I thought Ron wanted Qatar, turns out he meant guitar. My bad.

Usually I don’t get busy posting until destination is arrived at Doha was to be a stop over point between flights. Turns out being here for 14 hours or so is part of the adventure. Checking in at PET, I learned that my bag was being checked through directly to Nepal so whatever I had on my back would represent my wardrobe for the next 48 hours or so. I warned my travel mate who elected to reposition his gear, adding about seven jackets of varying weight from shell to what would keep you warm atop Everest. His hand luggage outweighed my backpack. Turns out that his move was prescient, since alighting from the plane the temperature had plummeted to 29 Celsius.

Qatar Airlines really puts the ‘business’ into business class. As can been seen below, Yak and Yeti modelling complementary sleep wear as provided courtesy QA.

GQ, eat your heart out
Flight was uneventful, particularly considering the places we flew over.

With no luggage to wait for we were in the hotel in minutes. Ron noted on the brief drive from airport to hotel that the city of Doha was modelled after Epcot, except for the lineups and screaming children. As befitting two travellers who just experienced the royal treatment, the Oryx Rotana has actually exceeded expectations offered up on the net. Our charming hostess upgraded us to superior accommodations and, as we sauntered agog through the lobby, accessing the elevator to the 7th and top floor, the beauty, quality and design of the hotel impacted big time.

Looking down from the glass elevator
Looking down from glass hotel elevator

After a quick clean up it was of to market, to market to buy a fat pig. Wrong country. What we did learn was Thursday night in Qatar = Friday night back home. The market in the Old City was the place to be. Our concierge dialled up a driver an a black Audi 6 was at our beck and call. While photographs can tell part of the story, neither Google or Apple has yet figured out a way to transmit smell. Yet. Entering the market required a step back in time and, as we traversed the back alleyways, replete with spices, nuts, multi-hued parrots, tea sets and wheelbarrows, it was hard to reconcile the world we had been living in a few short hours back with where we now stood.


Yeti doing what he does best – and most. Did I mention how well certain older individuals, seated on the same stoop in the market as their ancestors have done for a millennia or so, react to having their photographs brazenly captured by a particular Montreal lawyer sans permission? We learned a primary phrase that will be important to adhere to. Shakran (thank you), Haram (forbidden), run (self-explanatory).

Having circumscribed half the globe, we were feeling rather Peckish and stopped in at one of the local eateries.

I didn’t ask for a hookah, I asked for……
The place was abuzz with locals and ex pats (didn’t see Steve Grogan).
I didn’t ask for a hookah, I asked for……
I didn’t ask for a hookah, I asked for……

Food was sumptuous. Note the mint tea, served from a ridiculous elevation, reminiscent of the chai wallahs in India. These guys could have Olympic events. Pouring height, heat endurance, toothy smiles, all gold medal eligible. Ron opted for Moroccan chicken tangine. I noted camel in traditional spices on the menu. My last experience eating dromedary was in Kabul in 1978. It wasn’t too great. I thought I’d give it another go. Delicious.

Would you like one hump or two?

Time to head back to the hotel but first a stop at the local hootenanny. Hundreds watched as the band played on. Dancing, singing, awash in colour (although a goodly percentage of the men dress in traditional white garb; spotless and crisp head to toe.

Qatar’s answer to the Shaar
Doha Skyline (not to be confused with Nashville

So, tomorrow we start our holiday.


  • Cookieman
    Posted at 22:17h, 07 November Reply

    Qatar Hero. Good you ate camel at the start of a trip, now you won't need to carry a water bottle. Did it have that nice smokey unfiltered taste? Enjoy the advanced civilizations, you'll be back in the third world in a couple of weeks.

  • Julian
    Posted at 22:36h, 07 November Reply

    Ahhh, Day 1…mint tea and a hookah full of Camel humps. Not sure why you went in the first place, but I'm sure you do. My favourite line so far…The place was abuzz…sounds like home to me!! xoxo J.

  • Lori Burnett
    Posted at 00:29h, 08 November Reply

    I'm all smiles as I share your blog from the other side of the globe. Did I mention that you (both) look deliriously happy? Not that I expected anything less. Great words and photos. Enjoy, and keep blogging! xoxo

  • Cookieman
    Posted at 01:46h, 08 November Reply

    I'm looking forward to your next two weeks of adventure which I will enjoy vicariously. Keep giggling!!
    Bobina xo

  • Cappy
    Posted at 11:12h, 08 November Reply

    Off to an articulate start, just so you know you are not whistling in the dark, although I am reading this in pitch black at 6am. What's in the hookah?


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