Monday, 29 April 2013

Destination: Doha!

A Weekend Getaway!

When I found out a good friend - K - from Canada was making the trip to Doha to visit her parents (also living the expat life) I had an impromptu dance party and immediately made travel arrangements. I could NOT BELIEVE I was getting to see her and on THIS side of the world none the less!

Our friendship has developed from being friends of friends to occasional drinking partners to study buddies and weightless partners. Today I see her as a sister that pushes me to be better, stronger and smarter.  Sure it has been almost a year since I was able to see her, but what is the small matter of time to good friends? She is the kind of friend that I could call any moment of any day  (even if it had been 30 years) and it would be as though nothing has changed. I would do the same for her.  Anyway - enough with the sappy stuff.

Best believe I was on that plane as quickly as I could humanly manage after school and dancing in my seat the whole way there (Sorry Mr. 18 C)! Not only was I going to see K, BUT I would also get to explore a beautiful country! 

I arrived at the Airport to K holding up THE BIGGEST welcome sign. Just the most adorable experience ever. I literally RAN towards her - yea yea we all know I am a dork. If the car ride to their home was any indication it was going to be a weekend full of laughter and incomprehensible conversations. After talking each other's ears off the whole way home - and her mum's - we settled in for another long chat over a glass or three of wine. Something that we both love and enjoy together - a good (or cheap) bottle (or box) of wine. 

Dune Bashing, a Wonderful Museum,and Souk-ing.

We woke up pretty early on Thursday and headed right out to the desert to go dune driving on those beautiful white sand hills. This is an experience that I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone! It feels like a mixture of a roller coaster and falling off a cliff (or so I can only imagine). We asked our driver to go all out and he was more than willing to oblige. He knew the limits of his car and at no time did I feel unsafe. It was a very enjoyable day. We dubbed me the squawker - because I didn't quite scream when I was nervous but I did make a sound a little like a chicken.

We immediately returned to our insane/dorky selves and took many a picture trying to do yoga and jumping in the desert ( I only wish I had the patience to post all 1000000 failed attempts - as they are quite funny). We spend the day in and out of the car, taking pictures, playing volley ball, exploring the ocean and laughing - there was SO MUCH laughing! 

The Museum of Islamic Art

We spend Friday at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. It is an incredibly beautiful building. You could spend all day exploring the architectural features and not even make it to the exhibits. If you are heading to the area it is something that you MUST see. Even if museums 'aren't your thing.' The collection ranges across many era's in Islamic art and across many countries. But it is not overwhelming. The way things are displayed allows you to take in a little of each and then a little more. It is not overflowing with information at each section  - it gives you just enough to inform you and allow you to absorb what you are seeing and reading. It is a wonderful experience and I will definitely be going back!

After we lost ourselves in the museum for more than a few hours we headed over to Souk Wadif. While I have been to many souks, this is probably my favorite. All the original buildings have been refurbished and look stunning. I really appreciate being able to envision how it looked when it was the CBD of a city. The old alley ways are still there and are winding and confusing as all get out to navigate. But this is what I find so interesting. While to shopping is similar to most souks in this region, there are some interesting points and a few unique items to be found. It is absolutely worth spending a few hours exploring!

The rest of out weekend was spend sipping sangria in the sunshine by the pool, shopping and catching up! I could not have asked for a more perfect weekend or more gracious hosts. Felt the family love and was glad to be able to visit with everyone!

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