"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on April 9, 2018 by Sioux under General
2 Comments

 

With the arrival of Boxing Day, Paul and I headed off to Qatar. For him a first time visit, so a bit of excitement and for me and the kids, the fun of showing him around the places we had seen before. We had a night flight and arrived in the very early morning. Desert or not, it was chilly! 

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Once we had unpacked, we headed out with my daughter and son-in-law to show Paul the sights. First stop was the Al Zubarah Fort, an historic Qatari military fortress built in 1938. 

Today, Al Zubara Fort serves as a museum; famous landmark and tourist attraction. 

Situated in the antique town of Zubarah, an ancient pearl fishing village and trading port on the northwestern coast of the Qatar peninsula in the Al Shamal municipality, the fort is about 105 km from Doha.

The high, compact walls were made by merging and overlapping with raw pieces of coral stones, specifically limestone, with a mortar and a pestle specifically conceived for grinding mud. Dug out by hand, the well once provided fresh drinking water all year round, but, like other wells in the area it is now completely dry. 

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The seemingly sandy floors in the fort are actually million of tiny shells, some still whole, many crushed underfoot by visitors passing through.

From the fort we headed to the ‘Black Pillars’, 4 massive steel plates, erected by American sculptor Richard Serra. Facing an east-west direction, they stand 850m apart with the center pillars 14.7m high and the outside ones 16.7m high. Due to the undulating local topography, the heights 

                                                                          differ to ensure all the pillars are all level with one another at the top. The plates are 4m wide and 

                                                                          140mm thick, and weighing in at approximately 73.4 tonnes each, it begs the question as to how 

                                                                          they were transported across the soft sand in the Brouq Nature Reserve on the Zekreet Peninsula,

                                                                          an hour’s drive from the capital, Doha! 

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Then it was off to what is known as ‘Film City’, the re-creation of an antique Arabic village nestled behind a canyon in the desert of the Zekreet peninsula, in a totally deserted area. You feel as if you have stepped into one of the ghost towns in the American west; with palm trees rather than tumbleweeds giving the never-ending arid landscape some definition. There are a number of reasons as to why Film City was built but                                           none verified. Whatever the reason, the secluded location and lack of inhabitants serve to create a “ghost town”                                                   feeling when walking through the buildings. 

A late lunch at The Mall of Qatar and some fun in The Virgin Store and Hamley’s, before we headed back out, to show Paul Doha City at night. All in all, a fabulous first day! 

Not far from Film City are some stone rondavels built into the sides and on top of a small canyon. Whether these were a part of the Film City or at some stage inhabited, no one knows. The canyon shows clear signs of erosion and one can only wonder as to how long the structures will still reign over the landscape.

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2 responses to “Same horizon, new experience #1 – visiting the land of sand”

  1. Cheryl Wilkinson says:

    Wow how interesting thanks for sharing S :o)

  2. Paul says:

    Look at the population makeup of Qatar:
    Indian 545,000 23.58%
    Nepal 400,000 17.3%
    Qatar 278,000 12.03%
    Philippines 200,000 8.65%

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