Monday, April 29, 2013


Hi Bloggers,

Luckily had a couple of weeks off last month, so I took full advantage of it to visit Saudi's second city, Jeddah.  It has a reputation for being much more relaxed than Riyadh and this certainly seemed to be the case.  Nevertheless, the basic no alcohol or cinemas rules still applied.  But women seemed less covered up and actually ready to communicate in some cases!

Jeddah's got a pretty nice location by Saudi standards, being by the sea, and  the Red Sea at that.  There's a lot of diving around here, though I must admit I didn't partake myself.  There's a 35 km long corniche, though not as idyllic as I'd hoped.  The Red Sea, being another gulf, unfortunately has virtually no surf, and it's those rolling waves that are the main thing I love about the sea.  But still it was nice breath of fresh air (excuse the pun).

Generally, though, Jeddah had a much more relaxed atmosphere than Riyadh, and people were around on the streets and much friendly, cf. Riyadh where every thing seems to happen behind closed doors.  Mind you, Jeddah is also a lot poorer than Riyadh and you really feel like you're in a developing country here.  Only a few of those swanky malls and towering skyscrapers.

One of the highlights was the fish market, which actually had sharks for sale, as well as some pretty exotic looking angel fish.  But the main highlight for me were the old traditional coral houses in Al Balad.  Most of them are just shells now, but apparently there's a project to restore them.  It's definitely worthy of being a world Heritage site.

I'll let the pictures do the talking,



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Mike | Earthdrifter said...

The Red Sea and the fresh air it brings makes Jeddah look like a better city to live in than the urban desert of Riyadh. Although my guess is that Riyadh is a better restaurant city. Did you eat any decent food whilst in Jeddah Rob?