The new flat is beautiful and the first hour after my arrival was spent exclaiming at everything as Rich showed me around the place, and then showing off the amazing facilities in our complex. We've been making full use of the outdoor pool and jacuzzi ever since by going for a morning swim and evening dip every day. We've also been getting to know our way around The Pearl (the island where we live). This place is just stunning and deserves a blog post all of its own (Uni crew, you'll appreciate this I am sure!), so more on this later.
For now, I want to tell you about our experience of Doha outside of our little home bubble.
Last night, Rich booked us a table at a surprise venue, I put on a dress, he called his driver and we headed across the city. We pulled up outside La Cigale Hotel, where we took the lift to Sky View, an outdoor bar on the 15th floor. The views over the city were breathtaking.
And the music, atmosphere, food and cocktails pretty good too.
We probably should have stopped before the Flaming Lamborghini though...
This morning we woke up a little less refreshed than we should have been(!) and headed out to soak up a bit of Qatari culture at Katara Cultural Village.
The village opened in 2010 and is spread over 1 million square metres. It is packed with museums, galleries and restaurants, with a beach at its edge and an amphitheatre at its centre. We were met at the entrance by a friendly guy with a golf buggy (they use these things to get around everywhere over here).
We asked him for cafe recommendations and boy am I glad that we did! He stopped outside a place called Chac'Late which shares one of my favourite life philosophies.
It sells the most divine white chocolate hot chocolate (a particular favourite of mine) and Czech cake which I consumed in a matter of seconds.
Rich looked pretty chilled as he drank his chilled mocha too.
Want to know the best bit though? My drink came with a WHITE CHOCOLATE SPOON! I had to eat this pretty quickly as it had already begun to melt in the 30 degree heat by the time it reached our table.
As we finished off our drinks, the call to prayer started and I leant back in my chair and soaked up the atmosphere of this beautiful place. I was reminded just how far away we were from England.
When we were full, we had a look at some of the art in the Qatar Fine Arts Society
Then wandered around the little back alleys and ended up at the amphitheatre.
I had heard lots of opinions about Qatar before I came out here, but this place has definitely highlighted to me that this country is far richer than just its monetary wealth. Doha DOES have culture, and its history may not reach very far back, but it is certainly interesting.
This evening, my love for this place grew even more.
Rich had been in contact with a guy who owned a jet ski, and we paid him 400QR to take it out just in time to watch the sun set over the city.
I think we might be happy here.
What a wise man.