Monday, June 30, 2014

Jeddah: Architectural Design

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, boasts some really interesting modern architectural styles in many of its office buildings. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jeddah: Street Parking

In Jeddah, as in many large cities around the world, parking can be a big problem.  But what makes the parking problems even worse in Jeddah is all the disabled and abandoned vehicles which take up valuable parking space and affect traffic congestion.  Most of the parked vehicles you see in this picture are abandoned.  They are covered in thick dust.  One car even has the back window broken out.  I wish something would be done about this unsightly and unhealthy problem.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Guess the Logo

This popular eatery is located in a mall in Jeddah, although many of the branches I have seen here in Saudi Arabia and in various places in the states are free standing restaurants.  Can you guess which restaurant chain this is?

Friday, June 27, 2014

SkyWatch: Jeddah's Dusty Skies

Between the heavy construction all over the city and the lack of rainfall, Jeddah's skies are often hazy with dust.  Sandstorms are also common part of the year. 

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jeddah: Cat Problem

Jeddah, like some other cities around the world I have visited, has a cat problem.  Some are stray cats abandoned by their owners when they moved on.  Most are feral cats which are dirty and malnourished and can be seen hanging around restaurants or dumpsters.  Fortunately for the cats, there are several groups that have organized to try to solve this situation in Jeddah.  Most of these organizations have been formed by expats.  Here are links to a few of them:

PIN / Pets in Need

Open Paws

Gus's Hope

Kitty Tender Love and Care

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Jeddah: Modernizing with Sewers

A large portion of Jeddah is not on a main sewage system but instead many buildings and residences have septic tanks.  For a city of about 4 million residents, this results in hundreds of big tank trucks which haul off the sewage adding to the city's daily traffic congestion. 
The streets in the area of the city where I live are being torn up and fitted with sewage pipes.  While this is being done, the streets and traffic are a mess, as you can imagine, but in the long run, modernizing the city will be worth all the trouble. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

SkyWatch: Arabic Script Sculpture

Jeddah is a city of art.  There are hundreds of public sculptures dotting the landscape of the city.  This one spells "Allah" in Arabic calligraphy.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jeddah: Building Blocks

Many apartment buildings in Jeddah are constructed of bricks.  Some, like this one, are not finished but are still occupied by residents. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Female Dress Code

I saw this notice regarding women's dress code inside an international school facility in Jeddah. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Jeddah: Villa Walls

Residential villas of Jeddah are very private and always surrounded by tall solid walls.
I would rather see the villa itself than the walls around it.
The walls do enable the women of the house to spend time outside without their abayas on and without covering their hair. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jeddah: IHOP in Arabic

IHOP has been open now in Jeddah for about six months and often has a long wait time to be seated.  Hubby and I haven't even tried going there yet.  The IHOP is in a plaza with several other restaurants, including Cheesecake Factory, P F Changs, Shake Shack, Pizza Express, and Texas Roadhouse. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Saudi Arabia: WTH?

I still don't understand why men's faces are okay to be seen here in Saudi Arabia, but often times women's faces are blurred out, as you can clearly see in this store window display in a popular mall.  It bugs me.  What kind of message does this send to little girls?  Heck, I'm an adult and it offends and confuses me...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Jeddah: Compound Pool Area

Many residential compounds in Jeddah are exclusive for foreign workers and do not allow Saudis to live there or even visit.  One reason is that inside the compound walls, women do not have to wear the black cloak or cover their hair.  Women can wear bathing suits when swimming or sunbathing at the beautiful pool areas inside the compounds.  Even at Saudi resorts that accommodate Saudi guests, many do not permit women to swim at all, unless there is a separate private pool provided just for women. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

SkyWatch: New Jeddah Restaurants on Tahlia Street

Several large Western chain restaurants opened a few months ago in Jeddah, including Texas Roadhouse, P F Changs, IHOP, Cheesecake Factory, Pizza Express, and Shake Shack.  They are all located in the same plaza on busy Tahlia Street and can accommodate more than 1300 diners at any one time.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Saudi Arabia Sign: Makkah Muslems Only

Only Muslims are allowed to enter Islam's holy cities of Mecca and Medina, so there are alternate routes that go around these places for non-Muslims. 

Saudi Arabia: Taif View

An aerial view of the mountain city of Taif taken from the revolving restaurant atop the Awaliv Hotel.  The restaurant offers a lovely All-You-Can-Eat Buffet.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Saudi Arabia: The View from Taif

This is another shot take from the revolving restaurant on top of the Awaliv Hotel in the farming community of Taif, Saudi Arabia. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Baboons of Taif

Families of baboons inhabit the hills and mountains near Taif, Saudi Arabia. 
The baboons are quite a local attraction and are fed fruits and vegetables by the tourists. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Taif Vista

This shot was taken from the revolving restaurant atop the Awaliv Hotel in Taif, Saudi Arabia.  The restaurant makes a full rotation in just under one hour.  The buffet lunch is expensive but good, and the views are spectacular.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Saudi Arabia: The Road to Taif

Winding its way along the curves of huge mountains, the road from Jeddah to Taif makes for an interesting trip, as far as terrain goes.

Friday, June 6, 2014

SkyWatch: Saudi Arabia: Magical Taif

The mountains of Taif, late afternoon.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Terrain

The mountains near Taif, Saudi Arabia, are rich with ores and minerals.  In the future when the oil is depleted, there are plenty of other natural resources for Saudi Arabia to bring to market. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Flowers in Taif

Taif, Saudi Arabia, is just a short drive from the seaport metropolis of Jeddah.  Taif is located in a mountainous largely agricultural region of the country.  It's nice to see more vegetation here, as the colorful flowers confirm. The city is also well know for its roses and produces world famous rose water.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Pretty Mosque Minaret

This pretty minaret in rural Saudi Arabia is really set off by the blue sky and the purplish mountains.  Too bad the power lines distract from its beauty...

Monday, June 2, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Baboons of Taif

Taif, Saudi Arabia, is home to native baboons.  They are generally well fed by the tourists.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Tea Time in Taif

This roadside tea stand was quite popular and offered a few different types of tea, made fresh on the spot.