Friday, 5 February 2016

When the Whanau Visits… the Familiar, the Exciting and the Unexpected

Where Al Musmak was the familiar and the falconry display was the exciting, our weekend trip to Ar Raghbah and Ushayqr was the unexpected. We’d done this road trip three years ago, and had really happy memories of the day, so decided we’d go again with our son and a group of friends. There were some certainties to the day: a picnic, a small museum to explore, desert vistas and an old watch tower to climb. Well, that was the plan. Our first stop was Ar Raghbah, 120 km northwest of Riaydh. This mud brick village was established in 1669 and although small and unprepossessing, it’s very significant historically. It was one of the targets in 1817 during the invasion of the Najd by Turks under Ibraheem Pasha. I remembered the cylindrical Al Marqab Tower, with its small slit windows, and the spiral staircase that led to an outlook point so small, two people could barely stand side by side. Sadly I'd not made it to the top. Only a few steps away, I’d turned back, claustrophia getting the better of me. But here’s what we remembered. Something that looked like this.