After spending a few hours in the office on Thursday (remember, that's my Saturday) I was thrilled to catch up with a friend I worked with in Pakistan to go exploring in the old city. The souk is pretty great, there's a mixture of little stalls and more formal shops, selling everything from tacky keyrings to the beautiful curved knives that Yemeni men wear around their waists. We just window shopped as I was far more interested in the architectural sights around me. I think this is my favourite shot of the afternoon:
One thing I didn't take a photo of because I was a bit blown away by the whole concept of it, was the olive oil makers. My friend pointed one shop out to me - it was very dark inside - and the two men sitting just inside the door chewing qat waved us over to take a closer look. I could see a big metal lump in the middle which I was told was the olive press. I was still a bit unsure of what I was looking at, when the camel was pointed out to me. "Oh, they have a camel, why is there a camel in this tiny dark room?" is what I definitely thought to myself, and perhaps said out loud. One of the men explained that the camel walks in circles around the dragging the press, which is how the press actually presses the olives. That's a very poor explanation, I know. I did a quick search and found this video which better shows what the camel does. That was interesting for me to see, since the camel I saw was taking a break and the room was so dark. I felt rather sorry for the camel. But on we walked through the narrow streets, with no real destination in mind. As for how narrow some of the streets were - well:
All in all, a pretty great weekend!!