Meaning The Door of the Mountain in Farsi, Daraband is an area in the North of Tehran, in Shemiran, at the base of the Tochal Mountain. The place is actually a trail, a hike up, filled with restaurants, cafes, shisha places, small shops selling dried fruits and sweets.
There were two things that impressed me about this elevated place, with super fresh air: the way the restaurants were built on the two sides of a narrow valley which is the trail, some having over ten floors and the incredible amount and diversity of flowers.
We had dinner at Baghe Behesht, one of the restaurants having hundreds of lights shining in the night and thousands of flowers that probably need an army of people to take care of them.
In order to get to the tables we climb some four floors. All floors are narrow and have view to the valley, which makes it pretty unique. We are joking that they can afford to have the place like this as alcohol is not sold.
Probably this way of building according to the high terrain is not unique to this place, as I remember in my crazily curvy ride to Dizin, through the mountains in the Karaj Province, that I saw don in the valleys, mini palaces like these. Actually, all of them look like palaces with towers and wide terraces.
Actually this area is the place for princes, queens, shahs and other royals. The Saad Abad Palace (Green Palace) and The Niavaran Palace are nearby. Of the Shemiran area Farah Pahlavi, the former Queen of Iran, until the 1979 Revolution, wrote in her book Memoirs:
“[…] the biggest happiness of my childhood was to run from Tehran to Shemiran during summers, on the ridges of the Alborz Mountains. […]
Now Shemiran is a rich and desired neighborhood in the North of Tehran; when I was a child, it was a charming small village, twelve kilometers from the center of the city at a height of 1800 meters. […]
There, vendors offered us sticks, baked corn, green nuts, all kinds of sweets and sugar products and, of course, ice cream, that we were allowed to eat at least once.[…]
I loved to death the road that was curving through the giant plane trees and the yellow roses that our mothers used to pick to make jam.[…]
At Shemiran, the nights were charming.” (oh, I can definitely agree on that)