Saudi Arabia

Immediately after marriage we continued to live in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where I had already been living since late 1985.

Old town in JeddahJeddah is a commercial and port city at the Red Sea. It has always been the commercial capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Its significance does not come in the least from the fact that it has always been the key gateway for Muslim pilgrims traveling to the holy city of Makkah on pilgrimage (Hajj or Umrah) while also being on the cross roads of age old caravan trading routes.

The SouqOne of the key attractions of the city is its old Souq, the down town commercial heart of the city. It is always bustling with activity and full of people throughout the day. Here one can buy anything from gold to electronics, change currency, etc..

Old HousesThe souq is situated in the old part of town with its peculiar architecture with special protections for the windows that are designed to provide shade and let a draft of air in to keep the rooms cool.

Mountain road near TaifWhile living in Jeddah we also managed to make a few outings. A popular place is Taif, the mountain resort about 180km away from Jeddah. It’s the summer seat of the Saudi government as it provides temperate weather conditions in summer away from the heat of Riyadh and the humidity of Jeddah.

There’s a road that makes a big detour around Makkah, popularly known as the Christian Road. The shortest way between Jeddah and Taif is through Makkah, but non-Muslims are not allowed into the Holy City of Makkah.

Arabian Homes logoWe continued to live in Jeddah until October 1994 when we moved to Bucharest, Romania. While in Jeddah we lived in a large compound called Arabian Homes, Sierra Village, on the outskirts of the city. This was a rather exclusive retreat, a “free” island within the restrictive and conservative culture of Saudi Arabia.

Poolside VillaIn line with our ever changing family size we moved from a two bedroom apartment to a 2-bedroom town house and then to a 3-bedroom semi-detached villa. Housing quality and comfort was top notch. The compound was pretty much self contained with its own restaurant (with home delivery service!) managed by the Marriott hotel, a small super market, sports store, dry cleaners service, bowling alley, tennis and squash courts, tens of swimming pools, basket ball grounds, nursery school, video and satellite TV, etc.

When living in Jeddah we developed and nurtured some of the strongest and lasting friendships we have. As a result we now have friends who originally lived in Jeddah when we were there and who are now living in such diverse locations worldwide like Madison, Brussels, Antwerp, Paris, London, Durban, Perth, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, etc. … a real lesson in geography.

The weather in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:
Current temperature in Jeddah (and the hour at which you entered ""  - Click for  Forecast)

Copyright © 2012 Hans Dewaele – All rights reserved

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