A Travellerspoint blog

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA

Gateway to Mecca

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We have sailed around the Arabian Peninsula and we are now in the Red Sea, half way between Egypt and Saudi Arabia! We sailed through the Gulf of Aden with extra security. In addition to the Indian guards who have been on duty on the outer decks since we left Cape Town, there was a period of 24 hours when passengers were not allowed on the outer decks and we were also guarded by the Japanese Navy!
The entry card for our morning tour in Jeddah makes it clear that punishments can be harsh in Saudi Arabia, to say the least!

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Many of the ports we have been in are not accustomed to having cruise ships. They are working ports for shipping and commerce. This Maersk container ship may be the largest in the world! Jeddah is the 2nd largest city in Saudi Arabia and is the gateway to Mecca.

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At one of the largest Camel Markets in Saudi Arabia we were able to get up close and personal with these “ships of the desert” (or “dessert” as pronounced by our Saudi guide).

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Every day this market comes alive with vendors and buyers making deals on camels, sheep, goats and goods such as saddles, halters and blankets.

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We watched this little flock respond to the smallest hand gestures of their shepherd as they were herded through an intersection.

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Also on sale are wood and charcoal for outside fires – indoors they cook on gas. The shelter in the photo is used by the vendor to escape the heat of the sun. I can’t even imagine how hot it is here in the summer! Not to mention how much riper the smell.

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The southern part of the city looks like a really big land fill – kind of a surprise after our last ports in Oman and the U.A.E.

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We had some time to walk around in the Old City – and found that we visitors were the main attraction!

Posted by Swenigale 22:42

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