by Dale Jacobsen
Dennis and Tric Doble’s journey to the Cradle of Civilisation was one of their more unconventional trips.
“We began our adventures in 1976, touring the UK and continent in a Kombi van,” said Dennis. “We even took our two small children on a three-month trek around the US, UK and Europe in 1985.”
With their children now grown, they try to travel at least once each year. This year, they visited Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia, adding to their understanding of different cultures around the world.
For Tric, it was being surrounded by ancient sites and ‘feeling’ the history; for Dennis, it was experiencing the culture of the countries: their food and gardens.
They visited many museums in Tehran – a “fascinating, pulsating city surrounded by snow-capped mountains” – then roamed through Iran meeting local people.
They walked through UNESCO-listed ruins in almost-inaccessible mountains; visited Persepolis, an ancient Roman city; stood before a 4000-year-old cypress pine in Yazd and marvelled at badgirs (air-cooling wind towers) created thousands of years ago.
“The people were so friendly, particularly the older women who were educated before the revolution”, said Tric. “They all wanted to talk to us, to practice their English. Many were tertiary educated.”
Our conversation kept returning to food as Dennis had me drooling with descriptions of traditional Iranian foods such as pomegranate molasses, Dizi (a hot pot of lamb and chickpeas), a delightful variety of breads and luscious dates and cheeses.
After Iran, they flew to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, to begin a 16-day adventure through Georgia and Armenia. “The difference between the countries was very marked,” explained Dennis.
“Azerbaijan has oil and is modern and forward thinking; Georgia, a Christian country, has no oil and is famed for its wine and is largely agriculture-based. The houses with their vege gardens would not have looked out of place in Australia.”
Tric added: “Armenia is very religious and remains very traditional. Although they are starting to modernise, they are steeped in history. The ancient monasteries, usually in difficult terrain, are marvelous”.
Tric and Dennis finished their fantastic trip with four nights in Istanbul – a city they love so much, this was their fifth visit.
Dennis and Tric’s trip was planned by Maleny Cruise and Travel.