October 11, 2014
Tonight, I went for my first walk about in the Diplomatic Quarters. I can’t believe I’ve been in Riyadh for well over a month… and living so close to these beautiful walking trails.
I knew they existed… but wasn’t sure exactly how to access them once in the Diplomatic Quarters. So… a friend invited myself and Vivian along to go for an evening walk in the DQ and to introduce us to the trails.
I should probably explain a bit about the DQ before I carry on further… The Diplomatic Quarters are basically like a little city/town inside the big city of Riyadh. It is were the vast majority of embassies are located as well as housing for embassy staff and some other priviledged individuals. I’ve also heard rumors that eventually there will be a hospital located inside the DQ also! It is quite a desirable place for many people to live, as it is a bit of a free zone… there are less restrictions. Men and women can socialize in public. Women aren’t required to wear abayas. There are some coffee shops and restaurants and a grocery store… Even a Starbucks!!! Plenty of green space and parks. And it is all surrounded by a fairly high wall/barrier. And along the perimeter of the DQ, the are a bunch of trails you can run… some are fairly flat… some are really quite hilly with treacherous dips and pot holes that are ideal for twisting an ankle… or for seriously strengthening your ankles and just generally improving your fitness!! Anyways… here’s a map… me and the DQ… pretty close… pretty awesome!!
So… going back to my first run/walk along the trails in the DQ. It was a beautiful balmy evening… not too hot… but very comfortable. Dark. Because the sun sets so early here now!!
We started out by Starbucks, and walked down the road… across an empty lot… and over another road to the beginning of a trail (not sure if I’ll ever find it again on my own)
Anyways. I was a really nice walk!!! Too dark to get many pictures of it all… but someday soon I’ll walk it in the daytime to give you a better idea of what it’s like!
It’s also wonderful that this is a bit of a free zone so we can go abaya-less and not worry about getting in any sort of trouble… relatively speaking anyways.
We perched ourselves on the top of a rock wall that lines the barrier wall at one point… and has an beautiful view overlooking the city skyline and some princes home. Apparently.
So… loved my first walk in the DQ!!! Great company… good to get outside in the “fresh” air…
Since this post is written extremely retrospectively (it’s now the beginning of December)… I’ve actually joined a running group… a few girls… and we go run in the DQ several times a week along various paths… It’s absolutely a wonderful way to destress after a day at work… the fresh air is so good for us… and it’s great cardio running up and down the somewhat hilly terrain of the paths surrounding the DQ. Plus the girls are absolutely wonderful and the encouragement and support we give each other as we go along is amazing!!!
Also… the temperatures are gorgeous now for running out-doors… I’m already dreading the day when it gets so hot that running outside is impossible… regardless of the time of day!
But… that’s a ways off yet!! Thankfully.
Anyways… More to come… a whole lot more!