AlUla 5: Al Gharameel, Dec 2022

About an hour and half north of AlUla is Al Gharameel, the perfect place to sit in the desert and stargaze.  Unfortunately, my visit coincided with the full moon, so instead, I went there for sunset. The rocky stacks glowing in the disappearing sun with their long shadows stretching across the desert are a sight to behold.  These gnarled rock pillars, actually fragments of a large mountain that existed in Hail, reminded me of towers of an ancient city.  These pillars are high in iron oxide, making them resistant to changes in the atmosphere.  An indescribable energy permeates the area.  The rocks feel alive, as if still communicating with each other after being turned to stone by Medusa centuries ago.  We were the only ones there watching the sunset from the oriental rug my driver has laid out and drinking the fragrant arabic coffee he brewed on the spot.  I thoroughly enjoyed my visit here in this deep canyon surrounded by nothing other than mesmerising rock columns and silence.  Al Gharameel is alien yet familiar, sad yet beautiful.

My driver, Mansour, checking out the surroundings.

My driver laid out his oriental rug and started brewing arabic coffee on his butane burner. Arabic coffee here has a light color, almost like tea, and is brewed with cardamom and other spices. It was wonderful being the only ones there, sipping hot coffee and watching the sun set.

Next post will be on another significant discovery in the oasis of AlUla that is Dadan, capital of the Dadan and Lihayan Kingdoms. Stay tuned!


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