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Doha Layover 2: Day in Doha

We arrived into Doha around midnight after our six hour flight from Dar.

Rather than immediately get on another flight, I booked two nights in a hotel in Doha so we could shower, sleep, and see a little of the city. Otherwise, the long journey back is way too arduous. A taxi brought us to Hotel Al Bidda where we checked into our room and crashed.




We were feeling a little more rested by morning and we had breakfast at the hotel. They had a huge buffet.

Just around the corner from the hotel was the famous Souq shopping area. This is a huge area with stalls selling clothes, food, animals (unfortunately), and all manner of everything. We ventured out and walked around a bit but we couldn't take it very long. Even before noon, the temperature was so hot it was almost unbearable and I was sweating just from walking around. At least the gold stores were air conditioned so after buying a necklace/earrings, we went back to the hotel to cool off.

On recommendation of the hotel and because it was air conditioned, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at the National Museum of Qatar. It was quite a ways away but conveniently for us, Uber was available. The outside of the museum was incredibly beautiful.



The exhibits inside were pretty nice as well.




We stopped at the museum cafe for a drink afterwards. I thought this water installation looked cool.

We tried to take an Uber back to the hotel but after picking us up, the driver claimed not to know where the hotel was. I was able to remember an area very near so we just had him drop us off there and we walked back. The streets of Doha are cleaner than you can imagine. Not only is there no trash but there also seems to be no dust or dirt. I saw why as we were walking back to the hotel. This guy was literally mopping the sidewalk!

Time to rest again...the heat just sucked every ounce of energy out of us. As it was getting dark, we walked around the corner to the camel enclosure where the police camels live. This was the area directly around our hotel.


They camel enclosure was closed to the public but they allowed us to come in and meet and feed the camels for a few minutes.





I think they were having a conversation.



After leaving the camels, we wanted to walk to the waterfront and go on a dhow boat ride around the harbor. To get there, we needed to cross a very busy street. I knew there was a tunnel that ran underneath but we couldn't figure out how to get there. A man was walking by at the time so I asked him for directions to the tunnel. Of course, he offered to show us. I was leery at first but there were tons of people around so we said ok. He said that he was from Egypt but currently living in Doha. We followed him through the tunnel and when we reached the other side, thanked him, and parted ways.

At the entrance to the harbor is a giant pearl monument. It pays tribute to Qatar's early days of pearl hunting before the more lucrative discovery of oil.

We found a dhow offering rides around the harbor and boarded. It looked like we were the only people on board what was in no way a luxury boat.

At the last second pulling away from shore, the Eqyptian guy who gave us directions jumped from shore on board. My heart stopped. He came and sat next to us. He was aggressive and harassing even after I told him I was married (I am not). We went upstairs to the roof in order to get away from him and try to enjoy the scenery.




Brenda and I were discussing what we would do when the boat docked and how we would get away from this guy without him following us. Suddenly he appeared on the roof. By now, I was getting very uncomfortable so we went downstairs and I tried to communicate with the boat captain (who spoke little English) what was happening and that this guy was scaring us. The boat captain, who was small and young, maybe even a kid, came to our defense. He said something to the guy in Arabic and when we docked, the guy immediately jumped off the boat. I had already called an Uber and it was waiting for us so we could hop in immediately and not be followed. But first, I gave the boat captain a huge tip. It was so much that he ran after me telling me we overpaid. I tried to explain to him how much he helped us and how thankful we were.

We were shaken but hungry so we went on to dinner at Al Shurfa, across the road from our hotel. We ate on the patio overlooking the square.

We both kept a lookout for the Eqyptian guy but thankfully never saw him again. We walked back to the hotel after dinner and spent the rest of the evening packing and preparing for our last, long flight at 8a the next day. Although we had that scary experience, we did really enjoy our time in Doha and we arrived home safely the next day.

Posted by zihuatcat 22:26 Archived in Qatar Tagged tanzania doha brenda

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This was a good write-up! Good job.

by Brenda

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