Milestone 30 – Distance: 4,880.5 km (100.0%) – 5 April 2021
Congratulations everyone. Time to relax and party!
Jeddah, the second largest city in KSA, forms part of the Mecca province in the Hejaz region, located some 80 km west of Mecca, with Medina located some 415 km northeast.
There are plenty of hotels and beaches along the Corniche where we can chill out, and plenty of attractions along the seafront promenade from the impressive King Fahd’s Fountain – also known as the Jeddah Fountain, it’s currently the tallest fountain in the world – to the quirky Jeddah Light (house).
After some much-needed r-n-r, I plan on visiting the Al-Balad historic district dating to the 7th century now a UNESCO heritage site. Also known as Old Jeddah, it was the central hub of the city, and regarded as the Gate to Makkah.
Be prepared though, it’s Ramadan and therefore the busiest time of the year in Jeddah. The streets will be jam-packed.
Previously a walled-city to protect the city from the Portuguese sadly the walls were pulled down in the 1940s to make way for the modernisation of the city.
The alleyways are crammed with crumbling old traditional town houses which have such character and are made of coral-stone and decorated with intricate latticed windows. The bay windows with brightly-coloured wooden shutters and secluded balconies known as rawasheen would hide ladies who could assess their would-be husbands in privacy whilst they proposed marriage in the majlis gathering below.
The Bait Nasif building has become famous since King Abdulaziz, the founder of KSA, stayed for three years when he was in Jeddah. Interesting fact: the building is four storeys high and once had a pathway inside that allowed the king to ride his horse or go by camel directly from the street up to his office on the second floor. How cool is that! I do feel sorry for the cleaners 🙂
A great photo opportunity is Al Rahma Mosque mainly because of its location – it’s known as the floating mosque and you can see why from the photo.
So, we’ll see some of the old and some of the new Jeddah, none so new as the racing track. KSA is set to host the 22nd and penultimate race of the 2021 Formula 1 world championship on December 5, with the event benefiting from an evening start, taking place under floodlights. It will be the inaugural KSA Grand Prix which F1 has labelled as “the fastest street track” in F1 history. I can just hear the roar of those revving engines on the starting grid, can’t you…?
Something we can’t see as yet is the Jeddah Tower, which is planned to reach a height of 1km becoming the world’s tallest building. Construction has stopped since 2018, so the Burj Khalifa can breathe easily for a little longer from its lofty position in downtown Dubai…
Hope you enjoyed the mission.