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Published: February 15th 2015
Can you, or can we write a blog for spending 24 hours in Doha...is there something to write, or to see in Doha...and what are we doing here for 24 hours....to all those questions, trust me, there is only one answer...could we have 36 hours in a single day...please!
The kids have already been on a Qatar Airways plane, but it was a first for me. Tiffany and Leslie have their week of school holidays, so we are heading on the road again. This trip will not be on the glamour side, neither on the bubbles one...rather discovering some out of the way places. I have few miles to use...that's not a surprise for anybody, so we are using them this time on Qatar, with a 24 hours lay-over in Doha. First impression of Qatar Airways in economy class is more than impressive...the exit row seats and bulkhead seats do have an improved foot/leg support...I'm impressed. Food was nice...entertainment system is more than up to date, and they even serve you "Jacquart" Champagne with a nice smile...I think this is clearly on of the best airlines in Economy...and we were not at the end of some fun moments.
Once in Doha, I'm doing the mix that I love to do with the kids...we are staying in style, but are taking the public busses to get there. It's Friday, the official day off...at the bus Terminal, you see a lot of men, well, actually it's mainly men. No tourists, no white faces...but rather all the working ones for this "system", coming from Africa, South Asia and Asia. Doha is nothing else than a huge construction site....in full progress. It seems that this is not only true for Doha, but for the whole of Qatar. I will not enter here in the politics of the construction incidents that have happened here over the many last months....but one thing for sure...thousands of people have been imported to work here...and working is the only thing that seems to be available if you are pay a pittance...
So we took two local buses to reach our hotel in the Diplomatic District, next door from the City Center Mall (didn't even go in). We are staying for one night at the W hotel, and these guys have simply spoiled me. Ok, let's be honest, I have a special
deal so the "room" is pretty cheap for what it is, even before we arrived. But they didn't only gave us a room, they actually put us in a "Residence"....place is bigger than most flats you would dream in any place...oh, and to keep us happy, lunch was on them, drinks and food in the evening was on them, breakfast was on them. As you can guess, we didn't spend much time eating out. And when you know that here, a house wine glass, or a gin tonic is 17usd...I didn't mind to be nicely taking care off...
I had wanted to come to Doha for the last 8 years, since the Museum of Islamic Arts opened it's door. This place is pretty amazing. I would have loved to have double the time to enjoy this place....but our day was already a pretty long one. The museum is not only free, it's amazing. On a funny note, I've actually never seen a museum with so few guards to keep the place. Took us a little while to reach the museum as the "Tour of Qatar" was arriving on the Corniche, blocking most of the traffic in the
area...so we walked...a lot!
After the Museum, and just for sunset...we made our way to the Souqs. A souq is a market...some of them here look like any shopping place I have encounter in China...full of cheap imported things...mainly from China. And there, there is the Souq Waqif. This is another place where I would have loved to spend way more time. The lights were amazing. It was Friday evening, the day when everybody is out. This place is full of locals, and very few tourists....enjoy the pics...next time, I could spend hours here...easily!
Sadly we didn't have the time to visit the main Mosque. I have to admit it, it was a pretty long day. We finished by a little evening walk on the Corniche before going back to the hotel.
Our flight next day was at lunch time...so we left early, to have time to enjoy the brand new Doha airport...or rather to be more accurate, to enjoy the Al Mourjan business lounge...I love travelling the world, and sometime, it's just fun to see how crazy new airport are built. There is Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, and now there
is also Doha airport. The lounge has games....and yes, I can be a kid too. And if you are aware, they do serve Krug in the one bar...and if you ask nicely. Krug, most won't have heard about it, but this is basically what they do serve you in First Class on Cathay Pacific....I do not know a single business class lounge who will pour you this...anywhere around the world.
So we arrived at the airport three hours before our flight....and we still had to rush to not miss the last call for our flight. And in a few days time, it's another 2 hours transfer in Doha on our way back.
So this full week may not be full blow glamour and bubbles, but I guess I do have my dose of bubbles...and even some glamour over these last few hours spent in Doha. And I guess too, it's not the last time we are flying on Qatar!
Next entry, is less than 3000km from Doha, and in a very different setting...coming soon...
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