Well here I am, I’ve arrived in Doha, Qatar! First impressions? The airport is ridiculously efficient, we were in the terminal, through immigration and out the front door within 15 minutes! I expected a million and one forms to fill out however fortunately that was not the case. It was a very nice warm temperature that evening, just the kind of temperature you could get used to however, the prospect of the temperature going up by a lot during the day was well known to us all and hopefully we would be able to bare it.
Our accommodation at this point was still unknown to us and we were very happy to see that we were housed at the Holiday Villa as we’d heard some good things about it. I’m sharing with one other person in a three bedroom apartment which, is a lot bigger than I was expecting. My twin bedroom with ensuite is a very welcome surprise and the air conditioning is lovely. I tend to turn it off when I go to sleep as I like waking up to a warm room in the morning, it helps with the transition of getting out of bed!
Nearly every night we’ve been out to eat at somewhere in Doha and I do believe that the Souq Waqif has become the place we most enjoy going. The Souq Waqif is a traditional market place type area and is the largest in Doha; it’s home to a wide variety of shops selling items such as clothing, souvenirs, crafts and many other things. There are many restaurants that can be found down the streets of the Souq, a few examples include Iraqi, Moroccan, Indian, Sea Food bars and many more. So far we have been to the Indian and another place that did a mixture of dishes with a Qatari twist. Both have been very satisfactory and I’m sure when we’ve finished doing the rounds on the restaurants that we’ll go back. The atmosphere is really quite amazing, it feels so friendly, so soft, so peaceful, yet there’s so much going on. There are many people walking around, talking, having a good time, there are shop keepers busy creating their latest craft or restocking shelves, or trying to bring customers in with the fancy nicknack’s they have and these things combined with the heat of the evening just make you feel so at ease. We were sat outside one of the food places we ate at on the first night we visited the Souq and I could have sat their for hours watching everything that was going on and not get bored.
The Souq Waqif has been around for at least a hundred years however, with an injection of funds from the government they have restored the area and have even flattened it in places to rebuild it and return it to it’s former glory.
There are many wonderful buildings around Doha, the West Bay area is full of sky scrapers and when looked at from a place called the Corniche it really does look beautiful. The Corniche is along the sea front and spans around 5km’s I believe, it’s a really nice area for a walk. The boats in the harbour are quite unique looking, to a westerner, and the view over the bay is breath taking.
The above is the Museum of Islamic Art, unfortunately we’ve not had a chance to visit it yet however it is on the to do list.
I believe I’ve rambled on a little too much so I think I’ll end my post here. I’ll update again when I get time. Credit for the photos goes to one of my course mates as her camera is a very good one whereas mine is not so good and the same photos came out quite grainy.