By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
Damavand is the highest volcano in Asia, and the highest mountain in Iran. Although it is not active there are many fumaroles and at the top you can smell the sulphur. It is 66 km to the east of Tehran and normally has snow on the slopes, even in the middle of summer. It is over 5600 meters in height. When the air is clear you can see Damavand from Tehran, and a thrilling sight it is too.
You cannot however see the mountain from Damavand city, which is just over an hour drive from the center of Tehran. All you have to do is to get to the Sadr Expressway and then the Babaie Expressway, and then turn onto the Firouz kuh Road; and Damavand is after the towns of Jajeroud, Bomehen and Roudehen.
The city enjoys a very nice air and many people in Tehran still have summer houses there. Among them are our friends Mr. and Mrs. Ahmadi. He is a well known businessman and she is a more than delightful person to meet, warm and friendly, kind and gentle, and needless to say they are the most wonderful hosts. We were honored to be their guests on a few afternoons this summer. It was quite surprising that every time when we got back home we felt truly rested after having so much fun and having truly enjoyed ourselves.
Their villa is most unusual as the large garden is on the top of a slope above the house and the pool. There is a lovely waterfall feature next to the pool for the guests to admire while they swim and play ball.
I was most astonished by all the grapes and different fruits that grew in the gardens as we walked up the stairs and took a walk in that lovely and almost natural and carefree setting. I simply could not resist having a taste of the raspberries and shah-tout (Persian Mulberry) that were by the path; and despite all the dangers to my white blouse I picked and tasted a few lovely and delicious berries with obvious consequences. As we got back to the pool everybody could see that I had been helping myself!
The villa has its own vegetable garden and we had a great taste of the most delicious fresh greens, including mint, basil, peppers and much more. We were told that there is a gardener but an agricultural engineer oversees the garden as well. We enjoyed the fresh apples, plums, pears and most delicious grapes straight from the tree to the dining table.
The food is served in a most friendly yet professional manner and there are always so many choices to please different tastes. Mr. Ahmadi is not only fortunate in having such a lovely home but more so he is blessed with a heart which is most giving and generous and maybe that is the secret of his astonishing success. A true gentleman in appearance, behavior and above all in heart.
Well all I can say to our friends is thank them sincerely for their most generous, relaxing and pleasing hospitality and to say to you jaye shoma khali (your places were empty)! We have a few photos here for you to enjoy.
... Payvand News - 09/09/08 ... --