I have about almost two weeks of free time to visit a few places in Doha before we started working. Qatar is a beautiful country and the architecture in Doha just blew me away. I was awe-struck when I was in front of one of the buildings just staring on how tall and how massive it is but the attention to detail of the structure is absolutely amazing. I also enjoyed the bumpy camel ride on a hot Friday morning. And then there’s also a first time to the Souq Waqif and Katara courtesy of my new friend Gordon. I love the atmosphere at the Souq where traditional architecture, time-honored Arabic cuisine and customary items such as garments, handicrafts, souvenirs and spices are the highlights of the visit and of course the shisha, perfumes and jewelry. But no, Prince of Persia is nowhere to be found even at the labyrinth-style market but you can always have that impression if you’re inside because of its ancient yet sophisticated Arabic flair to it.
Katara, a cultural heritage park is another place to visit most especially if you’re into arts and culture. I absolutely love this place because they have their own concert hall for philharmonic orchestras to have a performance. And all my life, I’ve always wanted to attend one but never have that chance. One night while having gelato, I heard "I want to spend my lifetime loving you" from the soundtrack "The Mask of Zorro". Although it was only played through the speakers, the quartet was good enough to allow passion, chivalry and heroic dreams come to life. It was enchanting and impressive. I visited Katara twice at night but seeing this place while the sun is still up would have given me a different appreciation as well most especially it is located by the water. One of the places that I’ve always wanted to visit before I left is The Pearl, a man-made beach which took many years in the making. But I never have this chance to visit at all. So, we headed to the Museum of Islamic Arts instead, where art and science are realized through its detailed composition and substance. But this place is not for everyone most especially if you’re not into history but the place is really spectacular. Another place I failed to visit is Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. This is probably more interesting to other people who are into paintings, sculptures and other artworks where they would have a chance to learn through their workshops and exhibitions.
My dream of playing the violin.
I didn’t take food photos of all the restaurants that I’ve visited. Ironically, I failed to take photos of the really good foods that I’ve tasted. Although I’ve been making cold items in garde manger, I finally got to sit down at one of the restaurants at Souq and have a taste of their hummus, arugula and tomato salad, Mujaddara rice and lentil pilaf and the labnah with mint, all eaten with pita bread. There’s this Iranian Restaurant that serves really good soup, kofta, grilled chicken and fish, of course serve with some pita bread, fresh arugula, rice and lemon..It's cheap and very flavorful..
My trip to Qatar is very short. At Athletes Village, one day is like one week, while one month is like one year. Now that I'm back in Cebu City, it was indeed a very short trip. This blog post is just the tip of the iceberg but the experience is something that I will never forget. I might go back there one day for the same or even a different reason. I'll never know what lies ahead. But I am definitely open for opportunities and possibilities. In the meantime, Arab Games 2011 is Khalas!!