Sunday, May 08, 2005

Iran, first descent-city for those in the know

Iran may not be the first country that springs to mind for a skiing holiday, but it is steadily gaining the reputation as a "killer destination" -- in the positive sense of the term -- by those in the know.

Tired of cliched resorts, irregular snowfall, long lift queues and restrictions on off-piste access, powder hunters from Europe and North America are beginning to trickle in to a country most think of as an inhospitable patch of desert.

A close shave connected traveler to people eager for answers about US

I was at the bus station in Shiraz, slumped in an orange plastic chair. I'd been in Iran for a week and was getting frustrated. Few locals wanted to talk to me, let alone offer the hospitality that I'd heard about from other travelers -- whisked off to family dinners, thrust into wedding ceremonies, or even offered someone's daughter to marry. None of that for me.