Green Valley, Jeddah

A few months ago, we heard about this new locale in Jeddah. Green Valley! A place teeming with water. Green grass. And life.


People rave about this place. Some say its a natural water body in the middle of the Arabian desert. Some say the water is processed waste water. The truth is, nobody knows. The latter theory is the most probable.


Anyway. There is water. Flowing water. Maybe a mile long. And there’s fish too. God knows where they came from! An entirely new ecosystem has sprung up. Probably wild dogs are on top of the food chain. And lots of birds. Pity I didn’t have my telephoto.

 

I did get some shots of the nearby vegetation.


And where there’s vegetation, there are critters!


And like in every ecosystem, new or old, life is always accompanied by death. And here’s something that reminds me of that!

Nostalgia With “Prisma”

Its been awhile since my last post.

A short month long vacation to my homeland, Kerala, culminated a week ago. Its been 3 years since my last visit home.

This vacation was all about nostalgia. Revisiting familiar places. Meeting past friends.

I have chosen a few images, that brings a lot of memories.

And I have chosen the much hyped “Prisma” app to process these images:

The land of coconuts

And tamarinds

Dewy mornings

Tea Stalls and steamy tea

Rivers

And rivers

The local’s favorite pass time – Fishing

Abundant Paddy fields

Hills

Celebrations

The local bus

And the people

 

This is my home…

The Remains Of A Previous Era

That is  “Historical Jeddah” ! A UNESCO world heritage site from 2014.

A visit to this place is a sharp contrast to today’s modern Jeddah.

What really stands apart are the cobbled pathways and the old architectural style, with coral being a major resource used in their construction.

 

The ornately carved doors and the beautiful lattices, windows and balconies are truly beautiful.

Today the area is mostly left alone, with the few dwellers being poor immigrants and cats. An early morning visit here shows how desolate the place has become.

A must visit place for any immigrant in Saudi Arabia.

I have been here 5 years and this is my first visit. And I know plenty more who have never seen the place. A shame really !

You can learn more here:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1361

A Winter To Remember…

I have been in Saudi Arabia for 6 years now. This has been my favorite winter.

This winter I drove down with my family to Al Baha. I’ve been wanting to visit this place for a few months now. Information about this place from people I knew was almost non existent. Not many people have been there. All I could find out about this place was from Google and  Wikipedia.

What really piqued my curiosity was the thought of a hill station in the middle of the desert !

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Saudi Arabia has been a revelation to me. Al Baha has only furthered that. Before Saudi, my concept of a desert was a huge barren land filled with sand and dunes. KSA showed me deserts can be rocky.

Anyway, Al Baha is a picturesque piece of land lying a little over 2000m above sea level. Temperatures during our visit peaked at 11 degrees Celsius in the morning and went as low as 4 degrees Celsius at night. The mornings were mired in fog and mist. It is around 420 kms  from Jeddah by road via Taif. The roads are long, winding and with very little traffic once you pass Taif.

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We found a lot of viewpoints along the way up hill, all of them deserted. It’s as if no one wanted to see this beautiful place.

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Lying below the hills of Al Baha, is the Tihama plain, which is more like the desert we are familiar with. Here, close to the small town of Al Makhwa, is a 400 year old abandoned village, named Thi Ain ( use these exact letters to search for the place on the wonder that is google maps). The road from Al Baha to Thi Ain village, called Aqabat King Fahad is spectacular to view. The entire stretch serpents along the the mountain face with  numerous tunnels and bridges.

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Once u descend Aqabat King Fahad, a turn to the right will take you to Thi Ain. A well preserved ruin!

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I hope more people find time and make their way towards Al Baha – A must visit place for the Saudi expat. The tranquil drive and the surrounding scenery and the cool climate alone is reason enough in this hot desert.

 

Through The ViewFinder, Today

As usual, I don’t get enough time to take pictures or blog.

So I decided to start a ‘ Through The ViewFinder ‘ Today/ Weekly/ Monthly series depending on how much and when I can shoot.

A big thank you to everyone following my blog.

Enough with the rant…..IMG_0620IMG_0624IMG_0621IMG_0646DSCF7492IMG_0628IMG_0643

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