Iran is a surprising country when it comes to its landscapes. It isn’t quite just dry and sandy as most of the countries in the Middle East. During our first few days here, we had to regretfully leave the company of the new friends we’d made in Tabriz and head on to the other places on our way to Tehran. One of them was the ‘Castle of the Assassins’ located below the Alborz mountains in the north of Tehran. This place has an interesting history. Home to the leader of the feared and mercenary group of the heretic Ismaili sect – Hassan E Sabbah, who led them to assassinate and kidnap several political and religious leaders, convincing them that they would go to Paradise for their deeds, all the while keeping them stoned on hash. Giving the group their name ‘Hashish-iyun’ root of the English word – ‘Assassin’
The castle is located above the mountain over-looking a small village Gazor Khan and offers spectacular views. The best part is that barring 2 guards stationed there, we were the only 2 tourists around.