10 hours in Bahrain.
Al Manamah Travel Blog› entry 3 of 8 › view all entries
Yes I know I have a problem. I had this nice little trip to Dubai planned, and then I had to make it more complicated by adding on a side trip to Oman to the end of it. Then I realized how close I was to Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait. But only really having six days here makes it really tough to visit all of those places. After looking into things I realized that Kuwait would be right out because of the Israeli stamp in my passport. None of the other countries here will officially accept the dreaded stamp, but I feel optimistic about the rest.
I managed to book three flights that would allow me to visit both Bahrain and Qatar in a day. But in order to have sufficient time in both, I had to make some schedule sacrifices. The flight/price options out of Dubai were not workable, so I looked into nearby Abu Dhabi.
Also, Friday is Islam's holy day, so I thought that that might cause some problems due to things being closed and what have you. The flight was good, and passport control wasn't a problem. I hung around drinking a few cafe lattes in the coffee shop before heading into town. I decided to at least walk out of the airport to try to find a cheaper taxi. The fog was very thick, and the temperature was brisk but I was enjoying the walk. I actually fired up the GPS feature on my BlackBerry to make sure I was heading the correct direction, and thank goodness I did. I was going the opposite way.
After walking for about an hour, a car stopped and offered me a ride into town.
Bahrain, like the rest of the Persian Gulf countries is a practitioner of land reclamation from the Gulf. This leads to strange sights such as port buildings a kilometer inland, and a Corniche (water front walkway) from which you can hardly see the water. The distances were a lot larger than they looked on my map, and that led to alot of walking. But I did have time to kill, so what the heck.
The downtown area was pretty much deserted due to the beginning of the Friday weekend, and the only food option I could find was a 24 hour Hardees.
I walked down to the Sheraton to look around, and the fog started to clear along the way. The building boom is well under way here in Bahrain as well, and there are some great architectural sights to see. I made it to the Marina Corniche along Tubli Bay, and it was alive with action. I settled in at a bayside cafe for a Turkish Coffee, and an Apple Shisha. For those of you not in the know, a shisha is a large water pipe used in the middle east to smoke flavored tobaccos from. Also known in the states by the turkish name, hookah.
I started my search for a taxi to get back to the airport, and it was much more difficult than anticipated. I was offered another ride by a local, and took it. The gentleman was a worker from India, and just took me to an area in which I was much more likely to attract a taxi. the ride was cheap and efficient, and by the time I was checked in for the flight, the tiredness was already starting to catch up with me. This does not bode well.
The next flight was to Doha, Qatar and left at 1:25pm.