The Lonely Planet for Iran didn’t have very nice things to say about Ahwaz. “Using the well-served airport is the only reason you’d choose to transit this vast, featureless, industrial city where summer temperatures regularly top 50°C.” Looking back at my trip, I actually enjoyed Ahwaz very much! Dr. Housseni arranged for his colleague, Mr. Bahromi and his cousin Ismail, to pick me up at the airport. I arrived late in the evening. But despite the late hour, I was amazed at how lit up the streets and bridges were with pretty lights, and how packed it was with families and couples who were enjoying the cooler evenings.
I used Ahwaz as a base to reach the massive Ziggurat at Chogha Zanbil (built in 1250 BC), and to make a pilgrimage at the tomb of the Old Testament prophet Daniel. I was astonished that I was the only tourist there! After the sites, we would enjoy kebab and roasted chicken dinners while catching the group stages of the Euro 2012 football tournament. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Bahromi and his friends’ company. They were incredibly hospitable and welcoming.