So our kind host and guide has been giving us an introduction to Middle class Iranian life, as well as doing some sight seeing.

We drove up on the eastern hills of Tehran to a ski resort to take in some hills and food. Then we visited some palaces and the bazaar back in Tehran.

In the evening we went to an upmarket cafe in northern Tehran and by that stage I was starting to surmise the Iranian lifestyle, as not being all that different from our own.

After reading Persepolis back in Bulgaria I was bracing myself for all sorts of government intervention. Though the rebellious Iranian people seem to know how how to avoid any trouble in their daily lives.

For example the next day we were travelling with our female guide south to Esfahan and we were caught speeding at 135km/h, 15 above the speed limit of 120. After some friendly social interaction with the police, they let us go. The traffic police in a blue car did ask our relationship which she answered "friends", though it all seemed friendly. She later commented they shouldn't have asked questions like that, since they are not the religious police who drive green cars.

Later that day we visited some good historical houses in Kashan and then we drove for an hour into the desert. At first as I was reluctant to go to a desert, because I was worried we might get stuck in the sand, run out of petrol and just die out there in the 40+ degree heat. I mean come on... we all can imagine what a desert is like, can't we?

However the landscape slowly became quite fascinating, we came across a biblical scene of goats and even a camel. Eventually we approached some dunes which we spent a good hour climbing and watching the sunset. All in all, a highlight of our trip so far.

By the time we left the desert, it was quite late and we even thought of staying the night in Kashan. Instead we pushed on down to Esfahan. We travelled a little quicker than usual, since we had the tip from a contact in Esfahan, that the police do not trap at night.

We arrived at about midnight and were greeted by a couple of friends (an Armenian and a lesbian!) in a coffee bar of our guide.

The lesbian drove us to a fast food place with incredibly garish headache inducing neon lighting. The owner was throwing us strange looks and eventually plucked up the courage to talk to us. He said he was a fan of T.S. Elliot. Which was a bit strange, considering he was effectively running the equivalent of McDonalds. I wanted a milkshake and he personally made me a banana milkshake with saffron and it was the best milkshake I've ever had.

After this we crashed. We'd had quite an intense day.