The long hot summer in Riyadh

Greetings from Riyadh where it is another day of sun!

Things have been very quiet here on the blog since the end of Ramadan. Basically we went on holiday to Thailand (which was fab!) and came back to the desert heat of Riyadh. While we were away the temperatures suddenly jumped ten degrees from 36 to 46 – and they will stay around that until the end of August. Most days are the same, sometimes there is also a hot wind and last week there was a duststorm which lasted the whole day and was particularly unpleasant – very, very hot, cloudy and so dusty you couldn’t go out without your hair and mouth covered.

The schools here are also closed for the summer which means many of the ex-pat families (Mums and children) have headed back to their home countries for a couple of months to escape the heat, and because there are so few people around all compound social activities are suspended making things very quiet. It is also generally very quiet in Riyadh as well.

So with things being so quiet there has not been much material for the blog! We did go to a stargazing event at Yamamah Park in the DQ one evening which was interesting:

Is there life out there??

Basically it happened because one guy decided to set up his telescope and open it to the public to enable them to gaze the night sky. When he got 300+ registering to attend he asked a telescope shop to set up another couple of instruments. To make it more of an event there was an ice cream van and chairs and tables were set up under water spraying fans to keep everyone cool in the night heat – and in traditional Saudi style families arrived laden with picnics which they ate on rugs under the trees. There was a huge full moon and we were able to see Jupiter in all its glory.

Yamamah Park Star Gazing Event, Riyadh

Events like this are still very new to KSA – for many years since the early 1980s there were no organised social events other than individual family gatherings, but under Vision 2030 that is beginning to change. Currently there is a festival season being held in Jeddah (Fifty Cent and Janet Jackson performed at a huge open air concert last week) and there is to be a Riyadh Festival season in the autumn (details to be announced). Last year, which was the first Riyadh festival season Cirque du Soleil performed, so we are looking forward to see what will be coming our way!!

To escape the heat (marginally!) and for a change of scene we went on a last minute trip last month to Cairo to see the pyramids. The husband said when we are currently only a two hour flight away it would be a travesty not to go and see them – so off we went! And they were AMAZING!! Cairo is one crazy city though – we thought the driving was hair raising in Riyadh – Cairo takes it all to another level!!

And that’s about all I have for this blog – as I say it has mostly been quiet and HOT lol!

I did however, take a photo of two supermarket items which you don’t see on your average weekly shop at Sainsbury’s Forestside:

And that’s all for this blog folks, hopefully it won’t be so long until the next one!!

Stay cool!

Anne :0)

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