It's been almost TWO MONTHS since I first arrived in Riyadh. I can't believe it.
I think part of my disbelief has to do with the fact that we were away in Denmark for Hajj for about a week and a half, so when I arrived, we were immediately getting ready to depart.
Since that first night, I've been trying to settle in and learn the ropes. Every morning, before the sun gets too high in the sky (temps during the day since I've been here have ranged from 120F/48C to 100F/37C) I go for a walk around the neighbourhood. The compound is 4KM square so I do the circuit each morning, listening to podcasts and enjoying the calm the early morning brings. There are others who take advantage of the cooler weather as well - people walk, run, and cycle... It's a little movement community out there!
As mentioned before, there are buses that take us into the city for grocery shopping and to the malls. Nice when you need a break from the heat and good to see what products you can get from all over the world!
Our break to Denmark for Hajj was lovely. We stayed in a little cottage about an hour north of Copenhagen, 500 metres from the ocean with a little pond (complete with a grumpy old heron!) in the back of our space. We cooked yummy food, enjoyed our time together, and savoured the autumn-like weather! We visited two UNESCO World Heritage Sites while there - Stevns Klint (an amazing geological site where you can see a layer of rock that shows when the large asteroid hit the Earth) and Roskilde Cathedral (a beautiful space with tons of really interesting Danish history). We spent time at the Viking Museum in Roskilde as well learning about the design of Viking Ships, stepping aboard replicas, and enjoying a lovely lunch by the water. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at sunset at Dragsholm Slot where we dined in the Bistro on the most delicious cucumber soup, local fish, and vegetables from the castle's garden.
We even had the chance to connect with good friends of ours. We rode the (super fast!) ferry from Sjællands Odde to Århus to have a lovely vegetarian lunch, enjoy the city, and just catch up after a couple of years apart. The last couple of days were spent in Copenhagen, noshing on gorm's pizza, enjoying a lovely tea service, and relishing in our last couple of days in Denmark!
|A little colourful beach action near our cottage!|
|Our dear friends with Dave|
|The little pond behind our cottage|
|Tiny violet bursts|
|The path to the beach or cottage...depending on which way you walk|
|The most adorable tiny horses|
|An old church at Stevns Klint|
|Layers of history|
|Sunset at Dragsholm Slot|
|Study of light and shadow|
|MORE sunset at Dragsholm Slot|
|Earth and Water|
|gorm's...a favourite in Copenhagen for pizza|
|The most beautiful little tea service|
Now, I am off to Bali for work to teach and assist on another yoga teacher training. While I am happy to be going back to a place that always inspires and energizes me, I am also sad to be leaving Dave once again. We've been apart for far too long this year, but as we know ALL too well, distance can and does make the heart grow fonder.
ps. In addition to everything happening here, my sister, Melissa, and her husband, John, just arrived in China on Friday to adopt their little boy, David! I've had the chance to meet him on Skype and he is just the sweetest thing. So happy for their family!