The adventure began before wheels up. Just before.
Leading up to the flight I signed up for SOAR newsletters. Captain Tom sent me a few reassuring emails the week leading up to the flight, and I was actually in a good state of mind and ready to fly. And I booked Emirates, one of the world’s best airlines. What could go wrong?
Fast forward to the flight. The captain comes on the speaker telling the flight attendants to prepare for take off. The engines start roaring and the plane starts to speed up to catch some air. Just as I start to hold my breath and hope for the best, some crazy man ten rows behind me jumps up out of his seat, starts yelling at the top of his lungs, runs up and down the aisle and then locks himself in the bathroom.
I literally thought I had a terror situation on my hands, and even started crying. Pretty embarrassing considering I was sitting right in front of the seated flight attendant. She checked up on me later in the flight to make sure I was okay, which was very sweet.
It turns out the man had on a hidden belt under his clothes that held flasks of alcohol. He clearly drank a lot of it, because he kept hitting flight attendants and shouting throughout the flight. Luckily, making my heart beat four times the normal rate was the worst of the whole fiasco. Well for me at least. The police were waiting for the man once we reached Doha.
The taxi into Doha gave a perfect night view of the skyline, which I love. It’s well lit like a proper city. With Dubai so spread out, it doesn’t have that lit up night sky panorama view, and seeing it in Doha was really refreshing.
The city itself reminds me of a mix between Boston and LA. Palm trees and beautiful weather, but walkable distances between the hotel and the grocery store and the mall and the restaurant.
After a full brunch on Friday at Jones the Grocer (YUM!), we checked out the Islamic Museum of Art. Leaving the hotel for the museum and dinner after, I picked out a ‘conservative’ dress to wear. I even thought I looked juvenile because it was so ‘covered.’ Not so. My arrival at the museum went a little something like this:
Whoops! Not in Dubai anymore.
After that embarrassment, we went in and were in awe. The building was so gorgeous, even more impressive than the exhibits. There were three floors with a wrap around room on each that had lots of ancient goodies – huge carpets, body armour, gold bracelets and cookware.
On we went to Opal, Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in the St. Regis. It was definitely the best meal I’ve had so far in the Middle East. Best part? The chicken wings! Best wings I’ve ever had in my entire life.
After dinner, we basically got robbed at the W. The entry fee, no wait excuse me, the ‘membership’ cost was 150 Riyals, or 40 bucks. A bottle of beer was roughly 16 bucks. Jon and I aren’t generally beer drinkers, but we had to make an exception after mistakenly ordering what must have been the most expensive drinks in the house. It was a good night though, with great music and lots of dancing.
On my last day, we visited Katara Beach. No bikinis, or any bathing suit really, allowed here but we got to eat some good grilled food, watched people parasail and got our feet in the sand. Such a nice atmosphere and really pretty views.
Doha, I would be happy to see you again soon.