The Alborz Mountains
       
     
Stuck in the Revolution
       
     
On top of Alborz Mountains
       
     
Freezing Cold
       
     
Iran and its People
       
     
A typical news headline
       
     
Ayatollah and Christmas
       
     
At the Golestan Palace
       
     
The Azadi Monument
       
     
The former US Embassy in Tehran
       
     
IKA: Imam Khomenei International Airport
       
     
Under the Chador
       
     
       
     
The Alborz Mountains
       
     
The Alborz Mountains

The view from my hotel room in Tehran. We arrived there around Christmas Eve on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul. Christmas Day, we went snowboarding.

Stuck in the Revolution
       
     
Stuck in the Revolution

Years of economic embargo gave Iran a unique '70s feel. Everything seems so old. It was like it was stuck in the '70s.

On top of Alborz Mountains
       
     
On top of Alborz Mountains

I touched snow for the first time! Tochal Ski Resort has the longest ski season in the world.

Freezing Cold
       
     
Freezing Cold

It was around -8c. I was freezing and the wind hurts on my face.

Iran and its People
       
     
Iran and its People

I had nothing but a warm reception from the people of Iran during my visit. Despite being tagged as a member of the 'Axis of Evil', the world forgets that in the middle of all the rhetoric, people are people and we have to look beyond headlines and official government statements. 

This is my guide and he has family in the United States.

A typical news headline
       
     
A typical news headline

Yes, they greet their Christian readers a Merry Christmas. 

Ayatollah and Christmas
       
     
Ayatollah and Christmas

Outside Iran, this setup would have been unthinkable! The photos of the Ayatollahs and Christmas Trees? Of course.

At the Golestan Palace
       
     
At the Golestan Palace

One of the Farsi typewriters at the Golestan Palace museum.

The Azadi Monument
       
     
The Azadi Monument

A monument to independence. I remember how cold it was that day.

The former US Embassy in Tehran
       
     
The former US Embassy in Tehran

After the 1979 hostage crisis at the US Embassy in Tehran, it was converted into a military training facility.

IKA: Imam Khomenei International Airport
       
     
IKA: Imam Khomenei International Airport

Not too shabby for an international airport. You can pick up caviar in the departure area!

Under the Chador
       
     
Under the Chador

Found in Tehran's bazaar. Really, my trip challenged all perceptions I had of Iran.

       
     
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Christmas trip to Iran. December 25-26, 2012.