And the start is with a new country added to my collection...Yemen!
About 15km north of Sana'a is a green and fertile valley known as Wadi Dhahr (a wadi is a seasonal river, typically found in a deep narrow valley and dotted with oases.) Apart from various small, friendly villages scattered along its length and some spectacular rock formations, the main reason for visiting Wadi Dhahr is for the Dar al Hajar, Imam Yahya's rock palace. The palace is one of the main attractions in the area around Sana'a. Yayha was a despotic leader who's long campaign of guerilla action made life miserable for the occupying Ottoman Turk armies and who became the first King of post-Ottoman Yemen in 1923. He had this palace built as a summer residence in th 1930's although there are believed to have been much earlier settlements on the same site.