We arrived at King Fahad International Airport in Dammam at 12:35am Friday morning. After being processed we took a car to the Le Meridien Hotel in Khobar. My first glimpse of KSA was good. The drive to the hotel in the middle of the night was uneventful, you could see vast searches of what seemed to be desert and when entering the city palm tree lined streets appeared. What I did not expect, was when we entered the hotel driveway. We were stopped by an anti-terrorist crash rated robust high impact road blocker which is how one site called it or just a crash tested rising road blocker as another site referred to it. I had to Google this several times before I could come up with what these things are called. We stopped in front of the road blocker. Our driver released the hood lock and unlock the back of the SUV. Two man approached the car, one carrying a rounded mirror on casters attached to a long handle, he walked around the car rolling this mirror just under the car to inspect the underneath. The other opened the hood to check for anything that shouldn’t be there, he then walked around back, lifted the tailgate to check out the contents. M.E. being the international travel that she is thought nothing of it. These check points seem to be very common in most parts of the middle East, she had also encounter them in India. It seems like high profile or international gathering points all have this kind of security. Other than that, the hotel looked like any other major hotel.
The next morning we went to the breakfast buffet at the hotel where they had a wonderful selection of not only local food, but a complete European, English and American breakfast, including French pastries. It was a very interesting international crowd including many Arabic men and women. I was told to be very cautious talking pictures especially of the local men and women. After breakfast we took a walk on the promenade along the Arabian Gulf just across the street for the hotel. Fridays is the day people go to the mosque very similar to our Sundays and in the afternoon many families are out and about going for walks, picnicking etc. After returning from our walk we were picked up by our driver and off we went to move into our villa.
Below are some of the first pictures I took.