One of Iran's many provenances and certainly my favourite thus far is Kurdistan. We spent 3 days driving between the small towns along the Iraqi border which still wore the scars of the war. Every town celebrated their martyrs from the conflict through sculptures or more commonly a personal photo for every person lost. Making drives through fog and rin especially eerie.
In addition to the awe inspiring mountains; kurdistan, like many other provinces has their own language (kurdish), culture, food and clothing including the awesome vest you can see here and their baggy kurdish pant which I had to pick up a pair in town!
The Howraman valley is truely a long way from Iran's congested and polluted cities. The people here are friendlier and not in such a hurry. Though we we have been constantly stared at as fewer tourists have made it to these parts of the country, they have always been fuelled by curiosity rather than frustration over sanctions or anger at our good fortune. We have been flashed more toothy, or toothless smiles than I can count not to mention offered more chai (tea) or food than I can remember. Their generosity is incredible and I'm feeling quite lucky to have been there.