Published: June 16th 2011June 15th 2011
Well after much ado, I am in Doha, Qatar. Almost in Africa.
I wrote last blog that I was worried about getting out of Melbourne. By the time I left home on Wednesday morning I was no longer worried about getting out of Melbourne but out of Perth at the other end. The Ash cloud was moving over Perth and looked like it was going to settle there and raise children.
By the time we had driven the 3 hours down to Melbourne (after trying for over 30mins to talk to Jetstar in their queue) we found out as we arrived that my flight from Melbourne to Perth had been cancelled. I ended up calling the Travel Agent (many times), the airlines, my insurance company and used up ALL the full battery I had on my phone! After about 7hrs waiting for finances to be able to process all the people trying to buy new flights I finally got a flight from Melbourne to Nairobi via Qatar with Qatar airlines.
Turns out there were actually a few girls from the group on the flight so it was good to meet them and have a little chat with them (because despite sitting in the rows behind each other we didnt actually talk and confirm that we were all on the same program until after we landed in Doha.)
The flight was relatively uneventful as 13hr flights go. There was some turbulence but nothing dramatic. I managed to watch up to episode 7 of Downton Abbey. So good! Deception, propsals, pregnancies, affairs, deaths, and some pretty intense plotting. Wont give too many of the storylines away but its worth watching.
I didnt get much sleep particularly after they tried to serve us breakfast at 3.30am Nairobi time.
Flying into Doha was really interesting, having always wanted to travel into the Middle East and see what it looks like, it was amazing to fly over the land and see no grass, no trees, no peaked roof houses (not sure if that is an architectural thing or a functional thing but would love if someone could do some research) really different environment. Can't wait to see what the first images of Kenya look like. I'll make sure to grab some pics as I leave as I was too excited to take them on the way in.
Doha is such an interesting mix of people, you can really see how it bridges Africa, Asia and Europe.
It is very Islamic but not in an intimidating way, tho it does make me feel like I should have worn a shawl over my head out of respect (pretty much the only women here that arn't wearing at least a scarf are the westerners, and the women range from scarves and hijabs to full non transparent burqas) I really hope that I get to hear the Call to worship for Muslims at midday, we landed right on 6am so I dont know if they actually have one in the airport, but they do have a Mosque so I'll wait to the last min to get on my 12.30 flight to see.
Anyway, I'll leave it there for now and go an wait out the last 2 hours of my 6 hour stopover.
Next time you hear from me I will be in Africa!!!