Winter At Tantora - Al Ula

A few weeks ago I did a number of firsts:

  • First time going to Al Ula. Ive been wanting to go since I was a teenager.
  • First time seriously shooting with the Leica as my primary/only camera.
  • First time being a proper tourist in my own country.
And let me tell you, they all went amazingly for first times!

Let me walk you through it, as the booking process itself was an adventure:
I booked through Al Mosafer website which I regret to inform you was a medieval experience. You give them your number and they call you back, like in the 90s. A real throwback experience that doesn't play well with our modern banking security concerns.

After booking with them on the phone they emailed me my tickets but no receipts. There were no prices on ANYTHING. So I emailed back, sent twitter DMs, and Whatsapp messages for a few days asking for a receipt of some sort, until they called me back and asked me and I quote: "Why do you want a receipt?" How do you answer that question? I just gave you a ton of money and I want proof? I went with "Well, I bought something from you and I need a receipt. Will that be a problem?". To my great pleasure I later received a semblance of a receipt.

Saudi Airlines was very accommodating with the wheelchair for my mom, even though Al Mosafer agents didn't know how to add that to our booking.

More on those blunders later. I may be complaining but I'm not unhappy, it's only to let you all know what to expect and who knows, maybe the company can troubleshoot.

Tried to channel Ansel Adams, but didn't have enough foreground I guess.

I was so dazed I didn't realize I was shooting f/8 until the evening. It's all so unreal, I still can't believe I was actually there! These are just photos from the first day. The rest is on its way!

Spent the first day at Elephant rock.


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