As my friends and I got in the shared taxi to come here from Mukalla the police decided that since we were foreigners we must have an armed escort follow us the entire way
. Although there has been no trouble around here lately the government has decided not to take any chances. The old part of Aden was build withing the crater of an extinct volcano and by climbing the surrounding cliffs you can get a wonderful view of the city below.
One interesting place I visited here was an old, ruined Tower of Silence. The Towers of Silence were built by an ancient religious group called the Zoroastrians. The purpose of the towers is to "cleanse" the bodies of the dead before they are buried. After death the corpses of the dead are placed inside the walls of the tower and are picked clean down to the bones by birds. This religious practice still continues today in some places of the world but has long since been supplanted here by Islam.
Aden has been valued port in Yemen for over 2,500 years. In more recent times it has been under the control of the British and also served as the capital city of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen before the country unified in 1990. People have more liberal attitudes here and many women don't walk around with their bodies and faces fully covered in public. You can also buy beer here! It is however prohibitively expensive so I only indulged in one. Aden was also the site of the infamous Al-Qaeda USS Cole bombing and the Western media often portray the country as a hotbed for terrorism. It is important to note though that the terrorism here is not home grown and most Yemeni people here are just as friendly and hospitable as they are in other parts of the country.