Saturday, June 27, 2015

A weekend in Bahrain

As most of you know, we're not very 'spur of the moment'. When we travel, the tickets have been booked months in advance, the accommodation carefully researched and booked in advance and yes, I have a calendar of activities sketched out before we even start packing. So, imagine my surprise when Brian emails me on a Thursday evening from Saudi asking if I'd like to meet him and spend the weekend in Bahrain!

He went to Saudi Arabia to renew his residence visa and expected it to take a few days. But miracle of miracles, he was renewed the same day so while he still needed to stay the weekend, he didn't need to stay in Saudi. So, he took a taxi and I took a flight and we met up in Manama, the capital city of Bahrain. And get this, with my airline travel benefits, my round trip standby plane ticket was cheaper than his round trip taxi/bus ticket . . . and that was flying business class!!

So we met up in Bahrain and got a small taste of the city and country. In many ways, it's just like Abu Dhabi. Hot, sandy, Arabian. The differences are that many more Bahrainis take 'normal' jobs such as taxi drivers or other service jobs, whereas in Abu Dhabi, an Emirati would never drive taxi or serve in a restaurant. It was actually really nice to see local people everywhere and in every type of job.

One similarity is the amazing architecture. Here are a few pics:

There wasn't a lot to do given the hot weather and the fact that we only had a day, but we did find a very nice National museum that was interesting. On the second floor, they had a whole village set up to represent Bedouin life which was pretty interesting and a little creepy.

And like most of our vacations, food was important. We started with breakfast at Ric's Kountry Kitchen, which boasts the "best American food in the Middle East". . . and that's true enough, but how hard is that really.

And we finished our trip at this Japanese restaurant with amazing Sushi, a gorgeous outdoor garden and real Samurai uniforms in the entry way.

A quick and interesting weekend for sure and another pin to add to our travel map!

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