A fascinating country at the southern edge of the Arabian peninsula, Yemen, especially the capitol city, Sana’a, provides an opportunity to step back and see how a modern culture operates within an ancient city.
The Old City of Sana’a has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years, and it still has 103 mosques, 14 traditional bath houses and more than 6,000 houses that date from before the 11th century, which provides a pretty comprehensive look at how people actually lived 1,000 years ago. And while you are in Sana’a, find the souk or market where you can buy the Qamariah lanterns made from gypsum and small glass plates or the colorful wrap skirts known as mawa’z that Yemeni women frequently wear.
Not far west from Sana’a, Al Hudaydah on the Red Sea is one of the principal seaports where you can visit the fish market and view the wooden boats that are still used by local fishermen. Another appealing Yemeni port, the ancient town of Aden was built upon a former volcano. Interesting sights in Aden include the first-century cisterns of Tawila, eighth- and 14th-century mosques, and several small museums.