and daily life is more relaxed than it is portrayed by media. The young generation is very modern and open,” she said.
By Setareh Behroozi, Tehran Times