Al Hada: Things To See When On the Mountain Road





This mountain road that connects the city of Al Hada to the other cities of Makkah Region is high on my list of places to visit when in the region.





    Where is it located?


    Built on the slopes of the Hijaz mountains in the city of Al Hada, this picturesque highway is passed by many travelers going to the city of Taif, another popular destination in the Makkah Region.

    We were actually heading for Taif but we stayed in a hotel in Al Hada. So after the day trip in Taif, we spent our free time later that day on two things: the Telefric and Mountain Highway.


    Be Aware of Roads for Non-Muslim


    From Jeddah, as you approach the city of Makkah (Mecca), know that there are roads where non-Muslims must not enter.

    There are signs along the way that you will see as you approach the holiest city in Islam, Makkah, so it's hard to miss and mistakenly take the road that leads into it. Accordingly, entering Makkah can result to penalties or fines, or even deportation for non-Muslims.



    'FOR MUSLIMS ONLY'




    'OBLIGATORY FOR NON-MUSLIMS'


    Photos From the Road During the Ascend














    View from the Top

    It would be difficult and unsafe if you plan to make stopovers while ascending to take photos. Besides, there are concrete barriers that separate the two lanes.

    Make the viewing the last thing in your itinerary when you visit Al Hada or Taif, or simply, wait till you've reached the top and enjoy the view starting from there.


    What Can You See While on The Al Hada Road?


    Baboons!


    Yes! This part of Saudi Arabia is home to hamadryas baboons. They can become a menace especially to the villagers (which we in a way experienced), but for first time visitors like us, seeing them was something new (a break from the camels).

    They can be found living among the rocks on the side of the roads. They usually come out and get close with humans and receive foods. I think getting too close and handing them food should be discouraged, though. Who knows if they bite and are rabid.



    A baby baboon holding a banana peel.



    Don't look closer or you'll see something you shouldn't.











    Deyyyyymm!!!



    Birds!

    It isn't a place to see flocks of birds regularly or spot extraordinary species. I just think seeing them fly in such an open space was elating and somehow calming at the same time.

    And spotting some solitary birds perched on rocks make some interesting subjects. My zoom lens wasn't really enough but it was still satisfying to take their photos.









    A small flock of tiny yellow-winged birds.









    Tea

    Sip hot chai or tea while enjoying the view especially on a cold morning or night (okay, even at noon, as long as it is winter).

    In my case, I didn't have tea but I took photos of the vendor who was wearing that 'kontrabida' (villain) jacket and an interesting headdress. He's from Yemen.

    Just realized I should've bought from him in return for letting me photograph him.



    Kettles.



    Fashion



    Smile!





    The Mountains and the Road

    What else will you be looking at but the big picture!



























    Conclusion

    No doubt, Al Hada is one of the best places I've been in the Kingdom. I can't think of any highfalutin words to encourage anyone to come and visit this place.

    Its simplicity got me. Just roads, mountains, and open space.


    "Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world." - Gustave Flaubert

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    Travel Period: January 2017
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