Calendar   Home
Previous Day

April 18, 2002

Next Day
After an overnight bus ride, we arrive on Saudi’s West Coast. We’ve traveled the breadth of Saudi Arabia. We used our passports to buy domestic bus tickets (traveling between cities in Saudi Arabia is almost like traveling to another country), and police checked our passports at roadstops along the way. The government prohibits non-Muslims from entering Mecca or Medina so they stamp your passport with your religious affiliation. A freeway for non-Muslims goes around the holy cities. The bus dropped us in Jeddah, a free city and port on the Red Sea.
Before oil Jeddah made its living from the pilgrim traffic, Muslims making their way to the holy cities through this gate, the one facing Mecca.
Coral houses lean inwards and showcase intricate stonework and rowasheen (the old wooden balconies).
The old British Legation building stands in the shadow a modern highrise. Lawrence of Arabia once stayed in this small building, now a museum.