Friday, January 9, 2009

I saw Blue...and it was GLORIOUS!

For those of you that catch the title reference it was a fantastic day. The weather here was absolutely beautiful today. I think it was around 22.5 celcius and sunny all day long. We started this morning in a very relaxed way, with a good night sleep under our belts, we took a nice little stroll around the compound and sat in the sun while Denny was at fellowship. When we got moving to go get some food, Denny and his daughter took us to this great place that is frequented by ex-pats called Ric's. Kristen had some great Megas ( a Mexican egg dish with jalepeno and tortilla strips) and i had the pancakes. They were both wonderful!!

With full bellies and a desire to get out and see the day, we headed out to what is called "The Pearl" this is a great manmade island area that will have a ton of high end shops and residences, villas and even private islands for sale. All man made! Only part of it is open right now for people to come in and see, so we walked around for a bit and really were amazed at the quality of craftsmanship and the attention to detail. It is all an island so it has a lagoon area and the water is a beautiful blue-green color.
After the Pearl, we drove to the Museum of Islamic Arts. This has just recently opened and it was designed by the acclaimed architect I.M. Pei. He was the one who also designed the entrance to the Louvre in Paris, and I am quickly becoming a fan. His work is amazing!! The museum is beautiful, unlike most museums that try and cram too much to look at into small spaces. This place really did a great job of balancing history with variety. It was very interesting to learn about the impact that islamic art has had on cultures and the effect culture has had on islamic art. We spent a few hours there and then headed out to the Souq Waqif.

The Souq is a market. In Doha they have Souq's for all kinds of things. There are car wash souq's, tailor souq's and so on. They are basically like strip malls with a theme, but not this one. This is the oldest and largest souq in Doha. It has pretty much everything one could want, from garden equipment to cooking utensils, to nuts, spices, scarves, clothes, electronics and restaurants. We walked around there for hours and really enjoyed looking at all the things that make up normal life in Doha. After a while we stopped for a bite to eat at the Iraqi restaurant there. I don't know the name, it just said Iraqi restaurant on the sign...we tried our best to undertand what we were ordering but the waiter didn't really speak much english. We did get lentil soup and an appetizer plate that had amazing hummus, baba ganoush, and some other salads and dips. The pita was warm and delicious! We even got to have some Iraqi tea at the end of the meal.
After our meal we hopped down the street a bit to another cafe where we had some coffee (Kristen had a hot chocolate) and i decided to smoke from a hooka! It is kind of like smoking a cigar, you dont inhale and its really quite smooth. They take what looks like little pieces of wood and put it on the top of the hookah and there you go, puff away. It was very flavorful, i got apple flavor. We got a little more shopping done after that and then it was time to head back to the villa for an easy night and a movie, it was a full day!

Well that was our day, and it was a long great, full day. Funny little story though. while we were walking through the Souq, there was this one little alley that was kind of nice and more "mall like". We called it the sexy alley, because it had some pretty racy (for this culture) women's clothing. We used it as a reference point while walking around. So we were talking to Denny about this and apparently that is a women's only area in the Souq!! OOPS! So I learned a little something today!!

Off to hit the sack for another full day tomorrow! Hope everyone at home is having a great day!

1 comment:

  1. The title kills me, Jeff. Good stuff. I love reading about this trip because you guys are better than me to try a place that just says "Iraqi Restaurant"!

    Brian Shea