Sana'a, Yemen: Land of Ali Baba

صنعاء اليمن
Sana'a old city is like returning to the ages of Ali Baba- the narrow meandering streets, the small souqs, FRIENDLY and genuine people ( I came across anyway)- I was invited to homes for QAT and tea and even huge tasty Yemeni style lunch!
I don't have any pictures of my trip here because I am NOT a good photographer and the pictures posted from other travellers on this site on Yemen would pretty much be similar to the ones which I saw- but their pictures would be better focused than mine!!

Hamams in Sana'a are old but not very clean unlike Morocco or Istanbul. ( but hamams here are for locals and not made for tourists so you get the REAL thing!) I felt though that once I left the hamam I needed to shower again in my hotel room– as I entered the hamam cleaner than I came out of it– I went for the experience mostly...
Yemeni weddings are so that the whole town is invited to hear loud singing, and huge gatherings which take up the whole street!
My trip would never be the same  if I didn't meet my wonderful Yemeni friends Amr and Khaled. They are incredibly kind and it felt like we have known each other for ages! His father and him invited me out first to their home for coffee, cake and an Egyptian dessert ( very lovely! everything which the mother of Amr made) and later to a fish restaurant which we had HUGE amounts of fish and seared prawns – so much that I couldn't breathe when we left! It was wonderful to wander around to Amr's favourite places, and talk about the future - and future plans to visit again in different places.
I stayed at the DAOUD HOTELفندق داوود in the old city. The view from my room wasn't as breathtaking as others posted on this site from their rooms, but the guys at the hotel were great at Daoud and I got "action" every day I stayed at that hotel. Instead of staying in your room, there was a tent which one could interact with all kinds of people. I could order a pot of Yemeni tea ( 50 cents US ) and sit there and enjoy and joke with people who work at the hotel, have coffee and dates with a group of Yemeni engineer guys, one gave me a body massage! and also to have a sheesha, or just be lazy, turn on the Arabic music channel on the TV and catch up on how my favourite Arab singers look and their new - or old songs. ( and see how aged and fat they have gotten!)- I saw that SABAH ( the famous Lebanese singer) is still alive but wears a mask of white chalk on her face now. Daoud hotel gets a bit flustered when you bring your friends to your room though.
Sitting on top of BAB al-Yemenباب اليمن is an adventure of its own. You can first have a dinner at one of the local restaurants below, and climb to the top and have serenity looking at all the confusion down below. There are many nice cafes on top of hotels to also do this which my friends and I frequented. I will DEFINITELY go to Yemen again!!



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