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Yemen: Crater

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Crater > Yemen > Asia

[Visited: May 2004]

Aden takes a special place in Yemen. It is the largest port, the economic capital, and it was the former capital of the Democratic Republic of Yemen which ceased to exist in 1990. It is different from any other part of Yemen, both in athmosphere and in location. Its setting is spectacular, a huge bay and an island consisting of volcanoes that are not active anymore. Its location is highly strategic, which means Aden has alwasy drawn attention from powers trying to control entry into the Red Sea bassin. This has done Aden both good and bad, as the city has been besieged many times.

Picture of Crater (Yemen): Street in Crater, Aden

Aden actually is a collection of towns, of which Crater is just one. It is the biggest and oldest, surrounded bu lava rock which gave it is name. Walking around in Crater reveals the international nature of this town both in people and buildings, another difference from the much more homogenous towns and cities elsewhere in Yemen. One of the sights to see here, apart from a seemingly abandoned Pizza Hut, are the cisterns. Also known as the Aden Tanks, these enormous cisterns were constructed to store water which would allow the city to survive sieges. But due to erratic rainfall, they are seldomly filled with water. When I visited, it was very hot and humid and walking up was a sweaty business.

Picture of Crater (Yemen): One of the tanks of the Aden Tank system in Crater

The English renovated them in the 19th century, but they now no longer serve as such. Instead, they have become an attraction, especially appealing because it is possible to walk into them and explore also the tanks higher up on the mountain. From the sounds and scenes of Crater, you can be all by yourself in what looks like a canyon in a matter of half an hour. You are rewarded with a view over Crater. When I was finally back at the entrance, I was very happy to find a street stall selling drinks because I had finished all my water.

Picture of Crater (Yemen): Crater: street in a hot and humid afternoon
Picture of Crater (Yemen): Fishing boats in Crater, Aden
Picture of Crater (Yemen): Crater and first Playfield Tank seen from above
Picture of Crater (Yemen): One of the tanks in Crater, Aden
Picture of Crater (Yemen): Part of Playfield Tank and the park

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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