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Published: September 22nd 2018
I hadn't visit Qatar for 15 years and to be honest it wasn't a very memorable place then but the city has grown. From the nice new airport to the nicely designed museums near the harbour I was pleasantly surprised. After arriving at the hotel I met up with a colleague and we set out to explore the city with the award winning Islamic Art museum the number one priority. The museum sits on a piece of land jutting out into to the harbour and is an impressively modern building with three floors of wonderful Islamic art, we spent several hours enjoying the collection. As we departed the sun was setting so we decided to take a boat trip on the harbour the new city with its many architecturally unique buildings was lit up on the horizon and is quite impressive. On return to the dock we walked up to Doha's beautifully restored souk and stopped for a traditional dinner at a very good Syrian restaurant before returning to the hotel.
The next days were all work although we sometimes visit restaurants and malls around the city but for the most part we spent the evenings by the pool bar
tapping away on our laptops. On the Thursday afternoon we left the office for the last time fare-welled Brian and headed to the airport, we had a good meal in the food court before boarding our first flight back to Oman. Unfortunately, we must transit for five hours so when we arrived we decided to take a taxi into town but first we needed a visa so after outlaying the necessary fee we were on our way.
Muscat as with Doha has changed considerably in the last 15 years but then what city hasn’t, I enjoyed the ride from the airport down to the old harbour around Muttrah witnessing a traditional march down in the old city before looping through some of the cities more picturesque areas on the way back to the airport.
When we arrived, it was mayhem the airport is old and inefficient, so it took us an hour to get back through immigration where we discovered our flight back to Dubai had been delayed but we had no idea how long for, so we headed off to the bar for a drink to kill some time. Eventually we boarded our Royal Oman flight back
to Dubai the whole return journey from hotel to my home took more then twelve hours to cover a distance of 250 kilometres.
Nothing of any great interest happened over the next few weeks although I did go to Chris’ place for a great Indonesian meal, we talked about a trip to Baku for the following weekend, but he pulled the plug, so I decided to go anyway. The next few days were about arranging a visa and booking flights and accommodation.
Ruth and I had some less than glittering memories of Azerbaijan having spent several hours sheltering under the wing in broiling temperatures during a trip from Kazakhstan to Ukraine many years ago. So while I am in the region I figured why not go back for another look so that’s what I did flying out on the last weekend in February.
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