When it comes to picnicking, Iran is the real deal.
If your first thought for a Sunday picnic involves relaxing and taking it easy without the worry of cooking, setting the table and washing up, you might want to think again.
During the recent two-week trip to Iran I’ve embarked on with my friend and fellow travel blogger Madi of Dream Of Iran, I’ve had quite a few chances to realize that Iran is a very outdoor nation. Any holiday, event, or even just a bit of free time is the perfect occasion for a day spent out eating and playing.
Walking in the street, you might not tell apart who is actually bound to picnicking from who’s busy with their daily chores, but after spending hours in parks or any green patches, for that matter, I managed to learn how to spot the party-goers.
Both men and women play an important role in the process. When the group arrives, the components of the family carefully inspect the park until they find the right spot. Once the decision is taken, you will see that the apparently elegant, small and trendy handbags the ladies of the group carry are actually full of any kind of food and tools you might need for a proper meal, from tablecloths to napkins to pans. No kidding, I actually saw a barbecue being used during a picnic.
The food varies and can range from sandwiches combined with pickles, veggies, fruits, drinks, dessert and the never missing nuts, to complete homemade hot meals carried on insulated containers. All followed by one or two cups of tea, always.
Even though eating is the main activity, this doesn’t mean that after lunch, or dinner, the picnic is over. As a matter of fact, it can last still for another couple of hours, and here the options are many, from keeping drinking tea through the evening, to playing any type of ball game to having an after-lunch nap, and by nap I don’t mean merely relaxing but downright sleeping, like the big family I saw in Isfahan whose picnic arrangement involved sheets, pillows and blankets.
One day I had the great opportunity to join a trip organized by Madi’s tour leading course, and after the mandatory picnic teachers and students engaged in a fierce ball game. Below you can enjoy some shots and feel a little part of the excitement.