Saturday, June 5, 2010

Exploring the Sooq

Last weekend, we went back to the Dira region to explore the sooqs (markets) a little more. The little shops are filled with colorful, glinting souvenirs - things that just call out to a curious five-year-old like Misha. :) Little elephants and camels, tiny treasure boxes, lamps, sand photos, etc.

Decorative scarves, pillow cases, and table cloths abound.

Josh stands among the camel figurines, stands, boxes, and an old phonograph.

Tiny tea kettles that are really perfume holders, marble eggs and cups, and more camels.

I couldn't resist this old-style, gaudy Bedouin niqab.
For other types of veils used in the past in the middle east,
this is an interesting link with lots of pictures:

Misha outside in the old neighborhood of Dira.

Exploring in an oriental carpet shop. Everyone is eager to sell us carpets. We disappointed them for now, choosing only to admire the beautiful silk carpets that can cost over $1000.

Sebastian checks out the carpets too.

Wandering down to Dira Square in the late afternoon, sipping an apple juice to keep cool.

Dira Square is full of families camping out next to the fountains to take advantage of the breeze blowing through the water. The children have an even better method of keeping cool - they run right into the fountains and emerge soaking wet.

Misha gets a few drops.

Ready for more?

Too wet!

While most of Riyadh seems composed of structures massive and modern, the old Riyadh shows through from time to time. Walking just a bit beyond the markets gives us a glimpse of old abandoned buildings, their mud walls crumbling. Rather than do anything with them, people have just seemed to build new things around them.


kate said...

Love it, Love it, Love it. What a fun day of shopping. The shops are so ornate and glittery. It's a wonder the Saudi women bother to swim at all. Misha is looking tall now. Is he growing a lot? Thanks for the pictures and stories. Awesome as usual. Love you guys,
Grandma Kate

Tanya and Aaron said...

Misha does look taller! He's getting to be a big boy.