Musings on Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

October 10, 2007 – Wednesday

Jeddah Musings…
Current mood:
curious
Category:
Travel and Places

Tonight we traveled to the port city of Jeddah.  My impressions are fleeting as it was dark and this was a quick trip but I’d like to share a few observations.First as we were driving on the highway I noticed a sign for an exit which stated “Islamic Port of Jeddah.”  I asked my spouse what was the difference between an islamic port and non-islamic port.  Always quick with an answer he advised that the islamic port wears a hijjab….  I also got a fleeting nighttime glimpse of the Corniche.  I was not aware until tonight that the Corniche in Jeddah has a magnificent water fountain which arises from the water and can be seen from quite a distance.  Again, according to my knowledgable husband this is supposed to be one of the tallest water fountains in the world.  It reminded me of the water fountain in Lac Leman in Geneva, Switzerland but on a larger scale.  It was magnificent.We also passed by the American consulate but due to the attempted attacks on the consulate in the past few years all one can see in driving by is the high wall and lots and lots of barbed wire.  The King’s Jeddah palace, Royal Court and palace of the Crown Prince are also on this same street.  Not surprisingly there are all quite majestic buildings.  The King’s palace naturally has a seaside view.Also on this same street were reminders of home (in this case referring to USA) with TGI Friday’s, Ruby Tuesday’s, Chili’s and the usual American fast food restaurants.This brief glimpse of Jeddah illuminated a dynamic moderate city.  I say moderate because we also passed one restaurant which had rooftop seating.  To my surprise (and delight) I saw both men and women seated.  Usually in the Kingdom one will not see men and women openly in a mixed environment.  It should be noted that the women were all clad in abayas.We plan to return again to Jeddah within the next few days and I am eager to see more of this city.

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