Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al Thani, the late Qatari Emir (succeeded by his son, Sheikh Thamim bin al Thani) needed a place to display his 15.000 or so trinkets, so he constructed a massive fortress museum in the desert, about an hour outside of Doha. On Saturday our driver happily took us to visit.
Our epicurean adventure into the Middle East ended as spectacularly as it began, but not at all in a good way. (No, the Golden Arch Steak House was not the culprit–we did not eat there.)
The Souq Waqif dates back several hundred years, and was the place for trade for Bedouin tribes. In 2006 the Qatari government launched a massive restoration effort, and the results are spectacular. The former princely palaces surrounding the market were also renovated to become a collection of boutique hotels, one of which we stayed at during our time in Doha.
The countdown to Qatar for Anna Grace was finally over on Monday, when she and her strings director departed for the honor orchestra festival being hosted by ASDoha. By Tuesday afternoon they were enjoying a desert safari (the trip couldn’t be all rehearsal, all the time, right?)
…pop-up vendors adding color to the sandstone…
…and air-conditioning units precariously secured overhead.
And in the midst, a tranquil park.
(Yes, that’s an AK-47 the security dude is wearing.)
As a consolation, Tony returned with a most beautiful emerald bracelet for me.
The lake house was built for Hi Chi Minh to resemble the “highlands housing” he lived in during the revolution.
Speaking of lakes. Truc Bach Lake, the site where John McCain landed and was captured in October 1967.
The monument at the site of McCain’s capture.
Traffic was indescribable. More like a moving swarm. One of Tony’s Hanoi colleagues said, “When crossing a street, make sure you’re visible and predictable and the traffic will move around you.”
I wonder if the chicken became part of Tony’s noodle dish? Tony reported that the meals he enjoyed tasted as authentic as the Vietnamese food we enjoy in Eden Center (Little Asia) in our neighborhood in the U.S. Nice to know we’ve been experiencing real food all this time!
Market Life in Hanoi. These photos made me a little jealous; I could have pretended to be Andrew Zimmern had I braved Vietnam in July. Perhaps next time.
Poultry, fresh or roasted. Any guesses what might be hanging in the case on the right?
Typical market butcher.