Travel to Yemen: Aden
Back in the days when Europeans went by sea to India and the rest of Asia, Aden was a regular port of call. Not today, although the airport receives a surprising amount of traffic not only domestically but from Amman and Dubai, Cairo, Nairobi, Djibouti, and Mogadishu. Aden never had a very good reputation: it was hot, unbelievably barren. Has it softened? Not a lot.
The southwest coast of Arabia, with regular boat service around to the Emirates.
The same corner from farther back. The building in the distance is, incongruously, a shopping center.
The city has two parts separated by a volcanic mountain. Within the volcano is the old part of town appropriately called simply Crater. This, on the other hand, is the newer part of town, where the modern harbor is--where the U.S.S. Cole had come to anchor.
Looking from this newer part of town over toward the mountain within which lies Crater, of which more soon.
Nobody's idea of scenic, but not as run down as you might expect.
Well, what did every Victorian town need, first and foremost?
It needed a park, too. Can you make out that object in the trees on the left?
Ever she sits, apple in hand.
If you really hanker for Empire, you have to head this way.
It's close to the old passenger dock.
Last decorated in 1950-something.
Playing by the clocktower.
The patch of grass is a surprising touch. We're going to jump over the mountain to see something even more startling--probably the most exotic thing in the city.
Here's an explanatory note.
And here's the approach path to the tanks.
Looks like a tomb of some sort, but it isn't.
Behind the arch, a stepped tank to capture runoff from the occasional--increasingly occasional these days--storm.
The water is held up by a series of weirs.
Follow them upstream and you arrive at impassible ravines.
It's like a water park. Just without water for the last several years.
Some of the tanks are deep.
The interconnections seem like something conceived by Escher.
Water must once have splashed over these sills.
And down several pathways.
The sultan's palace, now the archaeological museum.
The Al-Aidrus mosque and tombs.
Verandas for a hint of breeze.
Deco, late in the colonial day.
Post-colonial progress: the same shopping center seen from a distance in the first photo of this set.
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