Our Adventures in Sri Lanka

Safaris to spot leopards and elephants, swimming in the Indian Ocean, sipping tea in the mountains, and several more!

Our Nile Cruise

Starting in Cairo, we sailed to Luxor, Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Aswan.

Trouble at Sea: Our Red Sea Dive Trip in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia

The Red Sea is one of the top diving destinations in the world, but Saudi Arabia is a very restrictive country to get into. That alone would have made the trip memorable...but then things went south and the Saudi Coast Guard and a hospital got involved.

Our Expedition to Jordan

Highlights included tracing the steps of Indiana Jones into Petra, following Lawrence of Arabia into Wadi Rum, and floating in the Dead Sea.

Discovering Turkey

We emersed ourselves in Istanbul, explored the white travertines of Pamukkale, and traced history through Laodikeia, Hierolopolis, and Cleopatra's Baths.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jeddah Festival 2016

There aren't too many festivals in Jeddah, but the biggest one is the Jeddah Festival. Unlike the religious holidays of Ramadan, Eid al-FitrHajj, and Eid Al-Adha, the Jeddah Festival is the rare secular celebration and if focuses on the history of the local area. If you didn't know, Jeddah is in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia, which has always seen itself as separate from the rest of Saudi Arabia. I have another post with more details on the Hejaz region, so this post will focus on Jeddah in particular.
Welcome to the Jeddah Festival!
So I drove down to Jeddah's Old Town (Al Balad) and walked up to the festival entrance using a map I found. You can see my starting point was the red arrow, and there were almost 70 sites identified (in Arabic) for me to see. Spoiler alert: I didn't see them all. But what I did see was how the residents of Jeddah used to live way back when.

And since it's a festival, there were lots of traditional Saudi cuisine that I got to try:
So the map had three routes, as you probably guessed from the map above. If that wasn't enough, the pamphlet also had individual routes. Seemed redundant, but I guess they were slightly larger. I mostly followed Route 1 (the red one) today, but I'm putting all the maps up here so I can access them next time I'm in Al-Balad and I need a map:
Route 1
Route 2
Route 3
And now for the photos of the festival:
Old men playing board games at the coffeeshop

Monday, January 04, 2016

One Year In: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

We just finished the first year of our assignment to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with the U.S. Foreign Service. It's hard to describe just how foreign things are to those who haven't been here, but the following posts might give you some idea.

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End Of Tour Summary: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

We spent two and a half years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on our second tour in the Foreign Service with the US Department of State. As you migh...

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