The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth and has also been classed at the world's largest lake.
Bordering Iran, as well as Azerbaijan and Russia to the west and Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to the east, it was also once alleged by its ancient coastal inhabitants to be an ocean, presumably because of its saltiness and seeming boundlessness.
It lies to the North of Tehran across the Alborz Mountains. To the west lies a rocky shoreline that gives way to a narrow strip of rich agricultural land where both tea and rice are still grown. This in turn gives way to mountains covered by deciduous woodland where swirling mists often envelop villages that nestle in the mountain valleys and hug the steep slopes. One such village, Masooleh, is on such an incline that the roofs of the houses form the pathways to the houses above them. Caspian caviar and fine sturgeon steaks are readily available.