Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
So what does Ramadan entail? The part most people hear about is the no eating or drinking from dawn till dusk. And that mean NO drinking. You can't have water, juice, coffee or tea..nada. And that means no brushing your teeth or chewing gum, nothing should ever be in your mouth. The not as known things are no smoking and no sexual relations. In addition to the five daily prayers, during Ramadan Muslims recite a special prayer called the Taraweeh prayer (Night Prayer). The length of this prayer is usually 2-3 times as long as the daily prayers. Some Muslims spend the entire night in prayer. I was also told that it is encouraged to read the entire Koran during this month. It is illegal in the Gulf Countries to eat or drink in public. This is enforced by fines or being arrested.
At the end of the day the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is customary for Muslims to go out visiting family and friends. The fast is resumed the next morning. Many of the local hotels have huge buffets to eat at in the eve. The locals all go out about 10 pm and the dinners last till 1 am. Many businesses are only open 8pm to 1am. So you and the rest of the country are all trying to get your errands done at the same time. That makes it more interesting. Today is only the first day of the month but the amount of decorations that you see everywhere is spectacular. I hope we are here until the end of this lunar month. There is a three day celebration at the end of the month, that are suppose to be the best of the year.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Once we got back we went outside and it was only 80 degrees, it felt cool-i almost wanted a jacket!
Friday, July 20, 2007
We are in the process of getting our exit visas. But we will not be able to go to Bahrain now. We have tickets back to the United States for monday....wish us luck!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
So to sum it up...I think anyone from any country could come to Qatar and not feel threatened. Just make sure you know how to drive in roundabouts-they are the scariest things here.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
First there was the Qatar National Museum. This used to be the palace, originally belonging to Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani. But the Shiekh has since done a major up grade in location. Each of the buildings in this palace have artefacts of Qatar. There was a untensils room, money room, room with jewlery, sea life and the history of pearl fishing. The These give a glimpse of how rooms were furnished at the turn of the century and include furniture, artefacts and utensils from Qatar's past.
Second we went down to the Dhow Harbor. A Dhow is a type of boat that..
Third we found the Doha Zoo. This is the smallest zoo i have ever been to. But the price was right ($3 for entry).
Corniche - We took a stroll along the Corniche. The Corniche is a walking path and the name of the road near the bay of Doha. It is a must during your stay. This seven-kilometre stretch of coastline runs parallel to the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf and is used by walkers and runners, as well as the more adventurous roller-bladers. It offers a relaxing environment for family picnics and a nearby park for children. Fully landscaped with ample parking, the Corniche is the ideal place to unwind.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Once we got back down the dune we did some more driving around the country side. It is the desert so not much else to see but sand.
Once we were done driving around we wanted to do a more local experience. So we went down to the Old Souqs. Souqs is just another name for a bunch of little shops clumped together. Once we finally found a parking spot we did alot of walking around in this area. The trick to shopping here is haggling! I am ok at it however my husband doesn't even bother trying. He just pays full price. Which we learned is considered rude. We got an Arabian Pot, decorative Koran to display and a Shisha (tabacco pipe). Hoping to get a Persian Rug while we are in Qatar also.
Monday, June 18, 2007
After the sun was down and the sky was still light i noticed camels on the side of the road. It was very exciting! It also explained why they have a wire fence around the road--to keep the camels out.
Some of the other quirks to this area...
-it may be 110+ degrees outside but the locals keep the A/C at about 60 degrees. You have to go outside to thaw out! (which doesn't take long!)
-I have seen one street light. Yep just one. They have hundred of round-abouts though. Each have a sculpture or statue as markers. So the street name is not used. The directions are more like take your second right at the Rainbow round-about then your first right at the oyster shell round-about. Its quite amusing.
-Then there is the shear amount of construction going on. I counted 15 heavy duty cranes just with one passing by. Apparently the city is exploding with new people. The local Qataries make up 30% of the population here. The countries people are actually the minority.
-My last info point is...no matter how good your sunglasses are or how tinted the window in the car may be, or the fact you are wearing your sunglasses AND looking out a tinted window you should never just stare at a sunset here. Wow did i have a splitting headache. Is it possible to feel your optical nerve throbbing?
Thursday, June 14, 2007
While at the mall I did a lot of people watching. Qataris wear their traditional dress in their daily lives. For men, this is a long white shirt that reaches their ankles, called a thobe, and is worn over short trousers. A head covering, the gutra, is secured with four black tasseled cords, which have been braided. They can wear two different clothes for the gutra. The first one is a pure white sheet, this one is the more formal one. It would be the equivalent of wearing a business suit. The second is a white and red-checkered gutra, this one being more informal like a pair of jeans with a t-shirt. Women wear an abayah, a long black flowing dress over their clothes and are mostly veiled. Some women have their face covered with only their eyes showing and their abayah's are solid black. Then there are woman who choose to reveal their face. Their abayah's are often embellished with gold or silver embroidery. Some even have rhinestones embellished in the abayah's...just show everyone can enjoy a little bling. They wear clothing that I would wear under their abayah's. And this was very evident in the high quality of shoes you could see peeking out. Also I say more name brand purses on the arms of these women, they could rival Michigan Ave in Chicago.
The mall seemed to be a hot spot for people to visit on their days off. Weekends here are Thursday and Friday. The ice rink was always hopping and the mall had a 10-screen cinema in it. It plays 8 American movies and two Arabic. The teens grouped together and shopped just like anywhere else. The families were packed in the food court. The women were in droves in the high-end clothing stores. And I didn't see many men. So very typical of every mall I have ever been to, only larger.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Got to Frankfurt, Germany at 10 A.M. and headed for the business lounge. The lounge was huge but the snacks were on the skimpy side and you had to pay for drinks. Luckily our next flight was on time. The second part of our flight was on Lufthansa. This so far is my favorite business section. The sets lay down to almost a perfect flat bed, food is good, and staff is super friendly. On that flight I was not productive at all. I slept most of it.
Landed in Doha right on schedule. That just makes the start of a trip so much better. Getting off the plane down the stairs to the bus, I got my first "hit" of desert air. I knew it would be hot but I guess I thought since the sun was down it would be a little cooler. It really didn't make a difference. The air was hot and very humid. While getting on the bus to go to the terminal a lady sat next to me and made a comment about finally sitting next to a woman. I didn't notice until then but I was one of four women on the flight. Once I got to the terminal I was one of the first through the passport area, then once luggage started showing up, my luggage was the very first luggage off the rack! Once I had my bags I got through customs quickly and my car was waiting for me. It makes me giddy to have someone holding a sign with my name on it when you come out of the terminal. Just makes me feel special. I think the stars were in line for this trip. Never have I ever had that much ease when getting out of an airport.
The cars got Troy, Scott and myself to our hotel within an hour.
[PHOTO_ID_L=p1020081.jpg]We are staying at the Al Sultan Beach Resort in Al Khor (Al Khawr on the map). It is an OK hotel, not as nice as others in the area so my guess is we wouldn't stay here for more than 10 days. I guess we will see.[PHOTO_ID_R=p1020075.jpg]
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Saturday we got to pick up our dogs from Cheyenne, WY. They are living with some friends while we do our travels. Sandy is the oldest and he is a Jack Russel Terrier. And Belle is our youngest, she is a golden retriever. We picked up some UOP roadies while we were in Cheyenne also (Brent and Mark). And headed to the Poudre Valley. We went on a nice an easy hike through Young's gulch. Didn't want to do anything to strenuous since we haven't lived in the mountains for a few months, and the dogs haven't been up in a while either. After a long hike we drove to Fort Collins and went to the New Belgium Brewery. That night after the dogs went to bed. We headed to old town fort Collins. Started at the Drunken Monkey and the head to the Trailhead for the best cheesy fries in the world! After that we thought we would go get our dance on so we headed to the Zydeco's club. Ran into some old nursing friends and danced.
Sunday Troy/Derek/Mark/Brent took the dogs up to Horsetooth hills and went for another nice hike. Sunday night we did some grillin and chillin.
Monday was Memorial day so we went down to Denver to watch a Rockies and Cardinals baseball game. Rockies Won---Go Home Team!!! We met up with Mandy/Ashley and some other folks.
Tuesday we fly back home. Said goodbye to all. Can't wait for next visit!
Friday, April 6, 2007
Well its that time of year again. Easter is here and i get to go on a weekend sugar high!!!!!!!! This year we have been lovely adopted as family at Jason/Sabrina's house down in Killeen, TX (Fort Hood). So thats where we will be starting tonight. Don't worry i don't have my new camera yet so i can't ruin another one while i am there! This weekend is also little Angela's birthday (yep that makes me the big one!). And its Jason's birthday weekend, plus matt is getting shipped somewhere new. And last and most importantly its Hugh Hefner's birthday on April 9th. Happy birthday Hef!!!!!!!! (you never know he could read this some day!).
So as i do for all holidays i want to know what traditions you have or what you do on Easter. Good/bad/fun/boring/liked or disliked let me know.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Ok so we officially made the Road Map! This is good; it means they have an idea where we will go after OK. And the great news is…that it's the location we were hoping for! Are you ready? We are going to Ras Laffan, Qatar. Tentative date is May 20th. Ok now I will give you a chance to look it up since I doubt many of you know where its at………………………………………………………….........................…………………………………….……..ok you got it now?
Now before you freak out saying it's located in the middle east and the only country it borders is Saudi Arabia, remember we have people who check things out at all times to make sure we are safe. And this area is safe. Notice however it also has mainly ocean borders! Which means kick-ass scuba diving. I am going to have to start practicing some Arabic language. English is well spoken there (it's the official second language).
Sunday, April 1, 2007
So remember that brand new camera that i bought while we were in Singapore. I said how much i loved it and how cool it is! Well after having a heaving party night with Sabrina/nikki/jason/matt (which i somehow thing its ther fault also!). I found out something important that i need to share.
So I started the night off with drinking an entire bottle of Malibu Rum. Then we were all to drunk to drive so we got a Taxi TO The bar. I can't remember a time i actually need the taxi to the bar. That should have been my first clue this was going to be an expensive night. We once we got the the club we were doing shots and drinks and playing pool and kind of dancing. It starts to get a little fuzzy here. But i was only fuzzy! Others were passed out by 11pm (i will not say who but it was someones birthday that night!). Any who....somehow in the night i spilled (or at least we think it was me) a beer on the brand new camera. Nice right. Well good news is that my picture memory card was fine. However the camera....well it now sleeps with the fishes. Now i am on the hunt for a new digital point and click camera. I had the Panasonic DMC-FX01 it had the awesome feature of Optical Image Stabilizer....fancy name for...as drunk as i get and as much as i wiggle the picture will come out perfect! So anyone have any wonderful digital camera ideas they want to share with me. Otherwise i might just buy another one of these (and let Troy carry it at the bar!) PICS
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
I am thinking of heading to Killeen, TX for the St. Patrick's day weekend--we will see if my Killeen friends read this and call me! (hint, hint!) I can't think of anyone else in this area I would like to go out with and get drunk. It has been years since I have seen Tracy or Sabrina. Let alone their families. It is nice to know that people can remain good friends even with time and distance between them.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
A different way of life. People here are very relaxed. They work 8-5 like most places but then when they get home they go to sleep. They wake up a couple hours later to eat dinner. So the restaurants don't open until 7:30pm, and don't get busy until 8:30pm. So for Valentine's Day we were the first people at the restaurant, which worked out fine since the place was packed within the hour. The wine here is wonderful also. They have their own vineyards so we have been drinking plenty of local wine.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
We had a wonderful time and even caught a Vikings game. My first one.
|From Random 2007 Photos|