After just spending the last 4 weeks traveling around Germany and Austria, then departing from Vienna, the most liveable city in the world, we were hit hard with culture shock when we arrived in Doha!
We originally booked a 24hr stopover in Doha to break up the long journey home in addition to Qatar offering a free stopover to promote their country. But soon after arriving we wondered what we had got ourselves into!
Our first response after arriving at the hotel in Doha, was to consider not leaving our room for the next 24hrs, but, with only 1 block of chocolate that we had already consumed half of within 10 minutes of settling in, we knew we had to toughen up and get out there to experience the place.
Knowing that we would have to find somewhere to eat, we thought we should check out the Hotel restaurant first, only to discover that it was having a relaunch opening the following night. But we had finally broken the ice and took the offer of a ride in the hotel golf buggy to check out the Souq Waqif (a traditional market place) and sus out where we will eat later that evening.
The hotel also provides it’s guests with a walking tour of the Souq Waqif. This was a really good informative tour visiting the different sites and getting an appreciation of the local culture.
We finished off our stopover with a rare sleep in, a lazy buffet breakfast and a swim in the hotel swimming pool before getting ready for the final leg home.
Would we choose to holiday in Qatar? No! But whilst there is a big culture gap and it’s hot, we found the place fascinating and the people very friendly, making for an interesting and relaxing stopover.