Saudi Arabia
Makkah Province

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    • Day9

      Erster Hafen in Saudi-Arabien

      October 2 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ 🌙 30 °C

      Eigentlich hatten wir darauf gehofft, dass wir noch einen gemütlichen Sonntagabend auf See haben, gemeinsam Tatort schauen können und morgen noch etwas vom Feiertag haben.
      Dann kam die Information, dass wir doch schon heute einlaufen können. 😑
      Hoffentlich wird das nachgeholt. 😀
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    • Day314

      Jeddah

      March 4, 2020 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      When we were down south at Jizan, Jasmin remembered to have read that the ancient city of Hegra, a very important archeologial site, is located in the middle of Saudi would be “closing” on the 8th of March until October this year. So, if we wanted to see this place, we had to get moving. Quicksmart! Particularly as this were 1400km the shortest route.
      When our Arabic friends in Thee AlAin were unable to confirm this information we dropped our plans to visit more sites, but Jeddah we had to see!
      We arrived in Jeddah during peak hour evening traffic. I was just waiting for a traffic light to turn green when suddenly a car honked on my right side. When looking over I say a troopy standing beside me, clearly some more overlanders!
      I wanted to wind down my window, but it refused to work so I had to give it a good knock. Another thing to fix!! I feel like a dill, fumbling with my window, but once it moves down we start chatting, my right hand drive making this conversation really easy.
      This were some Greek fellows, on their way to Africa, working on their Sudan entry visa. Nearly missing the traffic light turning to green we pulled over and continued chatting. At the end we ended up staying overnight at an apartment of another Greek, they hadn’t known before their trip either, giving us the opportunity of a wonderful shower and washing our overdue clothes. And their Greek neighbours invited us all for dinner.
      The next morning we went our separate ways, Vassili and Dimitri (it was nice meeting you two!!) to nurse their really difficult visa process, and we had to see the balconies of Jeddah if nothing else.
      Too many cats roaming the streets of Jeddah, so Rex had to stay in the car and I could enjoy strolling through the “Balad”, the old part of town, without a permanent pulling-on-the-leash. Quite enjoyable, I have to admit.
      Well, these balconies, built to give the women of the house a view of the buzzling street below, whilst very likely not being permitted to immerse themselves, however shielding them from the view of male passerbys. Even though the thought incenses my feminist leanings, I have to admit, most of these balconies are of extreme beauty and outstanding craftmanship. I wondered about the illumination of the rooms behind those balconies, the game of light and shadow, ever changing throughout the day… but unfortunately, I was not given the opportunity to explore this any further.
      Before returning back to the cars, we had to have some coffee in a beautiful coffee shop in the Balad. Being invited to the table of some very nice Arab people, I had an Arabic coffee in the most beautiful cup and pincher, served on a copper tray. And I fell in love… With the set... I have hardly bought anything on my trip so far, not even a carpet!!! So I think I deserve to get myself a set of those!!!! I am sure I can find a spot to store in in Lola. This will give me a good excuse to return to Jeddah, and pay this city the attention it deserves.
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      Traveler

      Wow, amazing intricate detail, so beautiful

      4/26/20Reply
      Traveler

      Great photo!

      4/28/20Reply
      Traveler

      Thanks Kim

      5/7/20Reply
      2 more comments
       
    • Day315

      A visit at the Post Office

      March 5, 2020 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Nowadays it is getting really difficult to find some post cards. So when we were in Jeddah we got lucky and I bought 6 pieces. Unfortunately this shop did not sell any stamps and as we were in a rush we thought we get them on the way, somewhere.
      In Thuwal I needed to get some fuel, so whilst I was refuelling, Jasmin went to look for a post office. She found one and sent me the location for me to meet her once I was done with the fuel.
      When I arrived she had already stamped her card and sent it off.
      So in I go, Salam Alaikum, and could I please have some stamps for my post cards. Yes sure and out he pulls his folder, only to find, the amount of stamps would just be enough for one card and because they are so small denominations, half of the card would be plastered with stamps. I wouldn't have minded that, would this save me a lot of writing, but the amount of stamps for one card is not enough. How can we solve this problem? What problem? There is no problem and he turns to his computer.
      Okay: what is your name? my name? I want to send this card to... yes, your name. can I see your passport please? OK, one moment, my passport is in the car. Out I go, retrieving my passport from the car. He slowly punches in my name.
      What is your phone number? My phone number, I grumble under my breath. Sorry, don't know my phone number, my phone is in the car, Do we really need this? Yes we do. So out I go again to the car, retrieving my phone.
      What is the name of the person receiving the card? I am spelling the name and he, visibly not used to the Latin keyboard searches for the letters to type the name. And the country and the address? I spell this out to him as well, hopefully successfully hiding my growing impatience.
      And with this, we are done! After what seems to be at least 10 mins, he prints out the stamp and we stick it onto the card. He thinks we are done, but there are 5 more stamps I need. We surely can just print out 5 more with this above information? NO! NO, this is not possible.
      OK, next stamp: my name, my phone number, holy shmoly, this is going to take forever! But then he has an idea! He looks at me with a wide grin and he gestures to me that I should get out the door I came in, go around the building and re-enter through the staff door and then I can type this myself.
      Tis is a very reasonable suggestion and so I find myself on the other side of the Postoffice counter. I take his seat in front of the computer. As he moves the mouse and makes the selections at this PO site, as this of course is in Arabic, I type in the information. Now we progress speedily through my stamps.
      In the mean time the office closes, and the office manager is coming in and questioning the activities at this late office hour. He finds this situation quite amusing and serves some tea.
      Jasmin is of course wondering what has happened to me, particilarly as the office has shut it's doors, it surely cannot take that long to get some stamps, and she comes searching for me trough the back door as well. I am very happy about her curiosity, because where would the proof be for this little story if she wasn't there to take a picture?
      Well, as it happens, the cards still have not been sent. With everything going on since, corona and so forth, and not knowing if these traceable stamps are still valid....
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    • Day403

      Back in Jeddah

      June 1, 2020 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ ☀️ 37 °C

      ....And, as was to be expected, Lola could not be repaired in Al Bahah.
      Now plan B: move to Jeddah, which is close to 400km away. One of my Saudi friends organised a tow truck, all I needed was a travel permit. Time was of the essence as 2 days later a total curfew was to commence for all of the KSA. Hence back to visit my benefactor, the DG.
      Back in his office he tells me he will now organise for my van to be transported to Jeddah and then he'll help with the repair. I object, organising transport was not necessary, but thank you very much, as that had already been done. The dapper major reprimands me: do I or don't I want the DG to help me? Oh yes, of course do I want! That's how Lola, Rex and me were picked up and driven to Jeddah the next day. For free!
      I just had enough time to say my good byes and have dinner with my friend Mohammed and his family. (He's the one with the large Mercedes Benz for his 10 year old son, who is small for his age. When asked the boy how he finds the pedals, he said he sits on the edge of the car seat 🤞).
      On the 22 May I moved in at an expat compound here in Jeddah.
      Initially I moved in with the other overlander couple Birgit and Steffen and their 3 children. I enjoyed this livly household and their company very much, but after a few days I had my own house to move in.
      Its a strange world, a parallel universe to Saudi with its western living style and dress codes. There is no need to venture into the foreign, everything you need is here: grocery store, hair dresser and beauty salon, medical services, even a vet and pet store. Several swimming and sport facilities, which I, as smuggled through the security, cannot use , and restaurants, just reopening now.
      I start to comprehend why some westerners can live in those far away countries, without getting to know and understand the local population. Being locked away in those compounds with no connection to the real world.
      On one hand I am happy to be here, being able again to speak with people, and have some like minded people around me, but I miss Saudi, its charm, its people, the many smiles and friendly words, the chaos. Once I have Lola again, we can continue to venture out. If it just wasn't so hot, but afterall heat has been invented by the Saudis.
      Even though it urges me to get travelling again, I already dread the day I have to leave the Orient behind.
      One day shortly after arriving in Jeddah, the dapper Major rings me, asking if I could send a voice mail to the Emir, praising the services I have received by the DG. Well I don't mind adding an Emir to my phone contacts; the next stop then will be the King, and after that Allah, but him I let rather wait a while. Later I wished I wouldn't have followed that request so promptly, as this lead the DG to forget all about my repairs that he promised to complete. But in the end I had some other nice people finding the right man for the job.
      Today 8/7, I finally got news the transmission had been fixed, but we still need some more parts for the shaft. So slowly but surely we are getting back on the road.
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    • Day529

      On the Road Again

      October 5, 2020 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      And then the day arrived: we packed up and left Jeddah, heading for the mountains. Had I feared I have lost my enthusiasm this fear was unfounded. It took me a little while to find my swing though, a few days to experience this chest exploding feeling of happiness when behind the wheel consciously coming to realise the extent of my undertaking, the exotic surrounds and the freedom I am able to experience.
      It is so wonderful being on the road again, setting up camp for the night, having the freedom to leave the next morning or stay another day. And what I missed the most being cooped up in the confines of the compound, experiencing the boundless hospitality of the Saudis. Being invited for a cup of tea when passing a shop, being waved to when driving past, being asked for numerous selfies, seeing the surprise on people’s faces when they see the dog on the driver’s seat, being invited for a Kapsa dinner. Kapsa is the Saudi national dish, being prepared with chicken, or sheep, or goat, or camel, and rice. The true one pot miracle.
      What is very sad though is that I have forgotten all the Arabic I had learned, which wasn’t very much by any means, whilst in Jeddah. Okay, I had studied some Arabic online, however all the courses are in the official language, which is the basis for all the Arabic languages, but not all the words are the same or even similar. So, people are having problems understanding me, my denglish accent doesn’t help neither I assume. There is some work to be done.
      Of course, I had to have a stopover in Al Baha, to visit the friends I had made when in this town for two months in spring. They fussed about us as only Saudis can include preparations for a birthday party for Ella, who turned eight.
      Now it is up to new frontiers. I wonder what the next months will bring. The international borders will not open before January the earliest. This leaves us plenty of time to explore all the areas in Saudi, previously unexplored by us.
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      Traveler

      I always look forward to your posts.. feels like am experiencing some of the things you describe. Have a great trip around Saudi.. :-)

      11/3/20Reply
      Traveler

      Nice to hear you are travelling with me. I am not writing enough though. Should pick up my game.

      11/5/20Reply
       
    • Day2

      Jeddah (Saudi-Arabia)

      October 3, 2021 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

      Nach einer kurzen Nacht begann der Tag mit einem tollen Frühstück im Radisson Blue Hotel. Unser Team hatte den Vormittag frei. Am frühen Abend fand das erste Training statt. Jeddah ist eine Stadt mit über 4 Millionen Einwohnern. Dementsprechend lang sind alle Wege hier. Die Fahrt zur Trainingshalle dauert so regelmäßig 30-40min.
      Der 8,5km Lauf am Vormittag war bei 35 Grad Außentemperatur und hoher Luftfeuchtigkeit nicht ganz so einfach.
      Die Menschen hier sind sehr freundlich und hilfsbereit.
      Mal sehen was die nächsten Tage bringen…
      Read more

    • Day3

      Saudi arabie, pfff

      July 10 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Tjonge, bij aankomst in Djedda hoorde we al dat we 3 uur vertraging hadden. Lastig dat slapen op een vliegveld. Wel een mooi vliegveld, maar dat mannen en vrouwen apart is toch wel raar. Zelfs de security is gescheiden. Hopelijk vertrekt hij zo op tijd, nu eerst een bakkie :)Read more

      Traveler

      afzien

      7/10/22Reply
       
    • Day47

      Thailand here we are

      July 10 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Na een slechte nacht op harde bankjes maar wel een lekker kopje koffie bij Starbucks ging onze vlucht op tijd nou ja 3 uur te laat. De vlucht was weer top eten drinken genoeg en lekker. Om 8 uur in de avond plaatselijke tijd waren we in Thailand. Wat is het nog rustig. Douane rugzakken simkaarten alles binnen een half uurtje. Toen een taxi regelen. De taxichauffeur wilde extra geld voor de rugzakken dus wij gelijk vol erin dat dat niet normaal is enz. Zielig voor die man maarja het hoort erbij. Uiteindelijk voor de helft de rugzakken mee. Maar dan krijgt hij geen fooi. De rit duurde ongeveer een half uurtje. Maar geen straf wat een heerlijke stad om naar te kijken. Ons appartement is mega groot en ligt op de 10e verdieping. Snel spullen afgooien en wat eten scoren. We liepen in een straatje achterlangs vol met ratten Emma helemaal in de stress. Maar dapper doorgelopen. We kwamen bij een gay pride achtige travestieten straat waar we heerlijk hebben gegeten en een biertje erbij. Er was genoeg om te zien. Erg leuk. Toen drinken halen bij de 7eleven en nu schoon gedoucht op bed. Morgen gaan we lekker op pad tot dan.Read more

    • Day2

      Al Safwah Royale Orchid

      February 19, 2018 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ 33 °C

      Jeddah to Mecca didn't take too long trip. It was around an hour to reach Mecca. Here I checked in at my room hotel. The room was really amazing. It was twin sharing bed room and fully furnished. Luckily, I got a special room where I could see Ka'baa from my room. That was really peaceful to see people doing pilgrimage.Read more

    • Day72

      Terug reis deel 1

      August 4 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      Vlucht ging soepel en op tijd. We hebben lekker geslapen en nog wat gegeten en gedronken aan boord. Nu wachten op de volgende vlucht. Lekker Starbucks koffie.

      Traveler

      Een hele ruk maar je komt er zittende

      8/5/22Reply
       

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Makkah Province, La Mecque, Mekka

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