11 July, 2010

Sights from Al Mukalla with Al Balda in Mind

It has been hot; steaming hot here in Mukalla. But soon, it will start cooling. The turtles are visiting now; thousands will lay eggs on the many beaches along the Hadhramaut coast. Humans too, will soon descend on Al Mukalla. In their thousands. Most will come for the Al Balda Tourist Festival; festivals that are held every year from the middle of July. Many come simply to enjoy. Still many, come for the reputed healing powers of the sea waters along the Mukalla coast; it is believed, that during this time - very early in the mornings, the sea water along Mukalla which becomes unbelievably cool, has healing qualities. People with many kinds of ailments, from arthritis to sores enter the waters. Every early morning, just after sunrise, for about one month - thousands of people will be found dipping into the waters: children, the old and the young, women and men; all believing that - at this time, the sea water has healing powers and effects.Visitors to the city, can enjoy the sea. Or they can enjoy the many sites around the city:

They can take canoes or boats and sail around.
And appreciate the view of the city, the mountains and the seagulls from the sea.
They can go to the playground and amusement park at Khalf; especially families with children.
They can walk or drive along the the sea and the Khor; best times in the evenings or just after sunrise.
Or enjoy the scenery from Old Mukalla town.
Or walk around the narrow old streets.
Or go to Khalf and relax in the many beautiful spots there.
Rookob above, is one of the quietest parts of Mukalla.
The Holiday Inn - above and below, is a good place to visit too.
Or, below, in Khalf, one of the many public parks around the city - is good for families and children.
Of all things, the sea - blue and green, is the most attractive and most pleasing.

Normally, thousands come for the Al Balda festival; including some from neighboring countries. As it is school holidays now, many Hadharem living or working in the neighboring gulf states come to Mukalla during this time. It is the dipping in the sea water for healing that has been practiced for so long during mid-July, that created present day Al Balda Festival; now Al Balda has been more developed and organized, and includes recreational and cultural activities - like: amusement parks and live concerts.