After descending into Shibam from Kawkaban, I decided not to take the trouble of finding transportation to Thulla, but to walk instead. From the perfect vantage point of Kawkaban, I had seen several paths leading to the town on top of the mountains, the weather was nice, and I felt like crossing the plain below me. After asking directions on the outskirts of Shibam, it was easy enough to find the way. However, the town I had always assumed was Thulla, appeared to be another village. In the end, the walk took me much longer than expected, and I arrived in Thulla all thirsty, especially since the last part was all walking up hill. On the way I met more friendly locals, and the walk was certainly worthwhile.
Already outside one of the town gates, drinking a well deserved drink, I was harrassed by a guy who was actually the first in over two weeks to do so. It was not easy to get rid of him. Once inside, I found the town largely empty, probably because of the early afternoon hour of my visit. From below, it had been hard to make out the town, it was very well hidden from view because of its clever way of construction with local stone. In fact, the houses are all built with local stone. The houses are surprisingly beautiful, with attractive decorations in their friezes, all made of the same stone laid in patterns, and coloured glass.
The town sits at the foot of a mountain on which a fortress is built. Like in Shibam, it is there that inhabitants would seek shelter in times of attack. Thulla actually never fell to enemies' hands. Unfortunately, it was not possible to visit the fortress as the only way up was closed. Instead, I explored the inner streets and alleys of the town, which rewarded me with more attractive houses, but also stones thrown at me by local children. On my way out, I had to wait two hours for transportation, was harrassed again by the same guy, and the driver turned out to be a 14 year old boy.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Thulla (Yemen). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Thulla. Read more about this site.