Riyadh, KSA
الرياض، المملكة العربية السعودية

The Āl Suʿūd آل سُعُود family is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia.
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Murabba Palace courtyard, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — December 28, 2022

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Masmak Palace, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — December 28, 2022

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Vintage royal family cars, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — December 28, 2022

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At-Turaif, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — December 28, 2022

Fireworks at Boulevard World durkig Riyadh Season, Saudi Arabia — December 29, 2022

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Shopping in Souk al Zel, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — December 28, 2022

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Kingdom Center in blue, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — December 28, 2022

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Quran, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — December 28, 2022

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Walking in Al Safa square, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — December 28, 2022

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Information, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — December 28, 2022

Saudi Arabia 2022 Journal

Sunday, Dec 26 — SFO

I take a slow Lyft to the airport, visit the Polaris lounge which is finally open again, and board Lufthansa flight LH 455. At 14:40, our Boeing 747-8 (D-ABYH) takes off. It is a great flight.

Monday, Dec 27 — Frankfurt, Germany

We land at FRA Frankfurt Germany Rhein-Main, a bit before our scheduled arrival of 10:25am. I visit the lounge, try a German beer and a pretzel, and then board Lufthansa LH 636. At 12:15, our Airbus A330-300 (D-AIKP) takes off. We land at RUH Riad Saudi Arabia King Khalid Airport at 19:55. Immigration is vivid, colorful and fast. I grab my bags, hail a taxi and we speed off to the Cantonal Hotel by Warwick فندق كانتونال من ورويك. On arrival, the doorman offers me my first cup of Arabic coffee, or qahwa, served from a dallah دَلَّة, or traditional Arabic coffee pot. I learn the brew is made from green coffee beans and cardamom, and is yellowish brown in color because it is only briefly roasted giving it a higher caffeine and water content. It tastes wonderful. I check into room 807, which has a lovely view of the Kindom Tower. I take a walk around town and enjoy the chilly evening after such a long flight. I somehow manage to fall asleep eventually.

Tuesday, Dec 28 — Riyadh

Breakfast at hotel; Uber to Murabba historical palace, in Al Murabba. From here I walk through the Al Futah neighborhood through many market streets, mostly with South Asian folks. I contineu on to the Al Dirah neighboorhod and pass many traditional mud buildings in ruin. I continue to Al Safa square and onto the Al Masmak Fortress; shop at Souq Al Zel and walk around the nearby neighborhood, waiting for the bulk of Souq Al Zem to open at 3:30pm. I have a hard time finding a restaurant but eventaully find a vendor selling an amazing traditional Saudi stew called marqoq/markouk/markook مرقوق لحم. Whatever the spelling, it is fantastic and I devour it. Around 5pm I Uber back to my hotel.

Met Abdulelah at Eclat coffee shop at سعود عبدالله الشمري،, Al Khuzama, Riyadh 12572. From there we head to the The LINE Exhibition at 7120 Muhammad Ibn Rashid Al Uraini, Al Diriyah Al Jadidah, 2598, Riyadh 13732. Jetlag hits a bit, but we motivate to the At-Turaif World Heritage Site, and walk around for serval hours.

Wednesday, Dec 29 — Riyadh

Breakfast, swim in hotel, and slower morning. I walk to the Kingdom Center and take an elvevator to the 77th floor, where I catch another elevator to the 99th-floor observation deck, which has the most amazing view in all directions of Riyadh. Afterwood, I walk around the mall and visit an oud incense shop where the clerk gives me a demo of various types of oud wood. I hit up a parfume shop and chat with lady wearing a niqab. She is quite feisty and ends up selling me a bottle of the local Reef brand. Jetlag hitting, but I head of to Blvd World and wander around the various country areas, including China, Itlay, India, Greece, Mexico, Morocco. Fireworks go off. I meet Abdulelah and we walk around for a bit, grab a souvlaki sandwich and chips in the Greek area. Drive to hotel, pack and fall asleep at 1am. Wake at 5:30am for the prearranged Uber ride to the airport.