miss b's quote

'I haven't been everywhere yet but it's on my list' Susan Sontag

Thursday, 7 November 2013

miss b loves ....... Doha, Qatar, a city of contrasts (Part 2)



After our stroll along the Corniche, the fascinating tour of The Museum of Islamic Art and lunch with a spectacular view, we made our way to Souq Waqif (You can read Part 1 of our Doha trip here)


 Souk Waqif literally means standing market ...... With the threat of floods from the sea, many traders in the past would conduct their business standing and sometimes they would be in water up to their ankles! There's been a market on this site for 250 years and it's where the Bedouin gathered to trade sheep and goats for essential items. In 2004 the area was restored without losing its unique character.



This is very much a souk for locals too with everything on sale from pots and pans to gorgeous fabric, toys and pets!

There's no hard-sell here. The souk has a relaxed, friendly feel and I was mesmerised by the vibrant colours .......


and the vast array of goods on sale .......

Traditional coffee pots 
and brass-studded chests

The police on horseback looked so dapper ....




There are wide open areas and a meandering labrynth of alleyways .....


One of our favourite areas of the souq was the spice section and I can't begin to explain the wonderful mix of aromas ..........I just wish you could smell it here!


We were ready for a refreshing mint lemonade and freshly made baklava(sweet arabic pastries drizzled with honey)at Le Gourmet café .......



At dusk the souk comes alive with people sitting outside drinking coffee and smoking shisha. The choice of restaurants and cuisines is so impressive too.




In complete contrast to the souk, our next stop was the modern Villagio Mall , with its Venetian style interior. It's home to many high-end brands including Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Mont Blanc .... and well-known international high street stores such as Gap, Banana Republic and Marks and Spencer .... There's some very funky seating too!



Clever lighting creates an almost outdoor feel in the Mall and the ceilings are painted blue with fluffy white clouds. 




There's even an indoor canal complete with gondola rides!!



The entertainment area is popular and a huge ice rink is home to Doha Ice Skating Club ...... the Flying Camels!


One of the highlights of our mall visit was spotting two of my favourite French cafés ..... Paul and le Nôtre. How could I resist a classic Opéra cake!



and then it was a short taxi drive back to the airport!

Doha is most definitely a fascinating city of contrasts. Once a quiet fishing and pearling village, the discovery of oil in the 30s changed its fortunes for ever.

The Pearl and Oyster Fountain pays tribute
 to Doha's pearl diving past

The coffee pot, or dallah in Arabic, is a symbol of hospitality and the giant sculpture standing in front of the futuristic skyscrapers just about sums up this impressive city ......


Doha is dynamic and ambitious, yet it remains firmly rooted to its cultural heritage. I'm sure we'll return ........ 


48 comments:

  1. i adore a souk! Those blue plates are amazing - how many did you get??? I almost did a stop over last trip but now I think I might flight qatar air on my next trip as I also heard their airlines is rather good!

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    1. I regret not buying a couple of those blue plates. An excuse to go back?

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  2. Wow they seems great places, wish I could go in the future! ;) Nice nice pics ;)

    xx
    Laura
    www.pursesandi.net

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  3. Miss B! Well hello there! How enchanting is this place, a place of dreams and fairytales; thank you for posting such a lovely image of a culture so different from mine, filled with wonders to discover! And you found a La Nôtre? HOW WONDERFUL! Yes, when I first saw it in Paris, I was delighted only to have to leave to catch a plane!

    Many thanks for coming to visit and for also listening to the music. Anita

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  4. Miss B, I can't get over the police on the horses! They look so regal. I love it. Fabulous market! How magical is the inside of that mall. The Venetian in Las Vegas does that too. I love how the skies are painted blue w/clouds and the gondolas. That opera cake looks delish. Just all around GORGEOUS!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  5. Miss B, WOW!!! love the photos and how wonderful to be surrounded in the midst of such history... your photos and description of the areas make me want to visit ... thanks for sharing xo C. (HHL)

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  6. C'est super intéressant de voir tous ces contrastes qui cohabitent ! La balade dans le souk m'aurait beaucoup plu :)

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  7. The police definitely looks unusual! And the mall with the canal rocks! :D

    Sun and Sany

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  8. Wow very interesting place!!! great contrast and atmosph!! nice photos!!
    Have a good day!!! my g+ for you!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

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  9. Hi Miss B! The souk inspires me a lot, it something so different from what I am used to, the spices look nice, is like I can smell their aromas. I can imagine also all the different restaurants and places that are over there. Villagio Mall is impressive, yum for the opera cake!:) Doha is indeed an interesting city, would visit it too. Kisses! xo

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  10. I have a customer who's from this city aah it reminds me of him!
    kisses


    www.letiziabarcelona.com

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  11. Bonjour miss b. How I enjoyed this stroll in le Souk with you today. From the vibrant colors to the exotic smells, this visit took me thousands of miles away from this cold, rainy Seattle November day. I even liked that creative indoor mall (and you may remember I do NOT like malls!) Such an international environment too, with all the "big" brand names and eateries. Yet, you are right: tradition remains, in touches at least. And that is a good thing. A bientôt. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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  12. Beautiful pictures. Everything looks so stunning.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

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  13. Great pictures which make me feel I am there can also smell the air. The policeman look like they are in a film.

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  14. que pasada de fotos,
    me encanta como juegan con los azules alli es una maravilla para la fotografia y los sentidos !
    un besote

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  15. Okay...I am officially booking my next trip here (Wishful thinking). I love getting lost in souks, they are always full of character and a great ambience. The mall is so beautifully designed, I honestly only see over-the-top shopping scenes like this in the UAE. Shopping is very much a sport there, don't you think? That opera cake looks divine! I appreciate your thoughts hun...Happy End of the Week!

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  16. Amazing photos! hope to visit other places soon!
    i also live in a humid and grey place but i'm sure uk is much better!!

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  17. Wow, everything looks incredible! I have to thank you, I always taught that after I'm done travelling around Europe I would only resume to Japan, India and Thailand in Asia but your post really opened my eyes, I want to visit Qatar someday!

    Have a great weekend,
    Mary x

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  18. Stunning images, what a beautiful place but I wont keep going on about how lucky you are to have visited all these destinations! That indoor canal looks amazing!

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  20. Villagio Mall just looks like The Venetian in Las Vegas. Thanks for taking me on this exotic trip. Great pics.

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  21. Wow, you pictures catched in a great way the mood of doha, it was for me like I strolled by my ownself through this colorful city, and I´m sure you enjoyed the visit there really although I can imagine that there wasn´t apple strudel like you ate last year in Munich :)

    Wish you a happy weekend!

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de

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  22. The Souq looks so interesting with those variety of colourful I tems for sale. So fascinating to explore. The Villagio Mall looks like a combination of The Forum and The Venetian in Las Vegas. It's nice that you were able to explore both shopping places then have those fabulous desserts at Lenôtre.

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  23. This is really interesting, Doha. I would love to ice-skate when there are 40 degrees and sun out there.
    Miss Margaret Cruzemark
    http://margaretcruzemark.blogspot.com/

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  24. What a nice place this is. I loved all the blue items that were selling. The spice section would have been a treat for me, as I love to look at and smell all the different kinds of spices. Thank you for sharing your interesting pictures today. I think that's why I love Photography - seeing the uniqueness and wonder of all the different cultures in the world.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Love,
    ~Sheri

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  25. I have a blue candy dish similar to the blue plates (pls go back and get at least 1!) and in our old family home, we had the traditional coffee pot(we lived in Saudi). The Arabs just know how to do extravagant, that mall ceiling is amazing, plus the indoor gondola! They brought the European concept of highstreet and scenery together in one roof. Though I always take Qatar Airways, I've never been to Doha. I'll make a layover next time and deliberately book a flight where I have to wait en route to Dubai. Souqs are always enticing. The best bit is when you haggle with them :D Try if you haven't!

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  26. Wonderful pictures
    and those are really lovely treasures
    so cool to collect.

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  27. I like the fact that even though Doha is trying to become super ultra modern it keeps its traditional heritage. I would spend hours in that Souk!! Love all your travel pics as usual ;) x

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  28. This is why my parents always loved visiting new places, we were always taken to the local markets, this looks amazing. I would love to investigate more and get someof those blue plated! :) As always, quite intriguing ventures dear. Thanks for sharing. x/Madison

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  29. i love seeing different places that i've never been to!

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  30. Hi there! Sounded like such an amazing trip, your photos are stunning and I would so love to go that Souk- I would be there for hours!! xx

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  31. These pictures are amazing! I would love to visit!

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  32. Love ur blog! So nice!
    very good pics!

    xoprimaxo.blogspot.com

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  33. Doha is being added to my travel wish list. The Villagio Mall reminds me so much of The Venetian in Las Vegas down to the canal offering gondola rides.

    Rowena @ rolala loves
    Enter my blog anniversary giveaway for a chance to win a pair of BaubleBar earrings

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  34. ça doit être super à visiter!

    http://clothespaper.com

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  35. I'm so in love with the architechture here--love the mall with the simulated daylight!

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  36. The police on horseback looked so regal! And I love the Villagio Mall ceiling - I actually thought you were outdoors! I've taken connecting flights from Doha but I've never been outside of the airport. Your post convinced me to see the city, especially that souk, next time ;)

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  37. Wow Miss B - it looks like a wonderful place to visit! I would love to meander through the souk and look for fun decor finds. i bet there would be wonderful pastries and spices as well. Thank you for the virtual journey!

    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  38. Thanks for stopping by sweety!

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  39. Thanks a lot for your nice and interesting comment! Wish you a happy rest of the week :)

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de

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  40. Love those blue plates and the pink chairs. Such vibrant colours. x
    http://www.peachmacarons.com

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  41. What a vibrant and interesting place to visit!

    www.steffysworld.com

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  42. Ok this post is TO DIE FOR:) and thanks so much for your sweet words on my blog.

    Check out my new post....Modern stylish kitchen inspiration:)

    Have a fab. day dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - The Swedish home decor blog

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  43. Thank you for joining me for Part 2 and for taking the time to leave such positive comments. I'm pleased you enjoyed my little tour of Doha - it's well worth a visit if ever you get the chance!

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  44. It's so nice to see your photos of Doha. They bring a lot of memories. Spending outdoors in Souq Waqif and at The Pearl is lovely this time of the year.

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  45. Really nice pics! I would love to visit an oriental country soon :)
    xx

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  46. Loved to see a souk and shop there. Doha has so many things to see! Even their mall is interesting with the canal and ice rink! I also adore La Notre and Paul! Thanks for sharing. Loved both parts of this trip! xxKim

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Thank you for taking the time to write a comment on my blog. I really do appreciate it. miss b

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