Day 11. In my original plan, I would arrive in Dubai on day 10. I prepared less for plan B, meaning from today I have to wear my underwear inside out. Yes, you're getting all the details.
Now getting ready for the bus Amman - Hail (Saudi Arabia). Step for step I'm getting there.
Waiting for the bus to depart. I’m travelling on the famous German ‘Nichtraucherbus’
Funny, the girl who sold my ticket yesterday just came to me to thank me. Apparently she was on trial and her manager saw her speaking English with me yesterday and that got her the job.
With 40 minutes delay the bus to Saudi departure. The landscape is gradually changing to desert.
At the Saudi border. Probably won’t have internet the coming hours to posts updates.
Still at the Jordan side of the border. Had my passports checked. Waiting for the others in the group to finish.
Passed the Jordan border now. Had my passport checked at Saudi side. Took long as their finger print scanner didn’t want to scan my thumbs. Some lube from a guy on the same bus who was annoyed it took ages, helped.
Finally passed the Saudi border. That was the longest and strictest crossing I ever had. All suitcases on a table, empty bus through XRay, all individual bags checked by hand and dogs. And there were 6 busses before us and only 1 guy checking. 3 hours on Saudi side. 5 hours total
First stop after hours of driving. Eating chicken and rice on the carpet. All these people laughing at me because I can’t eat while sitting cross-legged. I’m half lying down on one side. Need some practice. Or exercise.
I spend the whole day and night on this bus. Finally for the first time there were other people who also spoke English. Also been chatting for an hour with a guy via WhatsApp, using Google translate. Interesting guy.
At 3am bus arrived at Hail. Where I got off. Well, it didn’t leave the highway and it was still 30km to the city. I was the only one who got off, bus continued to Riyadh. Luckily a nice man dropped of his sister at this bus and gave me a lift. Pics taken by other passenger.

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More from @WiebeWkkr

12 Jan
Day 10. In Erbil I tried to find a flying carpet but indeed it is a fairytale. So I flew in a plane to Amman, Jordan. It is the only way to get to Abu Dhabi. I get closer and closer to @ADSWagenda now!
Arrived at the airport at 6am. Went to my hostel and after just 3 hours of sleep I was picked by a taxi for an interview with Sky News Arabia. I always thought these city backdrops are fake. Interesting to learn.
I only have a day here and really want to see the city but I need to arrange a lot of stuff. Tomorrow morning I want to go to Saudi Arabia and need to find transport. So that’ll keep me busy.
Read 7 tweets
11 Jan
Day 10. I’m in amazing Erbil, Kurdistan.
I start the day with a visit to the hospital to take a PCR test for Jordan. My flight is tomorrow morning at 5. Image
*It’s day 9 actually
PCR check done. Should have result by 8. Yes you’re getting to see everything.
Read 15 tweets
9 Jan
Day 7. I’m wearing thermal underwear. Suat is bringing me from Dogubeyazit to the border. I’ve been in Dogu before, and had some problems here, on my way to Australia by EV. Suat already helped me back then. Let’s see if we can enter Iran today. It think my chance is 5%.
The sights are again spectaculair
Exited Turkey. Now in the always weird no man’s land. So far so good.
Read 16 tweets
8 Jan
Good morning! At 8 I was awakened by the morning sun and I haven’t stopped staring outside the Dogu Express since. Incredible landscapes! ImageImageImageImage
UAE newspaper The National also wrote a nice article ahout my trip.…
This is the @_DiningCar of the Dogu Express. They serve snacks, Turkish bread, tea of course, coffee but no warm meals. ImageImage
Read 13 tweets
7 Jan
Day 5. I’m in Ankara and just did a PCR test for Iran. It’s one of the challenges of travelling in these times.
Now I have some time to see the city. At 17.55 I’m taking the Dogu Express to Erzurum. I think this will be one of the highlights of the trip.
At Anıtkabir, Ataturk’s Mausoleum. Massive impressive complex. Image
I like it that most people on the streets in Turkey wear a mask. It’s not a rule here but people do it out of respect to others. Asian mentality, much more caring.
Unlike in Netherlands where the mentality is: not mandatory to wear a mask? Why do it?
Read 6 tweets
6 Jan
Good morning. It’s day 4 and I’m in Istanbul. Starting with a delicious Turkish breakfast. Cheese pide and menemeh
Just crossed the Bosphorus Bridge. I’m really in Asia now
At Sogutlucesme Railway Station now. Airport Security style check at the entrance.
Read 10 tweets

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