Until Saturday, there was one emirate in the United Arab Emirates (of seven) that we'd never been to. So we decided to go take a look. It was a short trip - we only saw Fujairah fort and Al Hayl fort. It was approximately 104 degrees outside so we didn't stay at either site very long. Above: Fujairah fort (Magdalena is hiding behind me). The fort is right in the city so you can stand on the hill and look out over modernity. However, Fujairah's modernity lags somewhat behind Dubai's, at least superficially. It's a much smaller town with a much smaller feel. And that's not a bad thing. It felt like a town rather than a city, you know?
The more interesting site was Al Hayl fort, up in the mountains behind Fujairah. It's "only" 150 years old. I enjoyed imagining tribal leaders operating this isolated outpost during the same era that the US was fighting the Civil War. Sometimes history is weird when you get to thinking about it.
It's been a while since we spent time among ruins. It's good for the soul. And the kids loved it. Magdalena was obsessed with the holes in the walls where the people could point their rifles out to shoot at "the bad guys." I liked the larger holes in the walls that let in cross-breezes for old-fashioned AC.
The forts are both quite small, but considering how short of a drive it is from Sharjah/Dubai (two hours, max), it was definitely worth it. Magdalena is already asking to go back. Maybe when it cools down a little, we will!