After a 3 hr car ride, 7 hr flight, 8.5 hr stop over and another 45 minute flight I FINALLY arrived in Bahrain!
I flew with Emirates and completely made myself at home. I had 3 seats to myself so turned it in to a some-what nest. The air hostess did a blinder and found a vegan dish for me so I was happy out watching movies and munching away!
The stop over in Dubai was a little challenging but after a lentil soup, a pack of digestives and some colouring it was time to board my final flight to Bahrain. I’m staying with my friend Kelly and her family here and met her mom at arrivals. We went on to meet Kelly at a lovely restaurant/ cafe called ‘La Chocolate’ fo some coffee as Kelly had to work. After we left Kelly, I was treated to a mani-pedi (such a welcome surprise!!) and after being awake for over 24hrs I was ready to check out. When Kelly came home, we got some food in the rugby club and headed out to see the Qal’at al-Bahrain / Portuguese Fortress. There was a lightning storm on at the time so it was pretty awesome backdrop! The Fortress itself was closed but we had a quick walk around the outside.
On Monday, the 6th, myself and Ruth went to the Bab el – Bahrain Souk. A souk (if you don’t know what it is) is a type of marketplace where you can get just about anything from kitchen utensils to fabrics, gold to ornaments, spices and sweets to nuts. Here I got to meet a 79 year old silversmith who is the last in the trade in that souk. The silversmiths name is Abdul Ruzaq Al Roomy and he opened his shop in 1963. All of the pieces were handmade by himself. As well as this, to name a few, I saw beautiful pashminas, hand crafted ornaments, Arabian lamps, textiles and rugs. For lunch, Ruth brought me to this AMAZING Indian vegetarian restaurant called Swagat. We had a Thali which is a selecetion of different curries, soups and veg. It came served with naan bread and rice. The staff and service was excellent and super inexpensive. Definitelty worth a visit if you’re ever in Bahrain!
After we finished up in the Souk, I met Kelly at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel where she works. She gave me a quick tour around and unleashed me to the gym and leisure centre. After a couple of hours, I met back up with Kelly and we headed over to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to meet a couple of her friends. There’s a cool bar out the back called Trader Vics where I got my first mocktail – Queen Charlotte Fruit Punch. The place itself is dimly lit and perfect for a get together with friends. It’s based on a private beach with comfortable couches to relax on and a light bar food menu.
Today (the 7th March), after some gym and yoga I met up with Kelly to do some more touring around. After a delicious lunch in the Capaccino Cafe, our first stop was The Al Fateh Grand Mosque Bahrain. We were given a gown too put on and and they wrapped khimars (scarves) around our heads. Once we were kitted out, we were given a tour around the Mosque and saw the evening prayer. The design inside the Mosque itself is very simple but beautiful. The carpets are from Northern Ireland and the lamps are handblown glass made locally. A lot of the marble is imported from Italy and the simple design that is in the Mosque is not religious based and has no background meaning. Our guide let us know of the preparation that goes in to prayer and explained how it was led.
From the Mosque, we went on the Bahrain National Museum and back to the Qal’at al-Bahrain to see the inside of the museum and fortress.
The weather so far has been humid and in the mid 20’s so it’s been nice not to feel the chill! There has been some rain but apparently this is very rare… I may have actually brought it with me from Ireland! :O
I’ve a couple of more days in Bahrain with some exciting things on the itinerary so will give an update later in the week.
All pictures can be found in the Gallery page! Enjoy!