The long wait in Abha and a return to Dhahran.
Trip Start Nov 30, 2007
34Trip End Jan 17, 2008
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With an 8:00 PM departure, we needed to be at the airport by 6 PM. But we'd seen pretty much everything in town (so much was closed due to the Eid) and needed to get the rental car back to only get charged one day, so we arrived at 5 PM. And once the car was checked in, we discovered that... the 8 PM flight was actually a 10 PM flight. And a few hours of waiting later, Saudia delayed the flight, first until 12:05 AM, then to 12:30 or so.
If you've ever spent time waiting in an airport, you can imagine 7 1/2 hours of it. Particularly in an airport as dire as Abha Regional. No facilities, no stores, a single cafeteria-type setup selling a couple of dried-up sandwiches, some sketchy baked goods, chocolate bars and cigarettes. Oh, yes. A smoking airport terminal, of course.
I hit the bed at 4 AM. I think I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow.
The next day was a lazy spiral through Dhahran and Khobar. Sleeping, blogging and recovering through the morning, followed by an afternoon spin to downtown Khobar, via the Gulf Palace (one of the king's palaces -- visited perhaps twice in the last five years), and then downtown into Khobar, first with a visit to a carpet shop. Looking for a Nikon dealer to replace my broken lens -- they didn't have a replacement, and they didn't have the lens I wanted (but couldn't afford) - the Nikon 18/200 VR. A bookstore, and tandoori joint completed the day, winding up with hanging out at Uncle Lorne's place while Jana and Russell shopped at the Mall of Dhahran; a gigantic mall of the sort that seem to be everywhere in the oil countries.