Friday 19 April 2019
I was trying to visit a country beginning with every letter of the alphabet before I was 30. I failed, but only had 2 left.
Q and Y.
Y being Yemen. Not currently possible. And Q being Qatar.
Somehow I’ve never taken a connecting flight through Qatar. But today – it’s happening!
A whole 14 hours of Qatar…!
We landed at 4:30 am. The airport is so big, so it took a while to make it through immigration and outside.
I ordered an Uber and it was there almost instantly! It was only a 15 minute drive into the city centre and to my hotel.
Now 5 am, and time for bed.
I got up at 11 am, looked outside and expected it to be busy. But not a single person. Very weird. Although it is 37°C so that is perhaps why.
Despite the heat, I wanted to go and have a walk around and see what the city is like.
I’m staying in the Souq Waif area. My timing was rather unfortunate – being a Friday, everything is shut as it’s prayer day.
The soup is over 100 years old, but the buildings were all redone in around 2006 so it actually feels very new. There’s just nothing open.
The camels were about though, in their pen. Tied up. Unable to move.
I walk down to the Corniche, wandered along and was now getting very, very hot. Down here is a dhow harbour. These are traditional boats that used to be used when Qatar had a pearl farm industry. Not anymore…!
Further along was the museum of Islamic art, Which is a cool looking building. But again it was closed.
Most of the workers in Qatar are foreign (88% of the population are foreigners – Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepali, Philippine etc) and it seemed many of them get Friday off work as there were lots of people hanging around in the park. Despite the boiling hot weather.
I had been wandering around for about an hour, and I was done. Just too hot to continue. I got an Uber for a short journey to an Indian restaurant for lunch. Had a dosa and it was huge and really good.
Back to hotel. Into the pool. Here for next couple of hours.
Then back to the airport for the next adventure.