Last morningNovember 7, 2019 in Qatar ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C
We're out and about early again, this time arriving at the Souk by 07.30, before the stalls open. This turns out to be a great idea : things are only just coming to life, wheelbarrows of goods are being wheeled about, stallholders are smoking their early morning cigarettes and sipping coffee as they remove the curtains covering their wares overnight and just one or two authentic eateries are already open.
We plunge into Ali Al Naama for breakfast. We're liking the look of it because it has a number of local gents already established so hopefully that indicates decent food. I like the stripey cushions, too. Or maybe it's actually the only place open this early? The faint scents of cardamon and coffee waft around.
Right, food. What the heck is shabati which features heavily. A glance through the windows at the griddle answers that : chappati breads. Ok, so filled hot chappatis. We can run with that. We have four, cheese and thyme, chicken and cheese and two meat and cheese ones. They are all pretty good, the meat ones being the best.
John orders a Qatari cardamon and saffron coffee whilst I am predictably boring with black Nescafé. The gorgeously scented Qatari coffee arrives unsugared -wrong. The boring Nescafé arrives heavily sugared - wrong; I just knew I should've gone for the Qartai coffee with horseradish and dates... John asks for sugar and then drinks both coffees. The Qatari one is much better now that the sugar has opened up the flavours.
Then I'm on a hunt in the souk for dried lemons to take home. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them but I've got a huge bag for about £1 so I'll have to get inspired! The taxi back actually seems both fairly quick and direct, which makes a change.
We're now sitting round the pool again for our final about hour and a half. It's in the mid 30s, with clear blue skies, so going back to sub 10C and rain isn't an agreeable thought, as I move from the direct sun into dappled shade.
But, inevitably, we have to make a move to the airport. Our taxi makes a, um, nifty move at 90° right through 4 or 5 lanes of stationary traffic to get to the other side. Shortly after, someone swings directly into our path as if we didn't exist, forcing us into another car's path. Horns are blaring right, left and centre. Thankfully we make it to the airport unscathed.
It looks like we have a spare seat in our row of three which is always a bonus. Take off is scheduled for 14.35 but it sounds like all passengers are on board and the doors are shut already at 14.15. We push back a bit early and are at the end of the runway at 14.35. Time to go...
And we're back at Gatwick on time. The bags have made it, too. And so, finally, both this journey and this blog have reached their end.Read more