Saudi-Road Trip Top Ten

Last week I skipped posting because I was on a week long road trip around Saudi-Arabia. Our journey was awesome, surprising and eventful. Promise to post about it very soon with pictures from the most amazing places I never thought existed in the Magic Kingdom. For the Saudi Road Trip Part One from Riyadh to Abha post click here!

So here are the Top Ten things from life on the road in Saudi Arabia.

En route on our road trip my daughter met her great-great grandmother in this small village south of Riyadh.It was an amazing experience to get in touch with relatives from many generations away. I could never imagine anyone in Finland having this chance but in Saudi people married early (she was married at 14) and had lots of children so that is how it’s even possible.

It was Eid Al Adha time in Saudi and we saw LOTS of sheep on their way to Saudi families dinner tables. This also meant more traffic on the roads.

We bought five jars of delicious honey in the Abha mountains from this friendly  Saudi man who told us the honey had been harvested in the Yemeni mountains. It was so delicious!
Pink houses are very popular in Abha and Gizan, I really don’t understand why this particular color is so common. I’ve never seen so many pink houses and villas and all sorts of buildings anywhere around the world before. I think it’s funny so many Saudi men actually live in “princess pink” houses! Read my post about the popularity on pink color (especially among men) in Saudi-Arabia here:

I LOVE seashells! Another thing I collect from around the world. My house has LOTS of seashells as decorations all over, and also sand from around the world.

Most of the beaches on main Island of Farasan are ruined with trash! I was so saddened and disappointed to see even the one of the islands upscale hotel, the Farasan Coral resort was ridden with litter! Huge change from last visit in 2008 and big disappointment. To read more about trash and littering problem in Saudi-Arabia read this post:
These women were giggling and pointing at me following me around and acting really immature and rude. They started taking my picture with cameras and cellphones, which I don’t have a problem with per se, but I do when people are openly making fun of me. So I whopped out my BIG camera and started taking their picture, they turned around and got upset. Sheesh.

Back in Riyadh this week at Dirah souq they were selling these huge rings with a container on them.  What are they used for we asked the salesman? He said drugs like hashis!  I think the salesman might have made that up to make them seem more exotic or something.

This is the first all blue abaya I have found on sale in Riyadh at this very same souk. I didn’t like the design of the abaya that much so I didn’t buy it.

My baby has been under the weather this week and that’s another reason I haven’t had time to post. She felt a little better and we took a walk around the Diplomatic Quarter parks. She loves to look at the fountains there and it seemed to cheer her up. The weather was perfect for a picnic this time of the year in the Kingdom the weather is so lovely and pleasant not too hot or cold yet. We are expecting the winter rains to start soon though and that should make everything look more green and more flowers will start blooming soon.


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  • AnonymousNovember 15, 2011 - 11:46 am

    A good post and lovely pictures as always. Update on your road trip please :)ReplyCancel

  • LaylahNovember 15, 2011 - 3:59 pm

    Thanks! I will try to do that very soon but first I need to go through some 3000+ pics :/ReplyCancel

  • DentographerNovember 15, 2011 - 8:14 pm

    i just admire how you see the beautiful side in everything in this country,godbless,and kudos for making those women taste thier own medicine!ReplyCancel

  • IldiNovember 15, 2011 - 8:34 pm

    Dear Laylah, regret for your daughter’s illness. I hope she got better. Finally at home probably she would heal soon.

    I love new pictures. I was amazed how nice that sheep pick-up truck was. It reminds me to kindergarten’s fences.hehe Saudis have t be colourful nation inside maybe they like to hid whatever they have… nice job! I missed you :)
    Have a lovely evening/night.ReplyCancel

  • KhadijahNovember 15, 2011 - 6:56 pm

    i am married to a Saudi and inshaa’Allah would love to move with him to his hometown….
    Can you please email me so I can ask you more about the life in Saudi personally?

    I also have a blog please visit
    reverted in March of this year and I’m from Canada :) !!
    I hope we talk soon Jazakilah KheyrReplyCancel

  • LaylahNovember 15, 2011 - 10:16 pm

    Thank you Khadija for your comment!Nice to meet you :) You can find my email address in the contact section I would love to hear more from you. I visited your blog I liked how you designed it, have not seen that before!

    Dentographer-thanks :)I hope they learned a lesson. But I highly doubt it.ReplyCancel

  • LaylahNovember 15, 2011 - 10:23 pm

    Hi dear Ildi so nice to hear from you always!
    My daughter is much better now and was all smiles as her usual self tonight, so I am relieved!
    Those trucks are quite common here, they transport all sorts off stuff in them, this time it was livestock, but could be hay or barrels too.

    Sandy-Last time we went was xmas/new years time, so not that big in Saudi terms I guess. But back then there was NOBODY there, I mean on the whole island we were the only tourists. Even the the marina had only one small boat for chartering, now it was devolped and full of boats to take tourists out, whic they did to the same few islands. They tried to take us there too, we told them its disgusting and we will not set foot on such a dump. Also my husband lectured the fisherman saying its their responsibility to make sure the ppl they take out leave with their refuse to take anyone back without them cleaning up!!

    Anyways, like you I just don’t get it. They honestly dont seem to mind the crap whatsoever!!ReplyCancel

  • NoorNovember 15, 2011 - 11:01 pm

    I hope you daughter feels better soon inshAllah I know its going around. My dh and I were already sick alhumdullah Talal did not catch that. The pictures are pretty mashAllah TONS of my dh’s family are in ahba I would love to go inshAllah one day I know them all and we get along so well. His great grandmother is there too. I also collect seashells :)ReplyCancel

  • SandyNovember 15, 2011 - 8:35 pm

    The last time, when the beach was clean did you go at a holiday time? More than 20 years ago we went to a beach in the middle of nowhere north of Jizan right after Hajj and it was like paradise as we drove up- and then along the shoreline trashed. People camped and just dumped everything right there. Even pampers. It is unbelievable to me- though maybe a remnant of true bedo living when everything was burned or eaten or biodegradable. But they camped with their kids in that mess! I don’t get it.

    Good for you for taken pictures of those women,

    and Khadija if you live in Canada be glad and stay there if you can.ReplyCancel

  • KhadijahNovember 15, 2011 - 10:23 pm

    Assalamualykum sister !!!
    I sent you an email hehee :) I hope you will be able to respond soon inshaa’Allah!!!! thank you!!! I hope you find my blog as interesting as I do yours !! (I mean the content hehehe)

  • Lady StaplerNovember 16, 2011 - 8:41 am

    Get well soon little one!

    Serves them right to have a taste of their own medicine. (the rude women)

    Great pictures, I love the seashells.ReplyCancel

  • LaylahNovember 16, 2011 - 10:07 pm

    Thanks Noor! She is much better, already herself today.You should def. visit Abha but I would not recommend going now, everything is closed its off season + its freezing :)ReplyCancel

  • LaylahNovember 16, 2011 - 10:12 pm

    Lady Stapler-thank you!Yup, what goes around comes around as they say..ReplyCancel

  • DeemaNovember 17, 2011 - 7:35 am

    lol i found it funny of what u did to the ladies in the abayat.. how dare they point at u and laugh at u? rude rude ppl
    i love collecting seashells, im glad u had fun …
    p.s. happy belated EidReplyCancel

  • AnonymousNovember 17, 2011 - 8:49 am

    Salam..inshallah a quick recovery for ure cute little one mashallah.
    The photos were so cool thanks for always giving an interesting look into saudi. Btw just curious as to why the saudi women were laughing and making fun..don’t u look the same as them (i remember ure wedding photo in overhead abaya and u would never tell u were not saudi)? or can saudis spot a foreigner a mile away? lol

  • AnonymousNovember 18, 2011 - 10:06 am

    My thought exactly. Why where they laughing and pointing and taking pictures of you, that’s quite odd!ReplyCancel

  • LaylahNovember 18, 2011 - 8:44 pm

    Hi Deema! That happens occasionally, I dont know why they do it, never seen a western woman before? It happened on Farasan island so it might be.
    Happy belated Eid to you too!ReplyCancel

  • LaylahNovember 19, 2011 - 5:09 am

    GawjusGurl-I don’t look the same as then might be the most simple answer to your question why they laughed at me..I only wore that overhead abaya once to cover my pregnancy belly. BUT even on the occasions I wore a niqab, Saudis will spot a foreigner from miles away, and stare.ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousNovember 19, 2011 - 9:51 am

    @laylah..thanks for replying.i noticed they do it quite a lot too and laughed so much when u told us how u got out ure camera and pointed it in their direction..loool u go girl!
    _Gawjus GurlReplyCancel

  • LaylahNovember 20, 2011 - 12:22 pm

    Ms Rosenstare-I don’t cover my face but as I said on the occasions that I did do it the reaction was the same!ReplyCancel

  • Ms RosenstareNovember 20, 2011 - 9:50 am

    Now I’m curious, how could the women see that you are a western woman? I thought you also use abaya and cover your face? The orange ring was marvellously modest!ReplyCancel

  • drtaherJune 17, 2013 - 2:52 pm

    Dear Layla,

    I enjoyed these “snapshots” from your experience. My favourite were those rings, and the picture of the sheep making their way to the Saudi dinner table. LOL, you have a great sense of humor! So, are the sheep going to the abattoir first or will they go straight to the table, ha ha.

    Dr. TaherReplyCancel

  • Mom’s Adventures in the Magic Kingdom » Blue AbayaAugust 13, 2014 - 5:27 am

    […] souvenir shop we found on our roadtrip. Mom bought replicas of houses of the Najran region. She was delighted to find the exact same ones […]ReplyCancel

  • 185 Things to Do in Saudi ArabiaDecember 5, 2014 - 4:08 am

    […]  11. SAUDI-ROAD TRIP TOP TEN […]ReplyCancel

  • […] My mother recently visited us in Saudi and we wanted to show her as much as we could of the country so we decided to go on a road trip around Southern Saudi-Arabia. What an awesome way to explore the Kingdom! I love the fact that you can stop wherever and whenever you like to check out the surroundings. It was Eid Al-Adha time and my husband got almost two whole weeks off work. We planned to have the following itinerary: Riyadh-Kharj-Layla-Wadi Al Dawasir-Khamis Mushayt-Abha-Jizan-Farasan…and back. But we ended up improvising and changed plans on the way, which makes road trips all the more fun! In this post you’ll read about the journey from Riyadh through cities of al Kharj, Wadi Al Dawsir, Khamis Mushayt all the way to Abha which is about 900km. Check out all the amazing things which you can do in and around Abha in this post: Top 10 Things to do in Abha. More about the rest of our road trip in this post: “Saudi Road Trip” […]ReplyCancel

  • EthelMay 7, 2019 - 5:45 pm

    Hi. I plan to go on a road trip with my family for the Eid Holidays. Are we ok and safe to go with a 4-year old Mazda6 or do we need to rent an SUV? Pls send me names of hotels you stayed on your stop-over and in Abha. Thanks! :)ReplyCancel

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