Eternal Beauty

TIBOR BOGNAR / CORBIS

LOCAL COLOR: Sana'a's golden-hued cityscape is built of mud brick; markets are hassle-free.

A trip to the Yemeni capital of Sana'a isn't for the timid. Many Western governments warn their nationals of a threat of terrorism; women are expected to wear loose clothes covering their legs, arms and head; streets are chaotic; and there are few starred hotels and restaurants.

But when you stand on the bridge at the corner of Az-Zubayri and As-Sailah Streets and drink in the walled city's gold-tinged beauty, some hardship may seem worthwhile. Sana'a, one of the world's oldest conurbations, lies in the embrace of the Jabal Nugum and Aiban mountain ranges at 2,200 m above...

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