This map shows where we went on our first day. Our first stop was going to be Taiz, which is south of Sana'a on the way to Aden on the south coast. The way was very mountainous with spectacular scenery along the entire route. We went through 3 mountain passes, the highest being 2,800 meters (9,250 feet) above sea level. Here are some photos taken on this part of the trip. There is a surprising amount of agriculture and terracing throughout Yemen, even in the desert to some extent. There is a fortress/village on the top of this hill. And there are also some flatter areas amongst the mountains, but mostly we drove through mountains. Another fortress on the top of a hill with the village at its base. You can see this one a bit better than the one we pointed out above, although it is quite a bit smaller. Lots of terracing and agriculture as we got close to Ibb. The villages nestled into the side of a mountain were very attractive. We encountered this unusual cloud just outside of Jibla. Near Taiz is a town called Jibla, where Queen Arwa (14th century) ruled for 60 years. We walked around the town a bit and visited one of the oldest mosques in the town from the same time period. Here are some pictures of Jibla..