Middle East

Day 1-Doha

After a rather good (for a 14 hour) flight with Qatar Airways, we arrived in sunny 30+degree celcius DOHA! Apart from me using the wrong pin for my credit card while paying for our visa on arrival- everything went smoothly! Private hotel transfer to avoid the hassle of trying to get a cab in a foreign country, and paying a little extra for an early check in as it was 7am and we just wanted a shower and a nap rather than waiting around till 2pm. Our room at the Ramada Encore Hotel is nice and roomy, with a good bed and tv and modern bathroom and decor.

After napping on and off till about 11-11.30am Doha time, we decided to get ready and go explore. Not the greatest idea to go walking at the peak of the day, 34 degrees felt like 44!! Even with a long skirt, and lightweight long sleeved shirt, sunscreen and sunglasses, I felt like I was burning and was possibly going to faint (weak i know! Me and hot weather aren’t friends) … To be honest, Doha is not very exciting. We walked from our hotel to the Corniche (sea front), supposably a tourist point of interest ¬†– ¬†which wasn’t very riveting either. With nowhere to buy drinks around that area, we were extremely hot and extremely thirsty and headed back as quickly as we could to find a convenience store and water!
The one awesome thing we saw walking to the Corniche was the Falcon Souq – a souq that sells only Falcons!! It wasn’t open (as we found out later, most places don’t open through the middle of the day, and rightly so! Oh, the heat!) but we saw the birds inside through the windows and there were also 4 or 5 tethered to the entrance arch!
I expected we would get a lot of looks in Doha, but it was even more unnerving being THE only female walking around. I did not see one women on our hour out…
After heading back to the hotel and collapsing in the air-conditioned room, we headed up to make good use of the pool and a ‘room service’ lunch. I may not love the heat, but I love getting into the holiday feeling, even if the rest of our trip will most likely be fast paced!
Doha may not be very exciting, but I’m glad we opted for a stopover to adjust to the time difference and rest a bit before Europe.
Tomorrow we go on a half day tour of the Sand Dunes and Inland Sea, which I am excited for! And tonight we may try and adventure to the Souq Waqif, which we discovered only opens early morning and from 4pm-10pm.
And now, pictures!

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