Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Arabian Horses

I went down to the old souq this afternoon , hoping that I had timed it right to see the police horses doing their patrol through the marketplace. I had my camera at the ready and I was not disappointed. These Arabian horses are so beautiful, I had to download the pictures and put them on my blog straight away.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter in Qatar

Celebrating Easter

Special holidays are a time when you miss family the most. We are so fortunate to have our Aussie mates - the Cooper and Innis families to share special days with.

The Easter Bunny visits Doha

The "Easter Bunny" brought her basket of Easter eggs. We loved our Lindt bunnies from Lily.
Who would have thought you could find hot cross buns in the Middle East!

At The Pearl

Getting together with the Innises and the Coopers for Easter. Taken on the balcony of The Pearl, where the Coopers live.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Time to do some blogging after two weeks of being the tour guide with my friend Annette, from Sydney. It was interesting to see Qatar through the eyes of a tourist. It was different and I came to better appreciate the rich culture and diversity of this part of the world. Since we moved to Doha, almost 4 months ago, I have been pretty focussed on the adjustments required when you move to a different country. Things like setting up house and working out the mundane everyday tasks like how to get around to do the shopping! Not that easy. Abu Dhabi is more developed and had seemed an easier place to live. The Middle East as a whole is fascinating and culturally very diverse, and Qatar is unique in many ways. Over the past couple of weeks, I have come to appreciate all there is to see and experience here, from sand duning on a desert safari, to camel races, to swimming in the Inland Sea, riding a camel for the first time, henna painting, and more. I hope the pictures I have blogged will give some idea of the unique experiences we are having here. The buildings are amazing, and Don finds the architecture so interesting. He feels fortunate that he can experience working on a project that will actually change the city skyline when finished. As with anything, there are the good experiences and the not so good, but I think we are appreciating more and more that our time here will pass quickly, and we need to just enjoy the experience as much as we can.

Henna painting

The henna dye stays on for some time. My friend Annette wore a reminder of her stay in the Middle East back to Sydney.

What's on the menu here?

This is for real. We could have ordered one.

Camel Races - Doha

Four adventurous ladies on a Desert Safari

The driver let down the tires on the 4WD before taking us sand duning. We went down this dune!

The Inland Sea is spectacular. We swam, had a barbeque lunch and a camel ride there.

The desert is very beautiful with the white sand and the patterns from the wind. Much screaming during the wild ride through the sand dunes, but it was great fun!

Camel riding at the Inland Sea

It was hilarious and a bit scary to ride a camel for the first time. As the camel rises, you are sure you are going to come off! I was convinced that Annette's camel was going to bite my leg! They are cranky creatures and make this grumbling sound, while baring their very big teeth!

Touristing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with Annette

The view from the Arabian Courtyard Hotel in the centre of Dubai where we stayed. Some of the culture has been preserved here, but the city is mostly skyscrapers now. Dubai currently boasts the tallest building in the world.

Favourite refreshments

Enjoying high tea at the Ritz-Carlton. Baby Xavier was very social with all the ladies.

This has become our favourite drink in the Middle East. Fresh lemon and mint drink. So refreshing.

The Souq (marketplace) is fascinating. The horses and camels paraded through some afternoons, much to the delight of the tourists.

Shopping with the locals. They don't like to be photographed so it is quite hard to get pictures.

Shopping in the Souq

You never know what you will find in the Souq. Bunnies in their dresses, bright and sparkly dress fabrics, a man with a wheelbarrow (far left) who offered us a ride!

A spicy work of art

Browsing through the souk has become my favourite thing in Doha. You never know what treasures you find, mostly visual. It must have taken someone a long time to create this display of intricate layers of every different spice you could think of.