middle east trip – day 4

though yesterday wasn’t the most adventurous day, today’s itinerary looked much more promising.

after an amazing night of sleep in my own room in a decent-sized bed, i was ready to tackle the world.  our plan was to cram into a huge SUV and drive to Al Hasa to check out the caves.  the ride was short but harrowing (there really are no rules to the road in Saudi) and we met up with our guide at the “woman with child” caves.  these caves were small and used as a hiding spot during the war (i have no idea which war).  its somewhat odd to see random rock croppings with man-made caves in the middle of a neighborhood.

Woman With Child Caves in Al Hasa  Inside the Caves

the second stop was the larger caves in Al Hasa.  these caves were an extensive network of caves throughout this rocky region.  apparently the caves were used by locals during Ramadan to avoid the heat and stay cool while keeping their fast.

Family Shot 2  Beautiful View

after the caves we made a few other pitstops at a pottery village, a fort (that was closed), and drove by the local souk.  all looked interesting but we were tired and wanted to make it back to Khobar to eat our traditional dinner.

after another harrowing drive back, the 9 of us arrived STARVING at the restaurant.  this restaurant looked like a castle from the outside and i immediately thought of Medieval Times.  and the restaurant turned out to be somewhat similar.  the food at this restaurant was typical Saudi dishes.  like Medieval Times, the only patrons of this restaurant are locals with their young kids or foreigners.  however, unlike Medieval Times, the food was bountiful and delicious.  we had plates of kebobs, stews, samosas, and dips.  but the stars of the meal were the large plates of chicken.  both styles of chicken were baked and then laid upon a bed of basmati rice.  both were delicious but i preferred the more plain style.  finished off with local-style bread pudding and mint tea, it was a perfect meal.

Traditional Dinner Restaurant  Our Feast

tomorrow is “saturday” in the Kingdom so we will go to our new in-law’s home and have a late lunch/early dinner.  this will be first time both families dine together so it should be an interesting time.  hopefully everything goes smoothly.  i’m excited to have a nice feast in a traditional Saudi home as well.  fingers crossed.

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