doha | qatar
The first morning, I woke to a thick fog in the air... except it wasn't moisture, it was sand. If I would have visited just 7 years prior, the city would have been almost completely flat. As one might expect, building an entire city in such a short period of time renders a cityscape of incredibly modern architecture. Days were spent swimming among tropical fish and wandering the local markets of the Souq Waqif - a magical collection of spices, handicrafts, gold, traditional garments, home goods, restaurants, and - a personal favourite - Shisha lounges. Falconry - the hunting of wild quarry in its natural habitat by means of a trained bird of prey - was a symbol of prestige, with hunting falcons ranging in price anywhere from $10,000 to $275,000 US! Exploring a bit further, discoveries included a traditional Badu tent, Qatari police horses, traditional Arabic coffee pots, and countless Muslim Mosques where the call to prayer was broadcast over loudspeakers 5 times a day.