So this is how it all started…
Post a heavy lunch at Shangri-La on a Saturday, we were on our way back home and the most exciting thing happened – it began to rain. I simply love rain and it has always been a sign of 'something nice will happen to you, fash'. And it was not too late for something nice to happen.
“So, do you want to go on a drive in the rain?” – that was from F… Am I am hearing it right????? I was like, “Do you even have to ask?” Off we went past our building and onto the main road again.
“So where do you want to go?” “where I haven't been before in Yanbu”. He got to a gas station, filled full even when there was no indication of low fuel – it is so unlike him but which hinted that it is going to be a really LONG drive.
He continued to drive stating that there isn't any place that I haven't seen in Yanbu. I maintained silence as I don't know any specific names of the place to tell him. But the drive itself was so good with the rain splashing on the windshield.. and like in India, there is no madness on the road on a rainy day. I love the aroma of sand kissed by rainwater…that reminds me of the Indian monsoon …
I gave no attention to watching outside as we were listening to our fav songs and singing along… and then I noticed that the places were new to me. Yet another tactic of F…make me keep my expectations low. I thought this would be the best opportunity to click pictures and help me stay awake as the heavy lunch was making me so drowsy. It was not raining in this part as we could see the roads were dry.
This is a very old sculpture that is still held together. It is a Dullah (jug) and fanajeens (cups) used to serve Arabic coffee. Looking at it seems like it is not maintained or maybe it is the oldest one in the town.
All of a sudden I got reminded of “Lawrence of Arabia”. F had once mentioned it. I had not done much research on this but I was inclined to do it after today's experience. And so we planned to go in search of the house where T.E Lawrence lived. There was no information on the exact location of this old fort and as KSA is not known for tourism and so not expected to have it restored or might have been demolished too. Internet too did not have specific location details. But nevertheless, we thought we will continue driving in and around and if we get lucky we will see the fort/building too. We found many other interesting kinds of stuff while looking for this and we did see so many similar-looking half-destroyed structures.
Moving on to the Red Sea side, I got to see these beautiful larger real boats sculpted three in a row. Most of the sculptures on this side of Old Yanbu are inclined toward “sea” “port” and the likes.
This one is a yacht that is placed in the roundabout. There is a fountain that is not functional I guess. Or I may have to come here during the night to see if it works.
This one I am not sure what it depicts but it is bright white and blue.
This is the most colourful sculpture I have seen in Yanbu.
The sea is so blue here and this is the bay point where they get on a boat to the spot for scuba diving. The entire location was buzzing with people and lots of boats ready to leave. I was in the car watching these and was amazed at how diverse Yanbu is. There are a couple of resorts that have events/activities arranged for a group of people.
I should say that I saw so many colours on this side of the town - even though this is the old side. The bright blue sea, the bright sculptures, etc.
All along the drive, the sea had shades of blue, aqua green, teal… it was splendid. I kept asking him, why he never took me here all these days!!! I knew the answer – we never drove in the daytime and at the night I never thought this was the seaside – coz this is the calmest sea I have ever seen.
When we went looking for the old fort, we saw similar-looking buildings with old-fashioned windows made of wood. I am glad that these are retained in their original form and keep the essence of Yanbu alive. These pocket villages add a balance to the developing Industrial city.
I will post the rest of the story sooner. Insha Allah.
If anything I have mentioned in this post is incorrect or you have more information please do share your comments.