Her highness...AlUla, Saudi Arabia
On the road from Duba to AlUla...
I left Duba on that day of February 2022 driving accross the golden and anthracite mountains, the white and pink sands, the green and silver vegetation, until reaching AlUla four hours later and finding this cozy bungalow waiting for me and my vehicle.
AlUla is a huge oasis, a marriage of palm trees and reddish rocks, on top of the mountains to the east of the Red Sea.
Driving in AlUla is enjoying at each turn a palm green foreground, representing life, and a gold/red background representing what protects life.
No doubt the place was chosen by the Nabataeans to build a city, with those surrounding mountains providing natural ramparts.
The carved rocks of AlUla
At AlUla, all rocks have been carved by the majestuous five elements and phenomena of its climate: volcanoes, time, water, sand and wind. If all rocks have rounded edges and mostly a smooth skin, some offer their wrinkled faces to the observer, as a reminder of their age.
Other hills simply decided to build high-rise protuberances as a sign of their power and majesty.
The ancient city of AlUla
Old mud-brick houses at the bottom of the mountain constitute the ancient city of AlUla, within a huge palm trees valley. Let's have a walk through the tiny passages and tunnels of the labyrinthic agglomeration...
Mystery and enigma develop all along the way when climbing the stairs of AlUla's citadel...
Once there, it's an ideal place to take pictures of the whole valley and the city's mud houses.
The passage to the renovated main street of the ancient city of AlUla started at a café playing a Joe Dassin song, and continued in these tiny corridors protected by tee trunk and mud roofs, and adorned with terracotta pots and copper trays.
AlUla's old city street of cafés and souvenir shops
A main street within the mud-brick city has been renovated and transformed into a tourist attraction. The avenue includes souvenir shops and several cafés, both with a welcomed local taste and decoration.
AlUla's architectural masterpieces
Walking back from the AlUla's old city main street down to the car park, allows to appreciate the huge constructions to the right, still built with stones and mud-bricks, but taken to a different dimension of ancient luxury.
This villa impresses by its basements and terraces extending on not less than three levels.
The windows allow to see the valley while remaining of a moderate size to avoid excess heat from AlUla's burning sun. Vents to extract hot air and keep the interior cool have been implemented on the upper parts of the walls.
A curved wall breaks the angles creating an iteresting variance to the cubic blocks, while the palm tree confirms this is a colored picture and amuses your eye.
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