Monday, April 07, 2014

A Weekend in Jeddah - Day 2: Friday, 4th April, 2014

I slept for a long time, waking up at nearly half past eleven in the morning. After my prayers, I decided to take my car and do a little local travelling and sight-seeing. My Note 3 was fully charged, and I would need that to turn on Navigation with Google Maps and the GPS, as well as to take pictures of interesting sights. I was raring to go. There was no time for breakfast or tea, so off I went, first reaching the sea-side near Corniche area, north Jeddah. This is a sea-front full of 5-star hotels, interesting street furniture, round-abouts with lovely sculptures, and a sea view to die for. They have constructed a viewing pier which has three spokes. People walk up to the end of this pier, and either just stand there, or sit, or fish. I just stood there and watched a few locals do some serious fishing. I mean they had these awesome professional fishing rods, and used squid as bait! 

At the Jeddah shore, waters of the Red Sea are crystal clear, dark blue and very deep. Swimming is prohibited. Fishing is the main reason people come here on weekends. Although I did not stay long to see the results of the endeavours of the locals, I did move around, watching the incessant movement of the sea water, the coastal birds, and the local people who had made their way to the shore to do some loafing around. 

The spoked pier in Jeddah at the Red Sea shore, Corniche

That is a squid being used as a bait

A view of the Island mosque

Black-winged stilt

Black-crowned night heron

A Ruddy Turnstone (name provided by my friend Salil Choksi, an avid birder)

A gull in flight

Gull waiting for its lunch

A sea gull in full flight
 After a long stay here at the beach, I proceeded to a Toys R Us store nearby. This store is also known as Iceland store as the store has a very big skating rink on its ground floor. The first floor is mostly full of rides for small children, as can be seen in the pictures below.

The skating rink at Iceland
 From here, I proceeded via a few brief detours, to the large and magnificent Red Sea Mall. This mall has over 12 entrances, is spread over several blocks and has almost all the things we need to buy from the shelves. Here is a picture of Gate #1 of the mall.

The main gate of the Red Sea Mall
The mall is spread over three floors. The ground floor has a lovely water fountain that seems to spring directly from the ground! The next floor has hundreds of show-rooms, while the top floor, in addition to shops, also has one of the largest food courts I have ever seen. It is a pleasure to simply do window shopping here. I spent nearly three hours here, visiting many shops, and purchasing  lots of this and that at the department store "Danube".  
The water fountain on the ground floor of the Red Sea Mall.

After leaving the mall, I had a troublesome time finding my way back to the hotel (Al-Husna Al-Mutatawerah) as I had no GPS ... my cell batteries had died completely. It was at about half past nine that I finally reached my hotel. I left my luggage at the counter, then drove a few km to reach a stretch of Street 70 that has over half a dozen Pakistani restaurants. I ate my dinner at Zahra Restaurant. I ordered "chaamp masala". The lamb meat was pre-boiled, as it mostly is in small restaurants all over the Kingdom. The gravy was super. After a rather heavy meal, I returned to the hotel, where I went to sleep at 1:00 a.m.

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