24 hours in Doha

I just got the membership of the “24-hours-somewhere” club and to begin in the most flamboyant way I picked Doha.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI am not the first to write about the burgeoning capital of Qatar, but I decided to add some pictures and my slacker’s perspective in organising the tour.
I was surprised by the lack of information in the very beginning, and I assumed that Doha is not as popular as other destinations in the Gulf where every place seems already so overcrowded.

9 a.m.
It is mid-September and weather has been louzy in Italy for most of the summer – oh grape harvest! – but consolation is round the corner with rooftop pools, as common in Doha’s hotels as hummus in restaurants.
I would hang around there until mid-day, sipping a fruity non-alcoholic cocktail, not further than one meter from the water.

12:30 p.m.
Head towards the restaurant Balhambar, a.k.a. Al Mourjan, on the Corniche,
wpid-restaurant-balhambar-in-dohas-corniche.jpg.jpegtake some time to take pictures of Doha’s skyline on your left before getting in
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESand taste a very good example of Middle-Eastern cuisine:
wpid-muhammara.jpgMuhammara, spicy dip with tomatoes, cracked wheat, walnuts and pine seeds,
wpid-kastaleta-riyash.jpg.jpegKastaleta Riyash, tender lamb chops,
Muhallebia complimentary Muhallebi, milk pudding.
The view is breathtaking in the evening too, I am told. I can imagine.

2 p.m.
Time for some culture in a dark and air-conditioned environment, unless you wish to take some more pictures on the terrace,
wpid-sam_0233.jpgI am talking about the magnificently designed Museum of Islamic Art.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESEveryone recommends it and it is not hard to understand why:
Royal seal of Mysore SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESunique jewels and insights about Islamic culture
SAM_0256and a cozy cafè.

4 p.m.
It is perhaps too hot at this time, but breathing ‘fresh’ air again made me wish to walk all the way to Souq Waqif, the initial idea being getting a little tanned on the way and fit for shopping.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESTruth is a cab is always a good option when you are out of water in the middle of the Persian Gulf, although Doha’s Corniche offers some nice sights at this time of the day.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESOnce you are in the Souq, the only limit to shopping is the unlimited offer of goods of all sorts, my personal favourite was gold,
SAM_0328maybe the jewels back at the Museum had left their mark.
SAM_0311Moroccan tea @TajineThe highlight of my souq experience was in the end what everyone does at sunset: a grape-flavoured shisha at the Moroccan restaurant Tajine, coupled with Moroccan tea, poured from a meter above the cup, skilled waiter.

6:30 p.m.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnother jump in the pool and a spa treatment, if you did everything written above, you will understand.

9:00 p.m.
Head back to the Souq for dinner in one of the many restaurants,
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI had dinner at Al Bandar, specialty of the house: fish.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI started with Moutabbah, a variation of Baba Ganoush, smoky eggplant dip, I love dips here!
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI ordered a King Fish steak as main course, they have quite a wide offer of sauces, and I wanted something spicy so I chose the black pepper sauce, no disappointments.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAfter dinner, a healthy walk in the now lively Souq is highly recommended, sit somewhere and enjoy the last tea of the day.

Enjoy your stay in Doha!

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