This post was sent in from Dona, one of our Saudi Arabia tour participants, upon her return home. It’s really entertaining!
Once upon a time in November ‘08
Our group met in Riyadh but Jean was late.
We enjoyed our flight on Saudi Air
Each with their own row is how they show they care.
The arrival in Riyadh was really easy and fast
After long flights, we had arrived at last
We spent some time learning about our group which is small
So it is easy to get all in the loop
Rita was with us the very first day
But had to cut short her Saudi stay
Here we met with our guide Hatem
He seemed knowledgeable, funny and a gem.
Jean’s trip from St. Louis really started wrong
To get to Riyadh she almost had to sing a song
But Finally after dinner she did arrive
At breakfast we met her and she is quite alive.
In Riyadh we visited Masmak Fort
The history here we must try to sort
Very thick walls are on all sides
And much history within it resides.
We visited a bit in a souk to shop
Joshua was the one who made the jewelers hop
June got herself a falcon perch
And a falcon hood and she didn’t even have to search.
The Riyadh Museum is full of many things
From it great knowledge it brings
Now if we can just remember it all
For our memory banks an order quite tall.
The Tower offered up quite a view
We were glad we got there too
But traffic in Riyadh is very bad
Not knowing the rules of the road made us sad.
During our delicious lunch a big rain
When we came out we found water that could not drain
Flash floods, lightning and thunder for us
We had to hurry and get on the bus.
We visited a camel market so sweet?
Later we had to lean off our feet
Our flight to Najran was delayed
But finally we arrived at the Holiday Inn where we stayed.
Friday we flew and drove all day
Had to get to Al Ula for a three night stay
Saturday when we awoke we found an amazing sight
About these rocky mountains much we could write.
The Nabatean ruins are more than great
Our cameras clicked at a real fast rate
For everyone a day to remember
Way past our stay here in this November.
We drove up the mountain and built a fire
Had a bit of tea to keep us wired
We watched the sun drop over the hill
And the Saudi prayer time while we keep still.
Sunday more ruins and a museum quite small
More food and soon we will all be round as a ball
The food has always been more than ample
And of course all if it we had to sample.
Monday was a long day on the bus
With stops and food no one did fuss
As the rocky and sandy terrain we past
While June wrote a chapter at last.
Tuesday was spent on archeology sights
Castles, standing stones and Umar mosque a delight.
Al Noal hotel was a beautiful place
Courtyards and lobbies full of grace
A private museum with coffee and tea
And happily a five star place to pee
then on to a home where the ladies could dance
We had fun watching Linda and others prance.
Four med students joined us for a camel dinner
The conversations were surely a winner
Exchange of views both sides did bring
While dell phones went off with a varying ring.
Wednesday we visited a plant and camel research center
Even a camel pharmacy we did enter
We saw a camel being milked by machine
Some tried camel milk without turning green.
We fed some camels alfalfa and hay
But finally we had to end our stay
We saw some desert with very fine sand
This is not unusual in this Saudi land
Thursday in Hail we saw a few sights
Then off to Jubba without any fight
There a private museum most grand
Then on to the rock carvings where we could stand.
Back in Hail we all went our own way
Our VIP guards were afraid we would stray
McDonalds or Bar-B-Que chicken to eat
The hotel food here took lots of heat.
Till Hail our food has been quite a treat
Seems like all we do is eat
Pita, hummus, veggies, fruits and dessert
We have eaten enough to make our stretched tummies hurt
In Hail we tried to dodge our secret police
They probably thought we were covered in grease
But someone was always following us
Even if we were not on the bus.
Friday a flight to Jeddah – hurray
Hatem could hardly wait for this day
The Intercontinental Hotel is more than swell
Quite a change from the one ins Hail ( hell)
The buffet lunch put us over the top
Eating it we were not sure we could stop
You name it and it was here
We ate with abandon and showed no fear
Afternoon visit at Hatems family home
Men were separated and could not roam
His mom, sisters and nieces were lots of fun
I am sure our hearts they have won.
Then to the souk in the old town
It was hot and crowded as we walked down
Stalls with clothes, perfumes and dates
With this group shopping usually rates.
Off to our farewell dinner tonight
Later Jean leaves us early for her flight
Don’t know what will happen now
But this poem will be complete somehow.
Thanks for everyone this trip has been great
All were on interested and no one was late
Varied discussions have taken place
Many a smile has filled out face.
Friday, thanks for joining us
You have added much to the bus
Hope we have not been too big a shock
And memories os us you will not have to black.
Hatem — about you what can I say?
You have really made our Saudi stay
You have shared about people and places
And were always met by smiling faces
You are very knowledgeable and fun
And you have really kept us on the run
History, stores, quizzes and jokes
And lots of stories of the Saudi folks
Rita and Caravan Serai you have done it once more
Planning these trips is more than a chore.
Sights, experiences, hotels and food
We have gained from the Saudi hospitality mood.
(This is what I had written for the dinner!)
Saturday morning we drove along the corniche by the Red Sea
Lots of round-a-bouts with statues for us to see
We met Salena and saw her lovely gallery
Her wedding photo albums are far from free.
Off to Green Island for lovely fish
I got a grilled plate which met my wish
Friday said goodbye after lunch
He will be a good guide soon is my hunch
Our last museum in Saturday
Had to complete it for our Jeddah stay
Sunday were off to the airport for our flight
Not wearing an abaya will not seem right.
Bless you all my children from Mother Teresa