Saturday, August 12, 2017

desiccated and dehydrated in doha

Our last stop on the way home was Doha in Qatar - the 8th country on this trip.

When we booked our flight from Yerevan to Sydney we were faced with a 14 hour stop over in Doha. Too long to spend at the airport I discovered Qatar had begun to offer Qatar Airline passengers who had stopovers more than 4 hours and less than 48, were eligible for a free transit visit to leave the airport.

It had to be booked online and no earlier than 30 days before arriving. So I had to do this during the trip. As the trip neared the end we were still waiting to hear back about the visas. Then I received mine 2 days before we were due to arrive. Then Paul's arrived the day we left Yerevan.

The flight from Yerevan to Doha was short 'n sweet. We arrived at 5.30 in the morning (having been awake for by this time for 22 hours) and the outside temperature was 37 deg C.

The woman at customs, in response to my query as to whether they would accept our visas electronically on my tablet, cheerily told me that 2 days prior Qatar had introduced free visas to 75 countries including Australia.

Doha city I knew was only about 6 - 8kms from the airport so I was a bit shocked when we had quotes of around $35-$40 for a taxi. So we caught the shuttle bus to the old city centre for about $1.50 each!

Unfortunately being a Friday most of the shops were closed (Friday being the Muslim equivalent of a Sunday). Also we were wandering around at 06.30 and most places were shut that early anyway.

The old city was not that old and there was very little to sustain our interest. Also as the day progressed the temperature climbed higher and higher.

Eventually it became so uncomfortably hot we decided to seek refuge in an air conditioned shopping mall. The largest was in the modern city centre another few kms further around the harbour front.

This area was full of high rise modern skyscrapers a little like a mini version of Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

After wasting several hours in the mall we headed over to the I.M.Pei designed Museum of Islamic Art on the harbour.

I have to say it is the most beautifully designed museum, the most stylishly presented art and the most magnificent selection of Islamic Art that I've ever seen.

Below are a selection of photos of our day in Doha and some of the works from the museum.

In addition - by 1.30pm the outside temperature had climbed to 52.3 degrees C - and when we were outside we were close to DEATH!!

No comments: