How we got to Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not the easiest place to get to. It is not a tourist destination, most people flying here are on a business trip or are one of the millions of expats living here travel back and forth to their home countries around the world. But once you are here it is a good jumping off point to most areas in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Europe and South Asia.
We flew on Lufthansa, they had the best pricing and the shortest travel time. Most flights going to Europe from the East Coast leave in the evenings and arrive in Europe first thing in the morning. Our flight departed from Newark 6:10PM Wednesday evening. We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany Thursday morning at 7:45AM. This was a 7 hour and 35 minutes flight. Unfortunately most flights departing to KSA leave in the late afternoon so we had just under a 9 hour layover.
Fortunately ME is a gold member of the Star Alliance so we could hang out in the business class lounge. I also have cousins, Wolfram and Edit, that live very near to Frankfurt. I had emailed Wolfram several weeks before we left and he was available to meet us at the airport an hour after we arrived and take us into Frankfurt to have lunch.
What is impressive about Europe is there transport system especially in Germany and Switzerland. My cousin took his local train to the airport, picked us up and within 15 minutes we were in the city center. The city center is a lovely area with mostly walking streets, (this forces people to use the public transportation). It has many historic buildings, museums, galleries, restaurants, cafes, food halls, and plenty of shopping. We meet his wife, Edit, for tea and crepes in one of the cafes. We then walked around and went to two cathedrals and a museum and returned to the airport at 2:45. It was great to be back in Germany, hearing the language, looking at all the wonderful fruits, vegetables, breads and the wonderful meats, especially the Frankfurter Wurstchen in the food halls. It is really a delightful place, we had a very pleasant experience visiting with our cousins after not seeing each other for over 5 years.
Our flight to Dammam, KSA, is the largest city in the Eastern Provence, is a 45 minute ride away from Al Khobar. We departed at 4:40PM from Frankford and arrived in Dammam at 12:35AM early Friday morning, a 5 hour and 55 minute flight. Upon arriving I had to be processed into the KSA system. ME had done this in November on her first trip. They copied my passport, took my picture and finger prints. From there we exited the airport where a driver took us to the hotel in AL Khobar. We checked in at 2:30AM and finally went to bed around 3 in the morning.
Overall our travel time was over 28 hours going through 3 days.