Yesterday we finally had a little time to explore the city of Doha, and we took our camera with us. Abbey said she had no fun by the time we got home, but I think you can see in these photos that she had a few smiles. Doha has a lot to enjoy - even the world's largest Dairy Queen! Who knew? We started out exploring down by the Corniche, which is kind of like a boardwalk/park that borders the Persian Gulf and is right downtown. The turquoise water is beautiful against the white sand, but when we stepped in, expecting a refreshing Utah wading experience, it felt more like sticking our feet into someone's bath water. Along the water there is a lot of trash, but we found a crab enjoying someone's castoff chicken bone. Abbey said, "Gross!" The fishing and pearl dhows give the view a very old world feel, but then the skyline is bursting with opulent modernism by the handfuls. Quite a contrast!
The Doha Palace is also down by the Corniche - that is the one with Qatar's flag flying at the top. You will also notice the amazing skyline and construction. Someone told me that 70% of the world's cranes are in Dubai right now. Well, Doha has its fair share as well. The architecture is pretty interesting, and Brett has a lot to say about that, but I will let him use his own blog to trash talk the lack of elegance in the structures going up. The photo with the arch is one example of the MANY roundabouts, and we call it Rainbow Roundabout. It is close to the villa where we attend our church meetings. I have included a poor photo of the church villa, but it is the only one we could get. Being close to so many embassies, we didn't want to take our lives into our hands by stopping for that shot. Keep in mind these photos were taken on a quiet Saturday afternoon while most people were home sleeping through their fast for Ramadan - not much traffic.
My favorite building is the one with the huge ball coming down into the middle. The wavy buildings are quite controversial, and everyone in Doha has their own opinion about them and give them clever nicknames like "The Dancing Ladies." Compared to a particular building in Dubai that has rotating floors that move independent of each other according to how the wind blows, this is pretty tame. I have also included some shots of various villas. This is how people live here, unless you are a worker in a blue jumpsuit who gets to ride the hot bus. I'm not sure where they live, but I have heard mention that Qatar is on the Human Rights Watchdog List. Maybe after we have lived here awhile I will be able to tell you more about all these sites, but for now, just enjoy this unusual glimpse into the Middle East.