Before setting off to the Eastern part of the Iranian Azerbaijan republic we stopped by one of the beaches, so as to get a glimpse of the Caspian sea and the importance Âstara has as a seaside resort. I was fascinated by the little kioske-like platforms, where tents are placed and those who cannot rent hotels and hostels during their holidays or specifically wish to use such spaces may enjoy the sea breeze and the overall seaside atmosphere just as any ordinary tourist.
I was equally impressed, though not at the same level, with the white and blue fence separating the women bathers from the rest of the population. It is understandable given the cultural circumstances but I somehow felt it as a reminder of a discriminatory type of approach to gender.
I walked back and forth for a while looking at the horizon as a lonely looking lady sitting close by seemed to be doing, to afterwards start collecting incredibly exquisite sea-shells I came across on the small pebble covered stretch of sand.
Looking at two ladies doing their physical exercises out in the open reminded me of the forthcoming exercise we would have to endure when climbing up to the Kaleybar citadel. Maybe I should be doing some "stretching exercises" beside them as anticipating preparation.
(To be continued)