Yes, you read it correctly. I did actually put the words Saudi Arabia, female and solo travel next to each other and I am just as excited about that possibility to occur as some of my readers may be confused. 🙂
For a blogger or a writer of any sorts, there is nothinng better than getting in touch with his or her readers. Since I started this blog, I have received many E- Mails from Saudis and internationals, journalists and PhD students, filled with praise for my work or questions regarding my experiences in Saudi and of course some occasional, inevitable criticism.
If any of you are reading this right now: Thank you very much for your time, you are what keeps my work going. I love you all, even my critics!
A couple of months ago, just as I was pacing in front of the lecture hall before my first exam of the semester, I received an E-Mail from Kiera, a lady living in Dhahran who asked me what I would recommend for a short trip to Riyadh. I stood still for a second. Traveling alone in Saudi? As a woman? ALONE?? That was definitely interesting! Women traveling in KSA was nothing new but the ones I knew of did so in groups of at least three in the company of their personal driver.
I immediately forgot about my exam stress as my head started filling with questions. My trip to Jeddah at the end of my stay in the Kingdom ended up not happening so I didn’t really know what to tell her. I admired her decision to take a trip to Riyadh by herself. I wished I would have had the time and the courage to do the same so I did the best I could and told her about things I had done in Riyadh and some of the things I wished I had done, had there been more time and more opportunities.
Today, I am beyond happy to share her story with you! To give you a taste of what awaits you, here’s my favorite quote so far: “People in Riyadh are open-minded but the laws are strict somewhat”.
Recently, somebody stumbled upon my blog through the search term “beautiful places in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia”. As I have been on another quite amazing trip today, I thought of writing about THE most fascinating place in Riyadh in case there are any other people looking for things to do in the kingdom.
Today I have visited a place that is called “the edge of the world”. It is not the edge of the world literally but it is a place with a fantastic view that may make the one or the other think about the edge of the world.
After driving in the desert near Riyadh for several hours, we came to a place from where one has an impressive view into the valley.
For me it was just a picturesque little spot where one would just feel free while enjoying the view.
This place seems to be popular by locals and expats, based on the remains of ashes in the sand. It seems to be a nice location to come to for a picnic and grill some food. I was told that it gets especially full in the afternoon. Deserts can be very romantic, too. If you choose to come here when it gets dark, you can bring a tent, make a campfire and watch the stars and (mostly) full moon. Either from your fireplace or from the roof of your car. I will make sure to try this out in the remaining ten months that I have in the kingdom.
If you decide to come here (and I would really recommend you to do so), beware that there is no real road in the desert and that the ground is covered with stones and small rocks. For your own safety, make sure your company and you do the trip to this, and any other desert, in two cars. For the desert, a Jeep or some car simillar to that would do best and always have at leastone spare tire with you. Getting a flat tire in a desert like this one is easier than you think.
Places like this one are really worth a visit. Personally, whenever I go on such a trip and get to see such landscapes and camels on the street and all the other things Riyadh has to offer, I immediately know that it was surely worth moving here.