It was hard to believe that this was our final day in Doha, the time having passed by all too quickly. We’d arranged a late check out so set off on foot after our leisurely breakfast to take a look at the National Museum of Qatar which opened in Spring 2019. It took around 25 minutes in the blazing heat to reach the Museum and although it wasn’t too far, with hindsight we should have taken an Uber as there was no shade.
The museum is located at the southern end of the Corniche and is connected to the shore by two footbridges. Its innovative exterior design was inspired by the desert rose which gleamed in the morning sunshine. We didn’t feel we had time to view all the galleries so decided to leave visiting for a future stopover in Doha. The museum is a celebration of Qatar’s cultural history and features exhibitions on the natural history of the desert and the Persian Gulf, sounding very interesting.
We then wandered slowly along the waterfront towards the Dhow harbour, pausing to take in the views of the Museum of Islamic Arts on the way. I’d already visited this museum on my previous visit so on this occasion just enjoyed its idyllic setting.
The seafront was deserted except for a few people trying to sell boat trips around the harbour. There seemed to be a lack of places to sit on the Corniche but eventually we found a shady bench to sip our bottled water which had become lukewarm and didn’t taste very nice.
Returning to the hotel through the Souq we inhaled the aromas of the Spice Souq one last time and hoped it wouldn’t be too long until our next visit. There was still plenty of time for a swim in the rooftop pool and a chance to freshen up before checking out of our room at 2.00 p.m. As the airport was close by we didn’t need to leave until 3.30 p.m. leaving ample time to enjoy some lunch. We settled on Moroccan cuisine and our lunch on the terrace of Tajeen was delicious, if a little on the large side! We opted for their set lunch menu which comprised gently spiced soup served with a basket of rolls followed by lamb kofta with chips and salad then macaroons for dessert. We couldn’t manage the macaroons so wrapped them up in napkins to eat later at the airport. (Set meal including soft drinks QR 35 (£7.50 each).
Back at the hotel we bade our farewells to the front of house staff who had been most welcoming during our stay, offering us cups of Arabic coffee each time we’d come back in. It only took a few minutes for our Uber to arrive and despite not ordering a large vehicle, there was ample space for our large suitcases in the car boot. Soon after setting off we suffered a short delay for a very unusual reason – we were following the camels who were returning from the Royal Palace to their home at the Camel Souq. There was no room to pass so we crept along behind them until they turned off towards their enclosure. After that we sped along, arriving at the airport in 25 minutes. The fare was QR 22 (£4.70) which seemed very reasonable. The driver helped us with our luggage and within a few minutes we had checked in for our overnight flight to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. As the majority of Qatar’s passengers just transit through Hamid International Airport there were no queues at baggage drop, immigration or through security.
Once airside, we had a wander around the shops then found a seat near to our departure gate where we caught up on the news on our iPads until it was time to board our Qatar Airways Dreamliner 787-8 aircraft. Unlike our flight from Manchester, it was almost a full load and this time we didn’t have the luxury of an empty seat next to us.
A drinks service appeared promptly after take off so I enjoyed a refreshing gin and tonic and a small packet of pretzels whilst waiting for the dinner service to commence. To pass the time I watched the film ‘Yesterday’ about a would be singer who had gained the ability to memorise all the Beatles hits following a motor accident. It was reasonable but not something I’d go to the cinema to see.
Of the three main course options for dinner we both opted for the beef casserole with mashed potatoes, vegetables and a sweetcorn and pineapple salad. It was quite tasty, the highlight being the stracciatella mousse for dessert. I washed this down with a glass of red wine which sent me off to sleep nicely for much of the remaining 8 hour 35 minute flight.
I only woke as the breakfast trolley appeared and wasn’t really ready to eat but managed some scrambled eggs, fruit and yoghurt. I did fancy a cup of coffee though but had to make do with orange juice as it became turbulent and the cabin crew were unable to serve hot drinks. I then dozed for another hour until we touched down in a hazy Jakarta at 7.20 a.m. local time.
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