Weekends are designed to rest, pamper, indulge and rejuvenate. While I’m sure many of you agree with me on this weekend mission statement, most of you may also argue that being sprawled on your couch for 2 days straight ,barely maneuvering a few meters around the house swapping between your bed and couch is the best way to achieve it.
Here’s how I see it! Life is too short and there are way too many places I haven’t seen yet. My suggestion to you is – pick your self off that comfy spot and get moving.
My In-laws made up of a similar DNA the one with the undying nomadic gene were in the desert visiting us for 2 weeks. Together we found the perfect excuse for us to drag our designated driver, my husband up and around town. Despite the heat and soaring temperatures over Friday, we set out on a little adventure to explore the north of Doha.
And so our journey began with no precise plan in mind, an old road map of the country, a couple of sandwiches and tons of water 🙂
We drove through Losail heading to Al khor passing peaceful little beach towns like simaisma and landed up at the Al Khor coast. This fishing town was pretty much a ghost town on a Friday morning, which made it perfect exploring ground for us nosey parkers. The coast had atleast a 100 fishing boats parked in different angles and spots making it very scenic for an early morning adventure shoot that was very instagramable of course!
We even saw boats being built from scratch and were told by the local guard that the wood came all the way from either Malaysia, China or India and cost around a million Qatari riyals to build. The boat we enquired of had 7 men working on it and took up to a year to be built. I was already impressed this early in the morning and felt anxious to see more. A also a massive fish market sat quite in the center of the town taking a day off from the ocean smells and noisy fishermen.
We drove past the Corniche and found a few groups of men chatting and enjoying a morning cup of karak on the promenade.
Next stop was an hours drive to Fuwairit Beach. As we approached the beach going a bit off road we saw two other wanderers like us exploring the desert. Right then my mother in laws desert dreams had come true and camels got checked off the list.
For me personally it was The house in the picture below that put a big smile on my face and brought back memories of camping with my friends at this old abandoned house back in 2006. We built out tents around the house, made a bbq and stayed for 2 days straight over a weekend smoking shisha, playing cards and swimming in the beautiful blue sea.
On this particular visit though the beach did look very different. It was clearly no more a secret and plenty of families sat around the house claiming a little bit of land and sea. When the weather gets cooler later this year I would recommend you make a trip to this little spot early morning to enjoy a quite day by the beach.
* Tip leave early morning to affirm a good spot.
* Note part of this beach has been closed to public as it has turned into a turtle hatching ground. So please be polite to the original inhabitants if you come across some.
With the heat picking up quick and not too much of shade to stay under we agreed to keep moving and exploring. We then drove to another fishing town of Al Ruwais. Having been to the one at Al Khor though we decided to make this a quick stop for a few more pictures and admired the view since we had driven this far north.
From there on we had 2 more stops to make. The highlight of the trip – Al Zubhara Fort which is around a 30-minute drive into no mans land. Al Zubhara was once a thriving pearl fishing and trading port positioned midway between the Strait of Hormuz and the west arm of the Persian Gulf.
It is one of the largest and best-preserved examples of an 18th-19th century merchant town in the Gulf. Excavation has only taken place over a small part of the site, which offers an outstanding testimony to an urban trading and pearl-diving tradition which sustained the region’s major coastal towns and led to the development of small independent states that flourished outside the control of the Ottoman, European, and Persian empires and eventually led to the emergence of modern day Gulf States.
A friendly guard handed me a sarong to enter the site. I would recommend you either wear something long that covers the ankles or carry a your own sarong for hygiene purposes.
The fort has been refurbished since being declared a UNESCO Heritage site and is very well restored with plenty of informative boards to take you through the different eras this fort withstood.
Not so far from the Fort itself is the ruins site that you should consider visiting. I thought of it as a rare experience to indulge in here in the desert and without hesitation jumped at the offer.
The clock stroke 4 and it was about time to call it a day of scouting the north of Qatar. We had a long drive back to the city with easy tunes playing on the radio and a very exhausted mother in law dozing off in backseat.
It was the perfect Friday!