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Yemen: Husn al Urr

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Husn al Urr | Yemen | Asia

[Visited: May 2004]

When I rented a 4WD in Al Mukalla to visit Wadi Hadramawt and surrounding area, one of the places I wanted to visit was Husn al Urr. It seemed to be off the beaten track, and since according to my information the asphalt road stopped after Tarim, I expected a desolate, forgotten place. In fact, when I asked about the place before leaving Al Mukalla, I had to point out Husn al Urr on the map because it did not ring a bell. Neither the driver or the soldier that was travelling with me for protection against potential kidnappings, ever heard about the fortress.

Picture of Husn al Urr (Yemen): Husn al Urr in Wadi Hadramawt

So it was that I was guiding my guides towards Husn al Urr, pointing the way further into Wadi Hadramawt. Several times, my companions wanted to stop or thought we had gone too far, but I always pointed on the map and convinced them to go on. Whenever we asked, I was confirmed in my belief. But I was a little disappointed by the fact that the road was not difficult anymore, in fact, there was an apparently fresh layer of asphalt covering the stony wadi.

Picture of Husn al Urr (Yemen): Husn al Urr: sand and wadi walls

When we arrived at the fortress, we had to cross a stretch of sand before we reached the fortress. Being towards one of the extremes of the wadi, this was one of the fortresses to protect the area from invaders. Now in ruins, it was important in many centuries ago. After walking around it and having greeted the dromedaries roaming the desert, the soldier asked me if I wanted to climb the fortress, and I understood from his tone that he was afraid for my positive answer. I told him he could stay below, but he wanted to join me after all. On top, we saw remains of walls, we saw the water cistern at the foot of the hill, but above all, we had a splendid view over the wadi.

Picture of Husn al Urr (Yemen): Husn al Urr on top of a natural hill
Picture of Husn al Urr (Yemen): Husn al Urr dromedary waiting in the sun
Picture of Husn al Urr (Yemen): Husn al Urr remains seen from below
Picture of Husn al Urr (Yemen): Husn al Urr remains of wall on top of hill
Picture of Husn al Urr (Yemen): Husn al Urr water cistern seen from above

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