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.
Taken during a relatively cold December in Saudi Arabia!
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:
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 !
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.
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.
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.
Once u descend Aqabat King Fahad, a turn to the right will take you to Thi Ain. A well preserved ruin!
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.
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…..
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Today Was a Good Day.”
A few photographs on the way To Al Lith, approximately 175 kms from Jeddah.
We actually went to visit the National Aquaculture Company, which has the largest integrated shrimp farms in the world.
Unfortunately, I dont have permission to post pictures taken from there.
Instead, here are some images made during the journey. On the road….
Please do leave your comments.
Welcome to Briman Car Junk Yard, Jeddah!
This is one huge junk yard, with old and scrapped cars lying in heaps and bunches.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a lens that can capture the length and breadth of this place.
A lot of people come here to scavenge for tyres etc.
That yellow machine probably compresses those cars to metal pulp:
So much Metal:
And to conclude, a beautifully rusted underside !
Some photographs from my early morning walks from the last 2 weeks.
This is the probably the only time of day when u find a bluish tinge to the light in Saudi Arabia. Natural light patterns are usually very predictable with little variation !
None of these were taken on the same day.
A few minutes before sunrise:
The Clouds, a few minutes after sunrise:
A lamp post in the early morning hours, with the orangish-yellow light nicely contrasting with the deep blue sky:
A sweeper cleaning the streets before rush hour:
An abandoned truck in a local car junk yard:
I will be doing a separate post on this junk yard in a few days.
Please leave your comments and opinions