It’s beginning to feel … a little less warm in Riyadh as the temperatures cool down to a very pleasant 20 degrees, in fact this morning it’s 17 degrees and cloudy which meant I was able to enjoy a foray out to the local shops on foot – but more of that later.
This week we went to Abu Dhabi. It was effectively my husband Stephen and his US work colleagues’ Christmas-do which they invited me to tag along on. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt on the Corniche and had a fabulous time!! Travelling within the GCC countries (Gulf Cooperation Council) is a little different for one thing there are no limits on liquids which is v helpful! Riyadh airport is made up a number of terminals which are all quite striking in their design but are all quite small:
The duty free is also rather limited but it does sell this…(spoiler alert for homecoming presents ;o) !!)
We travelled Saudia airways and before take off, after the security and safety announcement there was an additional film – a prayer to Allah:
We had a great time in Abu Dhabi – there are some photos on my instagram (anne.mcgrath248) if you want to check them out.
Today as I said it is cooler and cloudier than it has been so I took myself out for a walk to the local shops – the general area we live in is still under development so it is not very pretty and it feels a little nerve wracking to step out on your own, but I decided I was just going to do it – and I had a great time! I found a row of shops including a fruit and veg, nut and spice shop, pharmacy and a mini supermarket.
The guys in the nut shop and fruit and veg shop were great craic – they were all keen to chat and teach me words in Arabic. Everyone here also asks where you are from and to a person no one has heard of Belfast or Ireland! I think I will try and get a small map of the world to carry around so I can show them!! Anyway, in the nut shop I got some raisins from Yemen and they are the most delicious thing – I think I will be a regular at these little shops! The fruit and veg man said he will do free deliveries so when it comes too hot to walk I can just phone him up with my order = result!!
Anyway that’s all for this instalment – it’s definitely NOT beginning to feel like Christmas here but I have made an attempt at a Christmas tree:
So Christmas wishes to you all from the desert – the blog will be back in the New Year!