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Off I go!

Bags are packed (and unpacked then repacked "properly"), and we will be off to Edinburgh airport for my flight to Riyadh. I will arrive at 02.15 am after a change at Doha (Qatar), which with the 3 hour clock difference means 11.15pm UK time tonight. Not too bad. The hotel in Riyadh I have been allocated is an Ibis, and I have an address in arabic to show to the taxi driver in case the hotel shuttle transport doesn't materialise. 

I am flying with Qatar Airways, a new carrier for me. I am sure I will be very familiar with them soon. According to the e-ticket, the flight distance is 3449+306 miles = 3755. But it would be much shorter as the crow flies, probably 3300 or so. Do they have crows in Saudi? 

I had a nice family lunch with Elaine and #1 and 3 daughters in the delicatessen/cafe in Biggar yesterday. #2 daughter set up a skype call from Dingwall last night, so proper farewells have been said. Easter eggs have been exchanged, and mine have been dismantled and put into a small tupperware box for in-flight nibbles. Its amazing how little chocolate one gets for the money, there's more packing than chocolate in some of them. Whoa, mustn't rant, I am grateful for the gifts.

Storm "Katie" is blowing in here. Snow is forecast on high ground. As Biggar is 600 feet above sea level, we'll probably get a dusting before the rain washes it away. Meanwhile in Riyadh it will be 32 deg C with zero chance of precipitation.

If technology works, I'll do an update post in a day or two to give my first impressions. Slainte!

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* Call Alastair Fyfe directly on 07785 370074 (UK) or +966 503095212