Saudi Arabia
Makkah Province

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Top 10 Travel Destinations Makkah Province

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13 travelers at this place

  • Day314

    Jeddah

    March 4 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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  • Day403

    Back in Jeddah

    June 1 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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  • Day315

    A visit at the Post Office

    March 5 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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  • Day12

    Starbucks in Taif

    March 24, 2015 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    I forgot to post last night but we made it to taif, a vacation town in the mountains outside of Jeddah and Mecca. We even came across rain as we arrived in Taif. We are tearing ourselves to an iced coffee (a rare find in Saudi) before we depart. Notice the family only sign at Starbucks. We convinced the guy to let us in and serve usRead more

  • Day5

    1,2,3,4,5

    March 28, 2018 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    After successful meetings in Riyadh I have arrived in Jeddah with the luxury of flying. It was much better than the 10 hour drive. I was greated by my long time driver and friend Ibrahim. I met him 5.5 years ago on my first trip and he has been with me almost in its entirety on my other travels here. His mother made us a wonderful home cooked lunch and in the evening I took them out to eat at a nice Turkish restaurant.
    The day wasn't all relaxing and eating though. We did get through inventory and began to pick up supplies.

    For those movie buffs or perhaps heggli/taylor nerds, I came across a situation that made my day. I was sitting with ibrahim and his brother, Ahmed, attempting to access their wifi. I asked them for the password. Before they replied i said "let me guess, it's 1,2,3,4,5". They looked at me shocked and laughed. They said "How did you know". I couldn't believe it. All I could think of is "that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. The kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage". It dawned on me, they had never seen Spaceballs and then it sunk in, they actually used 1,2 3,4,5 as a password without seeing spaceballs. I there fore had to show them the scene and we all had a good laugh
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  • Day19

    Taif and more rain

    April 11, 2018 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Last night we stayed in Taif, the 7th hotel in 7 days. It was not a successful day. Came across more rain and more wadis full of water. I normally i welcome the rain, but it is dreaded for this type of work. We continue to move on because we cannot wait around until the rain stops or wadis drain. Fortunately my team has been training well and will return to these locations at a later date. The last picture is the one that amazed me the most. I installed this station 2 years ago. Since that date, the sedinentation has risen the ground level across the channel by 3+ ft.

    Today we have a long drive as we strive to survey one location along a 550 mile drive north to Hail.
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  • Day1

    Quiet Dreams Apartment- Jeddah

    February 19, 2016 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ 🌙 27 °C

    Made it to my hotel after 26 hours of travel. Highlights of the day was some good food and a beer at 6am in Frankfurt followed by a nice sight of snow falling as we boarded the plane.
    My hotel is decent but i am in for some trouble because of the store located next door ;)Read more

  • Day3

    Practice run in Taif

    February 21, 2016 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    Today we made an attempt at installing or first wadi station. We knew it would be a trial run and would come across difficulties that would later be fixed with practice and efficiency but the thing that makes it most difficult is not having someone like Zach. Instructions are not very well understood due to language and oversight can be time consuming. One example is when instructed to drill two holes in line with each other on a pipe 3' apart, it was drilled 2'6" and not centered with each other.
    The photos today are a couple of us playing in the sand and scaffolding below a bridge, plus one of dinner
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  • Day6

    On to site 2

    February 24, 2016 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

    We finally finished our first site and will begin site number 2 today. One major delay was with the weather. We showed up to the location to finish it on Monday and the wind speeds were up to 30mph. We decided it was unsafe to be on scaffolding. Some other interesting situations were with our equipment truck getting stuck in the wadi and having a herd of goat approach us.Read more

  • Day9

    Back on the road after an off day

    February 27, 2016 in Saudi Arabia ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

    Today we finished our 3rd site. Today we encountered some goats trying to get into our equipment and some stray camels. We cut our install time from a day and half to 6 hours to 3.5 hours. Though we have created better efficiency, we have our work cutout for us with a 400m wide wadi that is pure sand (which means or vehicles must stay out and we will have to hand carry or lower equipment from the bridge).Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Makkah Province, La Mecque, Mekka

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