A music maestro, Reyes Lluch said upon realizing that her eyesight is deteriorating by the day, she decided to make the best use of the short opportunity she has. She managed to make one of her dreams come true which was studying music at university.
She is 60 years old and believes that she still has an unquenchable thirst for learning. Heaping considerable praise on the music of Iran after visiting the Middle East state, she said Iranian markets are teeming with life.
She and her husband, Enrique Servando Sánchez, married 33 years ago and together have so far visited 60 countries.
Born and raised in Madrid, Sánchez lost his eyesight when he was only 11 to a disease. He used to be the president of the National Organization of the Blind in Spain, called ONCE, and now is retired.
Like his wife, he is very much interested in traveling around the world. On the reason why he and his wife decided to visit Iran, he said the country has a rich culture and many attractions.
Speaking to Iran Daily, the couple talked about their trip to Iran, their enthusiasm to visit different countries, the way they manage to perceive the places they travel to using their senses except sight and the experiences they have gained during their trips.
Sánchez said during the early years of his childhood, he learnt that he can use his other senses, such as hearing and touching, to perceive the beauties of the world.
"Although my wife and I do not have any child, we are living a life full of love. We do not need eyes to be happy. We can strongly feel happiness with every part of our body. Since two years ago, we have become retired and started a new life in which we travel to different countries and touch their great wonders."
He said, along with his wife, he has visited 60 countries, adding yet, he they know that there are still many places in the world to go and visit using other senses except the sight.
"We touch historical objects and places and tourist sights to be able to better create mental image of them. We have so far visited all European countries and cities as well as South and North American states, Australia and a number of African and Asian nations including Egypt, Japan, Jordan, Vietnam and China."
He said Iran is the latest country they have visited, adding, "We are leaving the country with many good memories of Iran's rich culture and friendly and great people."
Sánchez said they manage to cover the costs of their trips using the money they have saved and their pension.
"Iran is one of the safest countries we have been to so far. However, Amazon rainforest, where we found the opportunity to touch animals, was one of the most attractive places we have traveled to."
His message for blind people all over the world was that the world is very beautiful and that everything is attractive in its own way.
"It is possible to know and understand the world with all its attractions without eyes."
On the reason for his trip to Iran, he said, "We have an Iranian friend in Spain who told us about the attractions and high culture of Iran. When we heard about the country, we became enthusiastic to touch the attractions of Iran in person and find the opportunity to talk face to face with its people who are culturally very rich."
He noted that prior to visiting the country they were told that Iran is an insecure state and the end of the world, adding after spending some days in the country, they realized that all of what they had heard about it was wrong.
"My wife and I were interested and curious to touch the cultural and architectural progress of the country as well as the rich culture of its good people in person. The Dome of Soltaniyeh in northwest Iran and the architecture and type of tiles used in the construction of Imam Mosque in the central Iranian province of Isfahan were very attractive to us. At Water Museum we learned about the kind of water management performed in ancient Iran."
He said the behavior displayed by Iranians was very interesting to him as they were very hospitable, kind and nice.
"Although they did not speak our language, they expressed their kindness in their own language. Iranians are culturally very rich. During the entire time we were in the country, no one asked us why we have taken this trip while we are blind. When I go back to my country the first thing I would need to do is to learn how to read Persian poems such those by Hafez. I want to tell my friends about Iran and its good people and encourage them to visit the country."
Lluch said in Iran we realized that everything they say about the culture and beauties of the country are true.
"The country has a rich culture as well as many great poets. In the southwestern Iranian city of Shiraz we went to visit the tombs of the two classic prominent Persian poets Hafez and Sa'di Shirazi and pay tribute to them. During the 23 days we were in the country, we visited its ancient and historical cities. We also attended a concert by Iran's National Orchestra and visited the markets. Hearing the indigenous music of Isfahan and the feeling of being in Iranian markets will remain unforgettable for me."
She said since she teaches music, she was very impressed by Iranian music.
In Persepolis, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire in southwest Iran, she said, they touched the walls and what was carved on them and learned a great deal.