Category Archives: what to do in riyadh

Guest Post:24hrs in Riyadh- Female Solo Travel in Saudi Arabia

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”.

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Desert Landscapes, Camel Farms

Even though I planned on staying home over the Hajj break, so I could study the material that I have missed, I could not resist and go on a short trip to the desert, about two hours away from Riyadh.

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It was more of a stony desert, so I couldn’t find any “desert diamonds”, which are small pieces that look like glass and look like diamonds once polished properly. These can only be found in deserts with more dunes and less stones. However, my company and I found some very interesting looking stones, that looked very much like fossils.

I walked around the place in my abaya despite the burning sun, just in case some locals may show up and I must say it was quite hot but not as hot as I feared it would be. It was not hot enough for me to pass out during our two hour stay, so it can’t have been too bad. Furthermore, that large black cloak prevented the majority of my body from being grilled in the sun. I knew that there is also a practical part to these kinds of clothing. One most always see the positive side of things! 🙂

As we were on our way back, we passed by a camel farm. It was huge, pretty much in the middle of nowhere and the camels there were just so cute! Black camels, light brown camels and even white camels. But not some sort of yellowish white but very light and clean white. Maybe I would even have bought one, if they were not so expensive and if I didn’t have a cat at home already, not to mention how gigantic camels are.

But even though I will probably never own a camel, I at least have this picture to remember this little guy who came to “greet” us, as we were on our way back home . 🙂

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