Friday, December 23, 2022

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,  December 22, 2022

It rained this morning and when you have a city that has no drainage, the water sits in the streets until it can evaporate. Cars skirt the puddles but sometimes they can’t and it is sprayed up onto other cars and the sidewalk that only exists here and there. I started walking towards the Corniche and the drivers were very respectful. Jeddah is not a city for pedestrians and so I was often walking in the traffic and crossing the busy streets back and forth, trying to stay dry and to get where I was going. It was very hot and so eventually thought forget this and I called an Uber. I got dropped off at the Hilton which is supposed to be “the” place to begin and started walking north. The Corniche is beautiful and a popular spot for locals-

I have walked along many corniche but this one was supposed to have some bronze sculptures by Edward Moore and work by Joan Mir├│. I did not find those but I did find others –

Eventually I turned around and ended up back at the Hilton. I called another Uber because there was no way I was walking home in the sauna like conditions. Along the way –

So weird!

In the afternoon, a group of us went to Al Balad, the old town.  The gate to Meccah-

and the King Fahd gate-

The first homeless person I’ve seen the whole trip-

Al Balad was founded in the early 7th century and was Jeddah’s commercial centre before the oil boom of the 1970s.  It was a trading port and the primary gateway to Mecca for pilgrims heading for Hajj.  Today one visits for the architecture and traditional buildings- 

Beautiful doors-

Narrow streets-

A date shop-

Incense burners-


Toothbrushes are made from sticks.  The bark is scraped off one end and you rub the pith of the twig against your teeth to remove the mess-

Fresh fruits and vegetables-

The Al Ma’Amar Mosque was built between 1676 and 1683 and is considered one of the most prominent archaeological buildings of the old town-

Cats have to eat too-

The only street art I’ve seen-

We stayed until dark to see the souqs come to life.  I expected to see many lights draped across the alleyways and crowds but no, I guess there is only one Marrakesh!

We came home via cab but not before a downpour-

Tomorrow rain is expected so I’ll be in my bed enjoying luxury!


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