Side-by-Side Top-Bottom
Actual Image

A Serene Day in Riyadh (18)
ramthakur Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)
A SERENE DAY IN RIYADH

Saturday, 6th January, 2007. 9.30 AM.
Our caravan of three cars has just left the city of Riyadh behind, zipping along the wide 8 lanes highway to Mecca. The last day of Hajj holidays, so the roads are rather free of usual heavy traffic.
Soon the lead car swerves right, taking the exit road and we in the second place follow it. A breathtaking view of a fairly deep and narrow valley opens up – your standard oasis setting in the desert. It turns into a dirt road after a kilometer or two. The car lurches and bounces on the uneven road, raising a cloud of dust. Then it comes to an abrupt stop.

We get off and saunter behind the first group to the edge of a level expanse of brownish sand. The winter this year in Riyadh has been rather cold, so the morning sun feels good on the back.

Suddenly I stop short and gape. There is a small body of clear blue water in the deep trough beyond the edge of the plain. I can’t believe my eyes. Water in the Arabian Desert and that too so clean and clear looking? My host in whose car I am travelling has lived in Riyadh for a quarter century and knows its surroundings like the back of his hand. He is an avid outdoor man. Come winters and every Friday he is out in the figurative bush with his very supportive wife and two kids. He tells me the depression in the earth is the result of excavation for construction materials. When it rains in Riyadh (and this winter, it did rain in Riyadh for a prolonged period of time in December, almost giving the feel of monsoons back home in India), the rain water gets accumulated in that depression. He shows me the markings higher on the banks of the pond; he says water had reached that level some time back.

I take my camera out to take some pictures. Our group of nearly 20 with half of them children frolics around the “lake”, throwing pebbles into the water or wading a little into it. The water looks good but the surroundings are rather prosaic, punctuated by tall power towers across the water body. When I take pictures, I just cannot stop them getting into the frame.
Here is a picture of that spot. Hope you will find it interesting.
The group “activities” can be seen in the Workshop.
TFL

Altered Image #1

ramthakur Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)
Workshop
Edited by:ramthakur Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)

Just another view with some of the group members standing around and enjoying the view.