While we talk about nature tourism, we often find ourselves blabbering about beautiful trees or vast oceans, a stunning resort with gorgeous views, mesmerizing flora and fauna. None of us think about scorching heat, dry weather and hot winds. Although nature encapsulates all of the above as well, man tries to look at the most convenient way of pleasure. Only those with some crazy blood in them think about exploring the other side of the coin.
So when my husband proposed the idea of having a vacation there, from what I had heard, I was skeptical about it. This mostly unexplored nation located at the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula shares its border with Saudi Arabia and Oman and is mostly known for its Al Qaeda connections as well as string of assassinations. Generally the government issues warnings during unsafe travel periods for foreign travelers but the place was declared safe by the Government at the time we had planned our travel. So I had nothing as an excuse against my husband’s request. So we planned the itinerary, booked our tickets through Etihad Airways with discount coupons, packed our bags and headed for this mysterious and dangerous city.
First of all let me make it absolutely clear. I did not feel as unsafe as I had thought for one moment. Yes, we were alert, but that is what you always are when you are on foreign land. The soaring temperatures made us a little difficult to adjust but this was our adventure and we wanted to make the most of our adaptability. So headed we were towards our first destination, the Gulf of Aden in the Aden City and I must say here, that the coast is nothing but attractively maintained. It was our first stop and we were highly impressed. We had less time on hand and more and more things to see so we were planning 3 destinations per day. We then conquered the Historic Town of Zabid which is a treat to an archaeologist’s eye, Old city of Sana’a which is a pure political heritage, Socotra island which hosts more than 730 species of coastal fish and similar number of crabs, the Alhajarah fort at Haraz which is a symbol of the history of Yemen and is built on a precipice.
Every post and turning had soldiers to check our passes and travel permits and let me also mention here that there are soldiers who help you navigate the place as well. You will know that the country wants you to be safe in its arms, but we would always recommend you check the news and Government issued warnings before you book your tickets.