Well, after months of planning and preparation and a long day yesterday, we're finally here in Riyadh.
We stayed at my Mother-in-Law's on Tuesday night, and had to get up at 3.45am on Wednesday morning to get to Heathrow in time. We needed two cars - one for us and an estate with the back seats down to take all the luggage - and arrived at Terminal 2 to check-in with plenty of time to spare. Good job though, because it turned out that two of our seven bags were overweight (note to those who didn't know; no case can weigh more than 32kg), so we had to wait in the check-in area for 45 mins for the Left Luggage office to open at 0530 so we could buy another suitcase and re-pack! I was a bit miffed because I'd promised to take the family into the Lufthansa lounge before boarding, and this wait meant we'd only have about ten mins spare.
Anyway, we got the case, re-packed, checked all the bags in and finally got to the lounge. We'd just poured drinks and sat down when the fire alarm went off and we were all told to evacuate. We got as far as the lounge entrance lobby when the ringing stopped and we were told we could go back in, only for the bell to start again about a minute later, so at that point we gave up and went to the gate.
The first flight - to Frankfurt - was uneventful apart from the heavy landing, and we only just had enough time to transfer to the other gate to board the Frankfurt - Riyadh flight. Lufthansa long haul Business Class is very nice indeed, with electrically adjusted massaging seats that remember your favourite position, built-in noise-cancelling headphones, onboard wireless internet... lovely. The time flew by and a mere 5 1/2 hours later we touched down in Riyadh, to be met by embassy staff and driven to our new house.
The temporary house we'll be living in for the first 6 weeks is a nice 3-bedroom terraced, and once the refurbishment work is finished on our permanent house we'll be moving again, only this time just round the corner!
Here are a couple of pictures of the house:-
The house is on the Diplomatic Quarter, and is just a short walk from the British Embassy where Karen will be working. It is beautifully landscaped with several public gardens, and there is a small park right outside the house, which Elliot & Abigail explored yesterday (and Abigail fell off the swing).
So, we made it here in one piece and initial impressions are all good (apart from dial-up internet access, but that's a story for another day).