One of the goals I have set for myself is to visit 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites by the time I turn 25. I’m currently 23 and I have been to 11. The most recent one that I’ve been to is the Fort of Bahrain, which I visited with my family last month. I thought it was funny that I’ve lived in the Middle East for most of my life and this is the first time I visited a UNESCO Heritage Site in the area. We visit Bahrain on a regular basis, but we usually went there to go shopping or to watch a movie. in the 18 years I’ve lived in Saudi Arabia, it was the first time we went to Bahrain to go on a historical trip.
Qal’at al-Bahrain or the Bahrain Fort has been built and rebuilt in the past and the fort currently standing has been around since the sixth century. It is considered as one of Bahrain’s most important archaeological sites. Bahrain is an island and the fort served as the region’s trading port from as early as 2300 BC.
It was the first time I brought my family with me to a World Heritage Site visit. The previous times, I was usually alone or with friends. My family isn’t as into travel as I am but I’m glad that they were able to appreciate the history that surrounded the Fort.
It wasn’t as grand as the other World Heritage Sites that I have been to but it’s amazing how well-maintained the fort is given that it was built around 2,000 years ago. What I noticed about myself whenever I go to these places is that I have a different energy in me. I feel stronger and more energetic and my family noticed this. I was able to go up flights of stairs with no complaint – something I dislike doing on a regular day because it tends to trigger my asthma.
I was able to climb up to the top of the fort and take a picture with the flag. The first thing I noticed when I got to the top was the contrast between the archaeological site I was standing on and the busy city center of Bahrain.
When you enter the Bahrain Fort, you forget that it’s situated just 15 minutes away from the city center. The location feels old and it makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a barren desert land. It’s quiet and peaceful. There were not that many tourists visiting the area despite it being a weekend. I guess just like us, most people visit Bahrain for the malls and the city attractions. I’m so glad that I was able to visit the Qal’at al-Bahrain before leaving the Middle East. 🙂