Wednesday 4 November 2009

2 November - Last night in Sana’a

After a late breakfast we drove to the airport and there we said goodbye to Ahmed. A bit sad as we became friends during our stay. He was fantastic as a guide, sharing his knowledge about Socotras history and nature, a remarkable bird finder and quick to laugh too. We left Socotra about eleven and made stopovers in Mukalla and Aden then finally arrived to Sana’a at 14:30. Yousuf had booked room for us at Arabia Felix Hotel in the old town of Sana’a, where we enjoyed a late, but delicious lunch. Niklas began to update the travel blog with text and photos from the last six days on Socotra.

We left the hotel about 18:00 for a walk, exploring the old town and shopping in the famous suq (= market). Yousuf guided us through the old town and its narrow roads and alleies. At 18:20 there was a power failure, so it were sparse with light sources. However, the walk got even more magical then in the gleam of the full moon!

The suq were just wonderful. It was like travelling back in time. We spent our last riyals and dollars on art, silver rings, kamaria, scarf and books and myrrh. What a pity that we didn’t had more time to explore the whole suq! We went to a nice restaurant, to which Yousuf had invited David Stanton for dinner at 20:00. David is a well-known birder and has lived in Yemen for 18 years. He is the general secretary of the Yemen Ornithological Society and the coordinator of the Yemeni Leopard Recovery Program. The dinner were delicious and happy with lot of laughter. Yousuf had gifts for each of us: cassettes with good music from Yemen!

We left the hotel at 23:00 and at the airport it was time to say farewell to Yousuf. He has arranged with everything in a very professional way throughout the tour as well as being a good and knowledgeable friend. The trip has been beyond all expectations and will be a memory for life. Thanks Yousuf! We miss you already!

More stories, links and photos will be added within the next few days.

We hope you have enjoyed our travel diary.

Sana'a at dusk.
Entrance to the Suq and the pulse of the city.
Well-attended shop with dates for all tastes.
A very nice art gallery where we bought a lot.

A lovely antiquarian.
The last dinner in Yemen with David Stanton as guest. From left: Heidi, Göran, David, Kjell-Åke, Alf, Ulf and Yousuf. Photos: Niklas