We left the hotel early to do our sightseeing in Najran. Here we started to see the desert and more mountains. Najran is on the border with Yemen so you will see Yemenis here and also a lot of their handcrafts, such as the daggers well known in Yemen.
Najran is the agricultural area of Saudi Arabia, growing wheat and lots of different vegetables and fruit such as beautiful oranges, apples etc.
It was hot today – 22C in the morning and by afternoon it was 27C. We visited the Al Ukhdood Museum and then the archaeological site. By visiting the museum first it made it easy to envision the site since they are still working on it. Went to visit a local family related to the driver and saw their land and how they plow the earth and work the soil. Then off to the Raoumj Castle where the Emir lived and next to it was the local women’s market which we visited and got some incense and other items and then to the knife market which is known for its daggers in all different shapes and sizes.
Afterwards we went to the Najran Dam which was totally dry – they have not had any water for over four months. Incredible to see a dam so big and it was empty! Hema was the next city of ancient carvings into the rocks and everywhere we looked they had some beautiful carvings of animals, dancing ladies etc. Quite a long day but saw a lot of different things. Also, went to an ancient Christian burial ground.
There are so many areas where they have not done any digs yet so you can find arrow heads and other artifacts on the ground. One lady thought that the dung of small animals was actually something interesting and was picking it up until someone told her what it was. We all laughed so hard and were telling the drivers and they said no problem, take it back to US and see what the customs people say when you try and bring it into the country!
After playing sand games we headed back to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Heading out tomorrow for Abha.