Wednesday, May 16, 2012


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!


Jeremy Palmer said...

And I enjoyed the fresh mangos along the way and the plant nursery. It was a nice time.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

What a great adventure! Something for everyone--plants, fresh fruit, old ruins, UAE culture.

JosephJ said...

Tell me you made it a point to drive through the double enclave Nahwa on the way home! (For some reason, that just seems so neat, to me.)

Anonymous said...

Oh my... I used to go to Fujairah very often before.
A close family friend of ours lives there. I actually used to feel that Fujairah lags a lot behind ALL the Emirates, let alone Dubai. It's only very recently that they opened up their first City Center mall (and an Emirate without a mall is probably one of the oddest things that you could expect from the Emirates).
You should definitely drive up to the Wadi next time! It's great.

- Elena

Bridget said...

It's so funny you say that - on Sunday when I told a student of mine from Fujairah that we had gone there, the first thing he asked was, "Did you see the new City Center mall??" Now I get why.

Trina said...

Those are some seriously cute and super HOT LOOKING little girls!

dave said...

I really liked you line about visiting ruins being good for the soul; I couldn't agree more.


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