Spending 13 hours in Qatar
Doha Travel Blog› entry 2 of 19 › view all entries
I arrived in Doha much faster than I had anticipated; the flight went really fast and after just under 5 hours we landed in Doha International Airport which was a pleasant surprise. The airport was enormous and the plane parked far away from the terminal where we all had to wave our blue, yellow or orange boarding card holders. We had to leave the plane by the stairs and two buses picked us up and drove us to the terminal building.
I had to leave the airport at the first entrance since i was carrying a blue card and I was staying the night in Doha. We were not that many people that left the buses at that place and the immigration therefore went pretty fast. I had to have my picture taken and pay 100 local money for the visa to enter; which is about 25$.
I walked in to a bright but not huge arrival hall and I straight away saw that I was back in Middle East because of all men running around in Arabic clothes and I felt quite happy to be there and enjoy the warm weather. I sat down and tried to figure out if the hotel had an airport shuttle but I had some difficulties and understanding the woman from the hotel, so I decided to take a taxi.
The taxis, well the official ones were parked just around the corner and the taxi driver were all Indians.
The entrance of the hotel was quite empty when I arrived; the interior of the hall was quite traditional with marble everywhere and a coffee bar in the corner, the reception was quite large and a guy was standing there ready to serve me. He quickly found my room that was on the 10th floor and I hurried up to leave my stuff and go for a walk.
The room was great in all perspectives, as I opened that door I looked in to a room that was more than 45 square meters.
The first thing I did was to sit in the sofa and just relax with the feet on the sofa table; I checked out if the Wi-Fi was working and it did. Then I opened the letter while I enjoyed some of the fruit that I had been given.
The lounge was just next door to my room and I was greeted by two smiling Indian women of which at least one of them were working there. The snacks were nothing special so I settled with a sprite a looked at the view. I was the only one in the lounge and I found it very boring so I left straight away and went for my camera in the room and decided to go for a walk in the neighbourhood. My aim was clearly to have a look at the Islamic Art Museum and the Doha Skyline.
When I left the hotel I was greeted by a taxi driver that wanted to take me for a spin but I said no thank you because I wanted to have a walk. The neighbouring area was quite boring but I followed the light of a building a bit down the road. The building looked like a casino but turned out to be a furniture shop. There were not that many people walking in the area most of them were driving in huge cars on the dusty roads and there were loads of construction going on. The weather was really nice, not a cloud on the sky and around 20 degrees Celsius. I crossed a number of large parking lots and construction sites before I ended up at the huge road that had taken me from the airport and lead to downtown Doha.
On the other side of the road I could see the magnificent Islamic Museum.
I contacted one of the guards that stated that the park was open but he didn't give me any indications on for how long. I enter and walked to the main entrance of the museum where long rows of palm trees lead up to a first floor entrance.
Crossing the road again turned out to be even more dangerous than earlier; many of the cars drove insanely fast and there were loads of muscle cars driving against each other too. It took me almost 15 minutes to cross the road and I was close be run over 3 times. I walked back to the hotel passing some nice hotel and government building before I finally was back at the hotel.
The hotel restaurant was on the first floor and there were not many customers there, but I also arrived pretty late. There was a huge buffet with Persian food it looked delicious but I was not that hungry at all, so I went for a Nasi Goreng. I had hoped for a cold beer but the hotel was a non-alcoholic one so I went for some water and a pineapple juice. The meal was great and huge; I was not even able to finish it all. After dinner I went up to my room to get some rest and sleep, I had to get up early for my Hong Kong the following morning. At my room I tried to book a taxi or a shuttle to the airport but I was not really sure what happen because the communication that didn't work from the airport had not improved from the hotel. I could simply not understand what the woman concluded in the phone; I had to see next morning what would be the result. I was aiming for a taxi around 6 am.