11 March 2014

Khobar Corniche

A couple weeks ago we made a trip down to Khobar--the city about 90 mins away from us.  While Jubail does have a decent amount of stores for a small town, if you have specific things you are looking for you are much more likely to find them in Khobar.  Khobar feels a little more like home with its big malls (that have some stores with names we actually recognize), Ikea, larger grocery stores, and lots of familiar restaurants.  And every once in awhile it is just good to get out of Jubail.  :-)

We had several stops planned and were going to finish our outing by eating lunch at Taco Bell.  I've probably eaten at Taco Bell less than 5 times in my entire life, but it is strange what feels like 'home' to you when you are far away!  Anyway, we cut things a little too close and ending up barely missing getting in the door before prayer started, so we were locked out for about 45 mins.  Fortunately we were in a good place to wander around for a bit--the Khobar Corniche.

I wasn't familiar with the term 'corniche' before I came over here, but pretty much all of the coastal towns and cities on the Arabian peninsula seem to have one.  From what I can tell, it is basically an area along the beach with a wide sidewalk, parks and grass.  If I had to 'translate' the word, I would choose 'boardwalk'.

As we were wandering around we happened upon an open-air mosque.  I snapped these two pictures since there wasn't anyone around.  But sure enough, people (men) did come over to pray once the 2nd prayer call sounded.

There IS recycling in Saudi!

Here are more pictures that I took of the Corniche (on a previous visit) with my nice camera.  This is the first and so far only time I've been brave enough to use my camera over here outside of a compound.  I had a large-ish purse with my camera inside and I would wait until no one was around, pull my camera out, snap a picture and then drop it back in my bag--not exactly ideal photography conditions.  :-) 

It would have been easy to Photoshop the trash out of the picture, but this is SO Saudi that I left it in.  Sadly the locals don't seem to be overly concerned with taking care of their country and the parks aren't always that clean, despite the army of low-wage workers who are always working to keep things nice and tidy.

It looks like during warmer weather (a very relative term) these may have water running.  We'll have to check it out later in the year.  Overall I have always been impressed at how much work this country puts into making Saudi not feel like the desert that it is.  Tons of irrigation to keep things green (again a relative term) and colorful.