Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Visiting a American-like city, Within the Desert

Yes, after 4 months of living in "Opposite World," as we all call it now, I was ready to take a little break and step back into someplace different that was a little more "Americanized." So, my sweet husband drove me 3 1/2 hours away to a quaint little city called Yanbu. He actually grew up in Yanbu, as a young child and he took us on a family tour through the neighborhood that looked like a little piece of America. I was amazed and thrilled to see cute little houses sitting on green grassy yards. The streets were nicely paved, without potholes. Unlike Jeddah, people obeyed traffic lights, followed the speed limit and stopped at stop signs. Parks and playgrounds sat on the corners of several neighborhoods. For a moment, I felt like I was in Florida as we drove between a long stretch of towering palm trees.

During our day trip, we decided to spend the night in a hotel and believe it or not, we stayed in a Radisson. It was more pricey than we planned, but there were no available rooms elsewhere. This was the end of the Hajj vacation, so we should have known. On the other hand, the cost was about 70% of what we would have paid in Florida for a beach front room.

We awoke to a nice "super-sized" American style breakfast buffet. It was complete with bacon, waffles, fresh fruit, cereal and omelettes. It was so tasty! Not too far away, we could see the beach outside of our window. It was pretty much deserted so we thought we would go for a swim. Being that we were near the industrial part of Yanbu, the beaches had a little grime and slime along the shore. We decided to just stand and look at the water, instead of swim in it! Either way, it was nice to be able to drive our car right up on the sand near the water.

After not swimming at the Beach, we went for a little drive past the shipyard. We saw the import "ports" and a cute little orange tugboat. Next, we happened upon a historical site where old buildings were toppled one on top of the other. The archways of the former doors and windows were strikingly exquisite! The blue, red and green doors were like artwork just sitting there waiting to be discovered. So, once again, I pulled out my trusty iPhone and snapped some photo's of "Old Yanbu."

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