Sunday, May 31, 2015

Stone Apartment Building

Many of the buildings here in Jeddah are finished in lovely stone or tilework.  Due to the harsh climate of severed heat combined with wind, sand, and salty sea air, paint doesn't wear very well.  This apartment building is finished in a pleasant pink stone and tile combination.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Jeddah: Still a Problem - Abandoned Cars

I've complained about this problem many times before.  Abandoned cars are everywhere around the streets of Jeddah.  These disabled or wrecked cars are covered in dirt, dangerous, and unsightly, sitting for months and years taking up valuable parking space and making driving horrendous in busier areas.  At least the one shown here isn't on a busy thoroughfare of the city as many are.  If I were in charge, I would haul off these unsightly useless vehicles and charge and fine the car owners for it. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Misspelled: Franch Fries

I am always amazed at the products and business signs that I see around here that have misspellings on them.  Here we have misspelled French Fries on those little boxes that fast food french fries come in.   This item was offered for sale at a 5 riyal store here in Jeddah.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

SkyWatch: Sun Effects

I was trying to show the pointed details at the top of the roofline on this mosque, but I was more intrigued about how the bright sun caused this interesting special effect with my camera.  

To  visit MORE friendly skies around the world, fly on over to SKYWATCH  where you’ll find beautiful skies posted by bloggers all over the world.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Entertaining Saudi Style

Saudis seem to prefer the very elegant and the very fancy schmancy things in life.  Their entertaining style is usually quite formal, not casual like in the US where I am from.  Whereas Americans seem to prefer simple backyard barbecues or tailgating parties, Saudis always entertain in style.  Even for family gatherings, the women will dress to the nines and have perfectly coiffed hair and makeup.  Serving pieces are often extravagant, such as this beautiful cobalt blue pitcher and glass set. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mini Desserts at Le Connoissseur

Yummy! The desserts available at Le Connoisseur are almost too pretty to eat. Their creations are works of art.  Le Connoisseur is housed in the Bellevue building, along with three other wonderful restaurants: Amara, Ajji, and Lumiere. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Our World: Illuminated Globe

The Illuminated Globe is one of my favorite pieces of public art that graces the streets of Jeddah.  It is also one of the largest works of art in the city.  Spanish architect Julio Lafuente was the designer of this amazing sculpture.  It is difficult to get a good picture of the globe at night since it is located on a busy roundabout near Roshan Mall.  When I saw the base lit up with white lights, I tried my best to get a good shot from the moving car I was in.  I rather like the effect.  For more information about Jeddah's Illuminated Globe, CLICK HERE.

Be sure to visit OUR WORLD TUESDAY, where family-friendly bloggers share a unique glimpse into what life is like all around our ever-amazing planet.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Super Hero Cake

Superheroes are alive and well in Saudi Arabia.  This birthday cake in a store shop window features The Hulk, Spiderman, Superman, and Batman.  What kid wouldn't love a cake like this at his party?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Jeddah Restaurant: Taj Mahal

Good Indian food and reasonable prices - what more could one want?  The Taj Majal Restaurant on Rawdah Street in Jeddah is worth a try.  We went with some friends right before they left on a trip to India to see the real Taj Mahal.  It wasa great send off!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Jeddah: Images of the New King

Huge photos of the King of Saudi Arabia and his future successors abound here on billboards and are plastered all over businesses and even apartment buildings.  At the age of 79, King Salman became the head of state in January 2015 upon the death of his half-brother King Abdullah.

The above photo was a display in a shop window of a local mall.  Showing and pledging loyalty to the new king is important  here.

This is another huge billboard honoring the new king and his next in line. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

SkyWatch: Golden Sunset

As the day draws to a close, the Red Sea glistens in a peaceful golden orange color.

To  visit MORE friendly skies around the world, fly on over to SKYWATCH  where you’ll find beautiful skies posted by bloggers all over the world.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Jet Ski on the Red Sea

Water sports are a favorite pasttime in Jeddah because of its location on the Red Sea.  Unfortunately water sports are mainly only enjoyed by males here.  The vast majority of Saudi women do not know how to swim because culturally they are discouraged from doing so. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dessert Time at Le Connoisseur

Yummy!  Le Connoisseur in Jeddah offers scrumptious baked goods and desserts presented so beautifully, they look too pretty to eat. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Our World: Villa Entrance

Middle Eastern style is evident in this private villa entrance in Jeddah.  I love the large cut out shape housing the gate, the step details on top of the wall, and the abundance and variety of lanterns.

Be sure to visit OUR WORLD TUESDAY, where family-friendly bloggers share a unique glimpse into what life is like all around our ever-amazing planet.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Private Yacht

Weekends for many residents of Jeddah revolve around the Red Sea.  Private yachts abound as well as larger boats which accommodate groups of people. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Beach Condos

Jeddah stretches for miles and miles along the Red Sea coastline.  The popular beach areas are mostly north of Jeddah and are becoming more and more developed every year.  This area is called Durrat al Aroos and it is located about a 40 minute drive north of Jeddah.  The area has individually owned condos and villas as well as rentals of all kinds.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Gold Dome Mosque

Surrounded by cement, sand, and interesting looking trees, this golden domed mosque seems to sit in the desert all by itself, when it is actually located in a rapidly developing sector of Jeddah.  Many mosques are designed with beautiful domes, and almost all have minarets equipped with loudspeakers to announce the five daily calls to prayer far and wide.  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Skywatch: Pretty Walled Villa

Single family residences in Jeddah are always surrounded by high privacy walls.  Some of the villas have landscaped inner courtyards behind the walls, and others barely have enough room between the outer wall and the wall of the house to walk. Many courtyards I have been in are completely tiled.  The large trees provide additional privacy from the neighboring villa.

To  visit MORE friendly skies around the world, fly on over to SKYWATCH  where you’ll find beautiful skies posted by bloggers all over the world.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Al Baik: KSA's KFC

Al Baik is known as the KFC of Saudi Arabia.  It is a popular chain of chicken eateries that has many branches in Jeddah.  At certain times of the day, one can see hordes of men crowded outside Al Baik establishments waiting to get their meals.  There are no Al Baiks in Riyadh, however, and I have heard that there are political reasons for this, possibly due to a dispute between princes or businessmen.  But this is just hearsay.  Everyone loves Al Baik chicken here in Jeddah though - and I think it makes the people of Riyadh a little jealous. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Jeddah: Yellow Mosque Minaret

This mosque is not too far from where we live.  I like the wrought iron fence around it and the point details on the building, as well as the shape of the windows.  It reminds me of architecture in Arizona, where I grew up.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Our World: Metal Door

I am drawn to doorways and windows.  Many of the old heavy doors in the poorer areas of the city  are painted in a variety of colors and have different designs on them.  Add to that the paint peeling off the surrounding walls, the cracks in the structure itself, and the electrical wires, for me it makes for a really interesting photograph with its own special kind of beauty and intrigue. 

Be sure to visit OUR WORLD TUESDAY, where family-friendly bloggers share a unique glimpse into what life is like all around our ever-amazing planet.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Elegant Window and Lamp

Yesterday my post featured the Arabic Andalus star design, the elegant 8 pointed star used as a design element in many Arabic designs.  Today's post continues that star theme with a lovely geometrical star design covering a long narrow window.  I love the free standing lamp complimenting this beautifully shaped window.

Yesterday's post also featured a lovely table in the shape of the Andalus star.  Above is another gorgeous star shaped table featured in Saudi Design Week in Riyadh.  This glass topped table is the creation of Saudi designer Dina Abdulatief of Sense of Space.   It was also showcased at Saudi Design Week which took place this past week in Riyadh

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Saudi Design Week - Star Design

The star is a recurring theme used in Middle Eastern design.  It appears in many forms architecturally, both inside and outside of buildings, as well as in furniture and other decor.  The star used in Arabic design is called the Andalus Star and it has eight points.  It is formed by placing two identical squares, one on top of the other, one at an angle and one straight.

The lovely table above features the Arabic 8-pointed Andalus star and is the creation of talented Saudi designer Noor Abuissa.  The table can be seen at the exhibition of Saudi Design Week, which  is currently happening from May 6 to 9 in Riyadh, at the Al Faisaliah Resort. For more information about Saudi Design Week, CLICK HERE. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Skywatch: Jeddah Sunrise

I'm not up very often at sunrise, so I hope you enjoy this rather spectacular one I caught recently over the concrete jungle of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

To  visit MORE friendly skies around the world, fly on over to SKYWATCH  where you’ll find beautiful skies posted by bloggers all over the world.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Menu: Lamp Singapore Style

I spotted this selection of "Lamp Singapore Style" on a menu in a restaurant.  There is no "P" sound in the Arabic language.  The closest sound to it is the "B" sound, so many Arabs have difficulty pronouncing words with a "P" in them.  For instance, "Pepsi" is pronounced as  "Bebsi" here.  I have no idea why someone would change a silent "B" on the end of "lamb" to a "P" though, but this commonly used word is often seen written this way here - common because lamb is one of the most popular meats consumed in KSA. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Jeddah Street Scene

This is just a typical street seen in Jeddah showing a variety businesses on the block, each with their colorful Arabic signs.  A woman walking on the left is wearing the traditional black abaya worn by women when they are out in public here in Saudi Arabia.   

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Our World: Handmade Saudi Gifts

It's difficult finding handmade souvenirs in Saudi Arabia.  But I am happy to report that it's getting easier.  The smaller items pictured here are Saudi-made soft keychains.  The larger soft dolls are about 9" tall and they can also be used as pencils cases when unzipped and the stuffing removed.  I bought these at Aseil Restaurant on Sultan and Rawdah in Jeddah, but they may be available for sale at other places. I also purchased a little purse made of natural palm leaves and sadu fabric. These products are handmade by Saudi women for an organization called Liyano, dedicated to propagating Saudi heritage.  It supports charities and provides job opportunities for Saudi women. 

Follow them on Instagram at:  saudigifts
And don't forget to Like their Facebook page

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#saudigifts  #liyano  #KSA  #Jeddah  #heritage  #Saudi  #souvenirs  #gifts

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sugar Cane for Juice

Sugar cane juice is a popular drink that is available here in Jeddah.  There is a special machine that extracts the juice from the sugar cane, which you can see stacked outside the door to the left of this little business. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Geometric Ceiling

Geometric shapes are very typical design patterns here in Saudi Arabia.  This is the ceiling of a theater of Effat University, a female institution for higher learning in Jeddah.  I love how the cut outs and the lights make a pattern on the walls below it. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Thrift Shop Find: Painted Chest

Thrift shops are not very prominent in Saudi Arabia, not like they are in the USA.  The culture here seems to turn up their noses at previously owned items.  But there is a thrift shop I found that is the best kept secret in Jeddah!  Like any thrift store, you do have to look for finds and you may not find what you are looking for.  I loved this rustic painted chest that I found there.

The thrift shop is called MAWAKEB AL AJER, located in the Al Khalidya District behind Al Badrya Towers.   Proceeds benefit widows, children and the poor.   HOURS are SAT-THU 9am-9pm, FRI 4pm-9pm. TEL: 056-868-9001 or 055-241-2167. Clothing, jewelry, shoes, furniture, knick knacks, paintings, dishes, books, etc.

DIRECTIONS: South on Prince Sultan Rd, then West (right) on Rawdah. Turn right after Danube. After you pass Salon/Spa on left, turn around and turn right onto street where salon is. CLICK HERE for a pinpoint map location.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Camel Shadows

Photo Credit:  George Steinmetz for National Geographic 2005
Well, I didn't intend to take such a long break from this blog, but I guess I needed it.  Posting daily requires such a big commitment - and a lot of work taking photos, weeding through them, and getting the chosen photos ready for the blog.  So I hope I am rested up and ready to rumble!

With this post upon my return after a several month absence, instead of posting one of my own photos as I normally do, I thought I would treat you to a visual masterpiece taken by world renowned National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz.  Featured in the Turkish issue of National Geographic magazine from February 2005, this photo is the result of having a bird's eye view while Steinmetz was operating a motorized paraglider hovering above the desert sands of Saudi Arabia.  The dark camel shapes are actually the camels' shadows and the light shapes at their feet are the actual camels.  This photo was chosen as one of the best of the year in 2005 by National Geographic.