Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Yanbu Crowds at Flower Festival


The Yanbu Flowers and Gardens Festival opens daily at 4pm, and before dark, the place is packed with crowds of people. There are various designated sections at the event, like a Recycling Center, a Butterfly Garden, and an enormous colorful floral carpet attraction.


This is the 11th annual flower festival is operating now through April 7th.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Our World: Yanbu Festival Face Painting


Here is another scene from the 2017 Yanbu Flowers and Gardens Annual Festival happening now through April 7th. Like children everywhere, Saudi kids too enjoy having their faces painted for special occasions or events.  This scene could take place just about anywhere around the world - the only difference being that the face painting artist is totally veiled in black and even wears black gloves.



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Monday, March 27, 2017

Yanbu Festival Poolside


A beautiful new addition to the Yanbu Flowers and Gardens Festival this year is the huge pool and fountain areas, complete with flower covered islands and bridges.  There is poolside seating where visitors can enjoy the scenery and weather while relaxing or having a drink or picnic.  

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Scenes from Yanbu Flower Festival


There have been times living in this country when I have complained that if it involves fun here in Saudi Arabia, then it is considered "haram" (which means forbidden).  Well, times have changed, and now there is even a Ministry of Entertainment.




Most of the people of Saudi Arabia are starved for events and entertainment, as is evident by the enormous turnout and support for the 11th annual Yanbu Flowers and Gardens Festival.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Yanbu Festival Recycling


Recycling is one of the attractions at the Yanbu Flowers and Gardens Festival, going on now in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, and running through April 7th.  The garden art pictured in this post is made of old automobile tires which have been cut and painted to form the birds above and the fish below.



The race cars below are made of recycled barrels and equipped with old bicycle tires. Aren't they cute?



Friday, March 24, 2017

SkyWatch: Yanbu Flower Festival


Right now through April 7th, the Yanbu Flowers and Gardens Annual Festival is underway in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, an industrial coastal city along the Red Sea.  The turnout for this event is strikingly enormous as it appeals to people of all ages. To me, it is evident that Saudis want to enjoy themselves and have fun, just like people everywhere.


In every direction one can see people taking photos and selfies with the colorful flowers behind them. This is the 11th year for this event, which has grown in size by leaps and bounds.


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SkyWatch: Yanbu Flower Festival


This past week, my husband and I visited Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, to see the Yanbu Flowers and Gardens Festival. This is the 11th year for this increasingly popular family event and is attended by thousands of visitors. Yanbu is located on the west coast of Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea, about a four hour drive north of Jeddah. One of the amazing focal points of the festival is the colorful Floral Carpet which covers a vast area of the park.  This festival is scheduled to operate through April 7th.


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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Yanbu Flower Festival


I love this shot I took a few days ago at the Yanbu Flowers and Gardens Festival.  The festival is running through April 7th in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Our World: Saudi Arabia Eating While Veiled


Wearing the face veil (called niqab) in Saudi Arabia can present some challenges for women. One problem is breathing, especially when it's so hot and humid.  I've noticed that the veil is sometimes sucked inward toward the nostrils and mouth when the woman takes a breath.  Another challenge is eating or drinking in public while wearing the veil.  I've seen some women remove their veils in restaurants so they can eat and then when they are done, they put their veils back on.  I've also observed women lifting the veil with one hand and feeding themselves with the other hand, as the woman in this photo is demonstrating.  I'm such a messy eater that I'm sure the inside of my niqab would look like a dirty napkin if I ate while wearing it!



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Monday, March 20, 2017

Jeddah: Villa's Wooden Gate


Wood doesn't wear very well in the hot dusty climate of Jeddah, so it's unusual to see wooden gates such as this one.  Most gates are made of metal here.  Paint also doesn't bode well in this climate either, so most often buildings are finished with tiles or stone. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Jeddah: Typical Street Scene


A lone man leaves a traditional Saudi menswear shop and a pink schoolgirl's uniform hangs below a sign on the right.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

SkyWatch: Mosque North of Jeddah


Pretty blue skies can be nice, but I think clouds make for a much more dramatic sky. The three trees near this mosque also add some interest to this photo.


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Jeddah Villa Arched Gates


Many family villas in Saudi Arabia take up most of the space of the lots they are built on, with very limited outside space around the villas. Many also utilize the rooftop area as play areas for the children or for leisure activities in the winter months when the weather is more tolerable.  Rooftops in Jeddah are mostly flat since there is very little annual rainfall.

I like the arches above the gates of this home as well as the opaque material that lets light through but affords privacy at the same time. I also like the red tiles above the wall and gates that finish it off nicely. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Jeddah Businesses


Two traditional Saudi menswear shops flank a homegoods shop in this typical business scene in Jeddah.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Our World: Saudi Arabia Restroom Signs


These graphics represent the markers for toilets for women and men at a beautiful large chain hotel in Jeddah.   I always enjoy seeing the different versions of graphics here in Saudi Arabic





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Monday, March 13, 2017

Jeddah: Scenes from Outdoor Produce Market


There are many outdoor open air fresh produce markets all around the city here in Jeddah. I love taking photos of the colorful displays of fruits and vegetables.  The photo above reminds me of a flag. I think it would make beautiful piece of art - what do you think?




Have you ever seen such big heads of cabbage?






I love the colors of the fruits in the above photo - and the different shapes and sizes of the fruits. It too resembles a flag to me. What do you see?





The different colors seem to form stripes in this photo.  We like shopping at these roadside markets during the cooler months, but once it gets hotter, I prefer the air conditioned super markets!


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jeddah: Stately Villa


Saudi families are generally much larger than the average American family, and therefore require larger living accommodations.  Many families also include extended family members in the household, such as elderly parents or grandchildren, as well as housemaids.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017

Skywatch: Jeddah Sunset


Most often when I go up on the rooftop of our building to see the sunsets from my vantage point here in Jeddah, there are no clouds and the sky is usually dusty and polluted - so the sunsets are rather anticlimactic for me. I grew up in Arizona where many days concluded with spectacular and colorful sunsets.  The wide open spaces were framed with mountains and cacti which added even more drama to the end of the day.  I was pleased to see this pretty sunset here in Jeddah, complete with clouds, color and drama.


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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Jeddah: Villa with Covered Parking


There are many tented parking shades like these around Jeddah.  Some of the big malls also have covered or underground parking or parking garages. As you can imagine, the heat is relentless in the warmer months.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Jeddah: Mosque Minaret


This is the not so attractive side of this Jeddah mosque - the front entrance is on the far right.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Our World: Jeddah Juice Shop Decor


One thing that is simply amazing here in Saudi Arabia are the plentiful fresh squeezed juice shops.  There are more varieties of juices than I ever imagined.


Many of the juice shops seem to have competitions going on when it comes to interior design and decor.  The colorful fruity design elements are works of art.


Hundreds of fresh fruits are formed together into a variety of shapes and geometric designs to create a delightful and appealing display.


Have you ever seen fruit juice shops like this in your part of the world?  I must say that I've never seen anything like these displays in the cities I've lived in in the USA before moving to Saudi Arabia.





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Monday, March 6, 2017

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Jeddah: Pilgrim on Mobile Phone


A religious pilgrim walks along a street of Jeddah as he talks on his mobile phone.  Each year millions of people travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, at the same time for the annual pilgrimage called Hajj.  Because of its close proximity to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, Jeddah is the gateway that most religious pilgrims travel through. All able bodied Muslims are required to perform Hajj at least once in their lives.  Many save up money for years in order to perform Hajj. Muslims may also perform the pilgrimage at other times during the year, but if they do, it is not counted as performing Hajj. This is called Omra when it is done at times other than Hajj.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Jeddah: Hardee's in Arabic


Many hamburger chains exist in Saudi Arabia - and they all deliver! Yes, Hardee's, McDonald's, Burger King, you name it - they all deliver.  Why, you may ask? It's simple - because women cannot drive here in Saudi Arabia.

Friday, March 3, 2017

SkyWatch: Jeddah Mosque



A mosque minaret 
Makes a beautiful silhouette
Against the sky at sunset



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