Let's jump into this dromedary adventure, shall we?
(Like how I just threw that crazy "dromedary" word right atcha? That's a one-hump camel, for you non-zoologically-inclined individuals.)
Bam! How ya like them apples? That enough camel for ya? No?
So anywho, my trip to Saudi Arabia was awesome. Amazing. Enlightening. Eye-opening. Fascinating. It's my new favorite place. I would go back in a heartbeat. (Maybe I will...more on that later.)
It was unlike any place I've ever been. It's not at all the terrorist-filled sandbox that Fox News led me to believe. Yes, there is sand. And camels. And women in abayas (pronounced uh-BUY-uh). But there are also really cool architecture, beautiful dune-scapes, HUGE malls (these are massive), cuisine from everywhere, a surprising number of ex-patriots from the U.S. and other countries, and yes, camels.
I had a blast.
I started my visit in Bahrain, a little island country to the northeast of Saudi. It's like Saudi without the same laws.
We toured a mosque and got a personal tour and lesson about being Muslim from a very nice Muslim guy.
Inside a mosque, people must remove their shoes and women must wear an abaya and cover their heads.
It was quite fascinating to learn what Muslims believe and how it relates to Christianity. Very eye-opening.
The Arabian Gulf (also known to Americans as the Persian Gulf) is beautiful. Water that looks like the Caribbean.
We went to the desert and saw all the oil lines piping oil to the refineries.
Then we went to a camel farm, a.k.a. Cameron's favorite part of the trip.
You guys, this place was giant. 600 camels. 50 baby camels. The King of Bahrain owned them all. Crazy.
Then we left Bahrain after my visa was ready and headed across a very long bridge to Saudi Arabia.
We went "camping" (I use that term loosely - basically it was hotel accommodations without actual hotel walls) at a Saudi guy's farm/land/property.
I was accosted by a very friendly camel who decided my hair would make an excellent snack.
We slept inside these HUGE carpet-covered tents. It was cold at night, but very cozy inside.
The next day we took a dune buggy out and tooled around the desert and happened upon some camels.
Then we came upon some more camels.
And some more.
(That's a Bedouin herder in charge of herding the camels.)
Then we went four-wheeling out on the dunes.
It was a bit scarier than I thought it would be. The dunes are deceptively big (and Kevin informed me that the ones we went to weren't even very big compared to other ones he's seen).
The sand plays tricks on your eyes and it's very difficult to gauge how big dips and cliffs are. I learned by accident that having a helmet is a must (thankfully my helmet was on when I learned this lesson).
The rest of my visit comprised of Kevin and me visiting with the friends he has made there and eating out and just driving around and looking at stuff.
Overall it was one of the best vacations I've ever had. I missed our girls terribly, but it was so nice to spend that much time with Kevin. Luckily he'll be home in 2 months and hopefully we will know some time soon where we will be moving to. Maybe it'll be Saudi Arabia...