Short day tour to Sana'a while waiting for the connecting flights
3 March 2014
Sana'a is a beautiful and ancient city that certainly deserves a more than just a day tour between connecting flights. Often mentioned in the web sites of Western governments as an unsafe place, with lot of negative travel advisories, I've never had any problem at all and the local people welcomed me with a warmth that I've rarely found in other cities of the world.
Bab al-Yaman is the main gate through the walls around the Old City of Sana'a (Old City), a structure that has more than a thousand of years.
The entire Old City of Sana'a is an UNESCO world heritage site due to the presence of valuable architectural gems still well preserved, of what is considered the oldest city in the Arabian Peninsula, and probably in the world.
The city tour in Sana'a takes place walking among the beautiful alleys of the Old City, between skyscrapers featuring a unique architecture in the world.
Picture of Sana'a: the wonderful palaces of the Old City, an UNESCO world heritage site.
The Old City of Sana'a is home to approximately 300,000 inhabitants, while the entire city, including areas outside of the Old City, has approximately 2 millions of inhabitants.
Pictures of Sana'a. According to tradition, the foundation of Sana'a dates back to biblical times and was done by Sam, the eldest son of Noah.
Other photos of Sana'a taken between the beautiful streets of the Old Town during a stroll.
Some windows in Sana'a are still in alabaster, which was used when the glass was still not available.
Very interesting also the doors of the buildings, some of which have up to 300 years.
The day tour of Sana'a continues visiting a palace turned into a museum in the center of the Old Town. As shown in the previous pictures of Sana'a, the palaces develop mainly in height (but are still rather "narrow") so that each apartment is spread over several floors connected by stairs having very high steps. On the left picture, an utility room which is reached via a ladder whose steps are pulled out from the wall.
The central element of this window is in alabaster, while others are normal glass. The alabaster may seem very dark, but in reality it still let some light to penetrate.
These big tanks were used to store seeds and other agricultural products.
Photo of Sana'a taken from the roof of a building in the Old Town, which shows a fabulous city, characterized by an architecture maybe not found in any other country of the world.
More panoramic Sana'a pictures taken from the roof of a building in the Old City.
The Sana'a city tour continues through the souk in the Old City area, used as a big market. In the photo, a beautiful minaret.
Photos of the suq in Sana'a. The souk is spread among several streets of the Old Town, where you can see shops and stalls selling everything, as well as ancient jobs that in Western countries have been replaced by industrial processes.
A hike in the souk should not be missed from any Sana'a tour. In these pictures, a store that sells pots and a library.
Locksmiths working hard in the suq in Sana'a.
Another area of the souks of Sana'a is dedicated to the sale of belts.
This seller offers instead a powder used as a dye for tattoos.
Some stalls offer instead of traditional products derived from sesame and other specialties.
In this workshop a camel operates a large wheel that grinds sesame seeds. Then, the oil extracted with this process is sell in the adjacent store.
A shop specialized in any kind of dates.