The town has several names: Motelghu is the most common. It was a very small village with just a cluster of houses until during the time of the Shah, they built a casino here. The Casino was called Motelghu, and the town grew and adopted this name. It is a very popular vacation spot during the high season, and the only road north is 100 years old and very narrow, so the traffic can be intense.
We took a stroll through town the first evening. The beach is dotted w/small structures that have a small open floor with a carpet and a plastic roof. Couples and friends sit in these and smoke hookah or drink tea while looking out on the ocean. There was also a little shack area for the fisherman. We bought some fruit and vegetables, and visited the chicken man. His shop was open on all sides and had a small desk, freezer, and chopping table in the side. When we arrived, was busy having tea with his previous customer who put town his tea glass and collected his chicken when Ame Pari requested her order. The chicken man grabbed a bagged whole chicken out of a small freezer, and using the small side table he alternated between using a long, flat blade and a curved, sycle blade to quickly and deftly chop up the chicken into small pieces, removing the unsavory bits to a separate bowl. He bagged it up for us, hosed down the table and we were on our way.
The journey home was quite epic. After packing up the kitchen and everything else we'd brought, we stuffed ourselves in the car again and dad parked somewhere and ran inside on an errand. Which is when Ame Pari realized that she'd lost her wallet somewhere the night before when we were strolling around. We'd been to the bakery, the vegetable store, the chicken man and the olive store that night. Unfortunately it was now Saturday, which is like Sunday in the west; everything is closed. Still we made a good faith attempt. The bakery was open but they hadn't seen the wallet. The olive store was closed but the real estate agent next door told us that the olive woman's father in law works at the post office, so we went there and were able to call her. She hadn't seen it. Finally we gave up and hit the road. We made one pit stop along the way at the Hotel Nazia, where Maman used the bathroom (and then we all snuck in to use it). Our next stop is the small port town Anzali. It is the main port for Russian freighters, and there was one heading out as we arrived. Maman rested on a bench while we strolled on the boardwalk, passing small boat rentals and many small cats.
Then we went on to Rasht, another city in the north where my dad had had his first job after finishing school. They brought us flatbread, chunks of raw onion, walnuts, fava beans, strained yogurt, olives in a walnut/pomegranate sauce and female caviar. Whatever that means. We ordered a kabob and chicken, (which came with rice of course) and dug in. Then another epic 6 hours in the car we finally arrived back in Tehran.