Jazan to Farasan Island, Saudi Arabia, December 19, 2022
I was up at 4:30 because we were taking the coach to the ferry terminal and leaving the hotel at 5 o’clock. It was kind of silly because the ferry didn’t leave until eight. At the ferry terminal there was a separate room for the women and children where I was told to sit. Leaving that room, I was felt up everywhere by a female security guard! What a crazy place.
It was an hour and 15 minutes until we were at Farasan Island-
Three of us hired a driver and he took us to the “highlights”. The Al Qassar Heritage Village is supposed to be one of the oldest inhabited areas of the islands. The homes are made from coral and mud-
Some has been redone-
From here we went to the Ottoman Fort but it was completely fenced off. Parts of Saudi were annexed by the Ottoman Empire beginning in 1517-
They were drying fish at the fish market-
What a weird entrance-
Speaking of weird-
The Al Rifai house was built by a wealthy pearl merchant and made of coral rocks. There are 3 houses side by side and they are wrecks but AUTHENTIC!! Finally!
Notice the sculpting in such random places-
The houses must have been magnificent-
I was impressed! We visited a couple of beaches: Al Ma’adi-
where there are mangroves-
There are over 170 islands and islets of uplifted coral reef, hence the need for bridges-
It might be great diving because the place hasn’t been destroyed by tourists yet.
We stopped at another empty beach-
and weird beach rooms-
We went to a “fancy” hotel for lunch but the service was very slow. My tikka masala was like a soup which I don’t mind because I dip my na’an into it but it appeared to only have a few carrots in it and no chicken. I told the waiter and he said the orange bits were the chicken and he was right. I laughed, then apologized!
I like the menu-
The ferry ride back was fine but we had to wait for two gates to open to let us into the port-
I missed lounging in my bed all day but am glad I went to Farasen Island. In the morning we are off to Jeddah which is the Dubai of Saudi Arabia. We shall see!