Welcome to Rasht
The rapidly expanding town has embarked on a bold urban-planning experiment, the first in Iran, called 'My Rasht': the streets surrounding Shohoda Sq have been blocked off, creating an amazing people-filled space that has reinvigorated the city centre. Small electric vehicles transfer the less agile between the road ends. Eventually the pedestrian malls will stretch 7km.
Rasht has had extended periods of independence, and the lispy local Gilaki dialect remains noticeably distinct from Farsi – its reversed adjective-noun order causes other Iranians much amusement.