I'm counting down the weeks until I leave for my vacation. September 8th cannot come soon enough! This is what my itinerary looks like:
- Arrive at Imam Khomeini Airport (by myself!) with my hijab and manteau already on, of course
- Hang in Tehran for a day
- Head to Kerman with a stop in Rayen and Mahan
- Kerman for a 'lil while, then go to Yazd
- Shiraz (hells yeah) with an excursion to Persepolis (I loooooove ruins) and Isfahan
- Go back to Tehran en route to Tabriz (argued to be the original "garden of eden" per historical landmarks) to see the Caspian Sea
- Kandovan to check out some crazy rock formations
- Back to Tehran, again, to fly back to Amsterdam and hang out with my long-time friend Ernst and his girlfriend
- Fly over to England to spend time in Norwich (Eastern part of England) to see my bff Aly and her boyfriend, check out my old study abroad alma mater, and re-visit my old haunts. Bell Hotel pub anyone? And who wants to go see "The Inbetweeners" at the cinema?! Maybe clubbing on Prince of Wales Road? Who knows :) Oh, I at least need to make up for my lack of consumption of Früli beer, Strongbow, and Snakebite & Black. Yummy. Oh yeah, and plenty of high tea.
- Fly back to Amsterdam to see Ernst and his gf again. Must hit up: Museum Vrolik (creepy medical anomalies pickled in formaldehyde), the Resistance Museum, and eat copious amounts of Turkish pizza, frites, stroopwafels, doner kebabs, and much more.
Iran is going to be pretty darn warm while I'm there, despite the fact that Europe will be freezing. That's going to make for some pretty interesting packing since I'm bound and determined to only bring over one carry-on. That doesn't mean that I'm not going to check bags on the way back; I plan on doing tons of shopping in Iran and Norwich.
Anywho, curiosity got the best of me and I was dying to see what was considered "acceptable" beach and pool-wear in Iran. I'm staying at international hotels (3-5 stars) but I'm pretty sure I have to follow Eastern dress code. Most of the hotels have gyms and pools, and of course pools are great for cardio, but can you imagine me swimming in one of these??
Let's just say I don't plan on doing any ocean or pool swimming while I'm on vacation. Even the gym clothes women are supposed to wear are pretty ridiculous.
How are you supposed to run on a treadmill with that on?! I plan on packing my black lululemon leggings, a couple of tanks and sports bras to do plenty of pilates and yoga in my hotel room. I'd likely end up in Evin prison if I wore my workout clothes publicly:
I'll probably wait on serious cardio workouts until I get to Norwich to use University of East Anglia's Sportspark (and pay their ridiculous drop-in fees). When I was a UEA student I was utterly shocked that Sportspark access was NOT free for students. How are broke-ass students, myself on a full ride, supposed to come up with the pocket money to pay for outlandish gym fees?! By the end of my first week I was crying inside that I was 6,000+ miles away from my beloved and *free* RIMAC gym at UCSD and wouldn't see it for another 12 months. Lucky for me I accidentally lost about 10 pounds that year, probably due the fact that I was absolutely freezing the entire time having spent two years acclimating to La Jolla's sunshine and 72 F year-round weather.