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Departure: Yemen

Author: 08.12.2017 | departure
Many scientists and historians unanimously agree that Middle East, particularly, Arabian semi-island is the cradle of human civilization because almost every nation among those present there is one of the most ancient on our planet. In this list there are citizens of Yemen who created the interesting in a travelling way country bounded by two seas and Indian Ocean simultaneously.

Nowadays this 25-million state endures trying times as at the part of its territory there is a military conflict, however, in spite of that tourists continue coming and they are lured by fantastic landmarks, ancient culture, and spiritual wealth. This country living in accordance with the Islamic law was created in 1990 when Southern and Northern parts earlier feuding had united into one Yemen Arabian Republic.

Foreigners are interested verily in a metaphysic side of the life of the Yemenis because it is hard to see other nations that would take care of ancient habits and traditions so seriously and fervently. The attitude towards sanctuaries, respect and strong positions of patriarchate, personal prayers, definitely, amazes and even shocks for the first time because the local lifestyle has not almost been changed for centuries. In order not to get into a trouble, it is worth understanding that open clothes, public attention, as well as drinking of alcohol are not encouraged here. In the meantime, the verily citizens are exceptionally friendly and open-hearted people who are respectful towards somebody’s traditions and habits. These people like tourists very much and try to help them in every way and show their beautiful and truly rich for monuments and interesting sights country.

It is hard to make emphasis on five must-visit locations as one does not know where to look first because of a great variety of legendary and dissimilar places and buildings created by nature and human conjointly. It is even more difficult to be objective because Yemenite landmarks are open for everybody and all the people attended them had their favorites. We are going to tell about the places that amused the majority of tourists, so, let us start from the unusual island Socotra that is included in the UNESCO Heritage List. During many centuries this true paradise on the Earth consisting of sandy beaches and bounded by the purest water as well as settled with the rare animals and plants was close from people. Only in 1990 the situation changed, and tourists were allowed to come there. Apart from the main island there are three little and islands and two cliffs included in the archipelago. All this luxury is situated in Indian Ocean, and due to such a long isolation and inaccessibility flora and fauna reached our days almost in the initial view. The archipelago is not too much settled, that is why people come there to get some peace and quietness.

From the water surrounding we come to the desert in the valley of drying river Hadramaut where the city Shibam appears in front of us. It is so dissimilar to other places of human living that one needs to regard if it is reality or mirage. Called by the travelers of the 20-th century ‘Manhattan of the desert’, this residential area tames with its architecture from the first sight, particularly, all its tower-blocks (houses consisting of from five to eleven floors) were built from the airbrick more than 500 years ago. Given it is always dry in the city, the precipitations cannot destroy this beauty while it is impossible to find similar building decision anywhere in the world. These skyscrapers are etched in the memory of everybody who would see them with their eyes at least once. Shibam being the example of conscious building and thoughtful general outlay is also under the protection of UNESCO.

One more ancient settlement of the format ‘must visit’ is the Rada, capital the record card of which is the Mosque El Amiria which today plays the role of a museum and monument but not only the religious construction. It is actively attended by the tourists who are not Muslims so as to get familiar with the classic Yemenis architecture and see the great halls for the ablution, old columns, and stanza. The unique thing is that this mosque does not have minaret, and it has never had it. At the beginning of 1990 El Amiria lived out the serious reconstruction which local specialists are proud of because renewing the image of building, they have added nothing special from themselves, though they returned to the monument almost original view.

Hadramut even though it dried out in several places is still the important watercourse of not only Yemen but also Arabian semi-island. Its valleys look fantastic from the sky because there are total sands of the deserts. Near the water in the ‘fresh’ places the Yementis-nomads reside the settlements of whom are the true exotics and the treasure trove of uniqueness. The tourists are moved in these places in an orderly manner. These places change every year depending on the weather and dryness of the river. Consequently, the travelers can spend some days far away from civilization at the nature in such an unusual company where the phone and camera are still considered as the alien subjects. Verily in these settlements along Hadramut one may get familiar with the ancient habits, dress in incredible clothes as apart from hijab nomads wear long straw hats on the head that allow to endure sun warmth and try the true local cuisine. Its main peculiarity is the combination of traditional for all the Arabs ‘desert’ products and dishes along with the sea products and river fish as well as those that could be caught in the seas or oceans lavishly bounding the South of the country. However, with all the love towards the fish, so as to feel strong in the desert, one needs compulsorily try a meat dish called saltu, the stewed meat of poultry with the beans. It will make you ready for the long trips and allow to feel all the richness of the used species, sauces, and herbs.

In case such an extreme immersion into the true Yemen is not for you, easier investigation of this place would be attendance of the ancient thousand-year-old market Bab-el-Yemen. It is situated in Sana city considered as almost two-million metropolis. Bab-el-Yemen is the city in the city because without the experienced medium it is easy to get lost in its labyrinths for five minutes especially taking into consideration that you will be surrounded by heady aromas of the species, boisterous trading, noise from the work of blacksmiths, bright fabrics and camels coming nearby. The local citizens say that one may really buy everything at this market. Yet, one should orient by the gates dated by the 11-th century as verily from them the true shopping on Yemenis style starts. 

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