Tag Archives: photography

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!

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.

 

Looking For Doors..

It was by accident that I stumbled upon ” The Daily Post’s Photo Challenge “.

I never knew it existed !! Anyway I decided to give it a shot.

Early mornings and late evenings provide ideal lighting in these parts. Shooting in the mid day is a bad idea. It’s very hot, very humid and the sun is right above you blotting out every detail in the sky.

I decided to venture out at sunrise. There’s not much time even then. The rise is fast, usually within half an hour and the warmth turns into heat quickly. I don’t have a thermostat, so I Googled the temperature. 34 degrees celsius at 5.46 am!

I live in a relatively old area in Jeddah. There is decay all around. Everything is in various stages of decay. Buildings are old and not very well maintained. It struck me, there were no good-looking doors anywhere. Most of them were the same, as if the entire area was supplied by the same door company. There was just one door that was relatively new. And guess what ? That belonged to my apartment, because its only 4 years old ! Looking around I realized all doors in this neighbourhood are made of metal. I never noticed it or gave it much thought before today. Every door is Iron or iron and glass. This is in stark contrast from my native country – India, where most doors are made of  solid wood .

I’ll stop ranting now and post the images I selected for today –

A Door With Character

Metal Door, Brick Wall

Glass Door

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Door.”

Walking In The Neighbourhood ……

It was surprising what I could find on an early morning walk in this most boring and ordinary neighborhood.
And I learned something from this as well. If you don’t find anything interesting, you can still shoot images of the ordinary. The things you find around you.

Like this, spilled cup of tea?

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Or, this solitary crushed 7up can that some bored soul drank sitting boredly, on those uninspiring steps.

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If u start to really look, you would probably see something like this everyday.
A bright, hot and hazy sunrise.

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Speaking of sunrise, you can also see the light falling against the buildings, highlighting some surfaces and leaving the rest in shadow.

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Almost every growing city has these old abandoned cars, left to rot in the sun. Ironically you see newer cars parked right next to them. As if that were some sort of statement. ??

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And post boxes. What else can one use them for ?

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And my favorite – The stray cat and her litter. Parking themselves near garbage dumps and near busy apartment complexes. The kittens peacefully having their morning breakfast.

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