Omdurman

​So far we have done a lot of exploring the streets of Khartoum but have yet to go to a proper souk. So we decided to go to one today. The largest souk in the city is in a district called Omdurman to the North-West of central Khartoum. 

We spent ages just wandering the covered alleys, walking through the different districts, getting to smell the stalls before we actually reached them. There were sacks of nuts, plates of figs and piles of spices around every other corner along with stalls selling gold, handcrafted metal tools, meat hanging on hooks and virtually anything else you could imagine. 

Along with just exploring the soul we were also vaguely on the look out for ‘souvenirs ‘. I found a nice painted bowl for S£30 (£0.50) and then a couple of shops along, looking rather dingy and rundown we stumbled upon a couple of traditional swords, covered in the ubiquitous dust and laid on the back shelf. Fortunately there was two and fortunately we had enough to purchase them, these swords were traditionally worn by men from Sudan, Eritrea and Chad and still are in so!e remote regions. 

After purchasing the swords (and getting them wrapped) we walked to the nearby tomb of the Mahdi and his house which is now a museum, although we had to talk out way into the house as it had supposedly shut for the day despite the sign outside listing the timings and stating it was still open. 

We returned to the hotel after lunch and set about packaging and wrapping our swords for transit back to the UK. Now with a couple of layers of cardboard and many layers of tape we are sat least confident they should survive transit, now it’s just a question of they survive customs. 

In the evening we went to a more upmarket restaurant where we had traditional Lebanese food which was lovely until the wind picked up and the courtyard we were sat in became full of dust, I have never seen so many people leave a restaurant so quickly. We were also treated to some rain, large but infrequent raindrops, another first for the trip. 

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