This week I actually got to leave the confines of Sana’a to venture to a neighboring governorate (that’s what the different regions, kind of like states, are called here). Granted, I was in a car and wasn’t exactly rollerskating down the open road feeling the wind flow through my hair. But it was a certain kind of freedom that has been sorely lacking in my life. And damn was it nice.
The city of Sana’a is quite beautiful in an old, dusty, monochromatic kind of way. And the Old City in Sana’a is definitely beautiful and looks as if it were designed by an ancient pastry chef, that’s how closely the homes resemble gingerbread houses. (We don’t live in the Old City. We live here).
I saw some gorgeous scenery on this work-related trip out of Sana’a. One minute everything was dry and brown with buttes in the distance. It reminded me of the American West, but minus the orangey hues. Then the next minute there were almond trees growing, then actual fields of green, growing garlic and onions, which is something I hadn’t yet seen here. And of course we saw many qat trees. (Qat is the narcotic leave that many Yemeni men – and some women too — chew every afternoon. It’s illegal for anyone employed by the U.S. government to try it). We also drove past beautiful old villages carved into hilltops. Some appeared to have shells of castles on top. Yemen is so ancient-looking and exotic. Parts of it are like a living, breathing archaeological dig sight. I’m sure being here is the closest I’ll ever get to traveling back in time, which is a bummer, because I think I would rock in in the Renaissance, especially now that I’ve had my Lasik and would be able to see things.
Like I’ve said before, I will, inshallah, see many beautiful places in my future travels, but I highly doubt anything will come close to Yemen’s exoticism. Here are a few photos that were shot from a car, and really don’t do the scenery justice.
To getting out and seeing things,