We set an alarm for 7:30am. After getting a good night’s rest, we felt much better. We ate breakfast at a restaurant around the corner from our house at the recommendation of our host. Jay’s mom made shakshouka for him over Christmas and he was excited to try the authentic version here. If you don’t know what shakshouka is, it’s basically like a tomato, egg, and vegetable casserole. We also got a special Karak tea (similar to chai tea) and some breakfast bread called poratta.
Then, we headed out to the National Museum of Qatar. However, Friday is a holy day in Qatar and we learned that the museum didn’t open until 1:30pm. So we rerouted our Uber to The Pearl.
The Pearl is an entirely man made island that is incredibly opulent. We spent some time walking along the beaches in front of a semi-circle of skyscraper condominiums.
We were shocked to see that no one was outside. We had the beach all to ourselves. Curious about the lack of people (perhaps the condos weren’t ready for rent yet), we asked the one resident we did see on the beach who told us most of the condos were rented out, but people just don’t seem to be outside much. He told us about another beach within walking distance that we could swim at. So we headed over to that beach. On the way, we walked through green grass and gardens the entire time.
We also found a part of The Pearl modeled after Venice with canals, pink and blue buildings, and all.
Then we headed to the beach. We almost didn’t get to go to the beach because we didn’t have a “beach card” that all the residents of The Pearl have. However, Jay cleverly said that we were visiting a friend in the condos down the way, and we were let in.
After a swim and a little beach time, we headed back home for lunch.
After lunch, our next stop was back to the National Museum of Qatar. It is a brand new museum which opened only one month ago. I have to say, it was impressive.
The outside is shaped like a desert rose which we learned was a gypsum sand formation.
The inside of the museum features multiple giant rooms that wind around the desert rose which tell the history of Qatar from prehistoric times to the present. The modern sections were not open yet, but the parts that we saw were quite spectacular.
From screens showing videos on entire walls, to fossils and full size replicas of ancient sea creatures, to display cases filled with ancient pottery, pearls, and clothing, it was one of the best museums I have been to!
After the museum, we walked back to the Souq Watif (market) area which was now open. The market has an entire section dedicated to falcons and falcon accessories (there is even a falcon hospital), so Jay was determined to find it. We did find a couple of shops with falcons, but we were disappointed to find that not many shop owners were interested in letting us play with the falcons. So we headed back to the water to watch the West Bay sky line light up at night. We ended up taking a boat (one of the wooden ones we saw in the marina earlier) out to the West Bay skyline and got some really nice views.
We decided to end our day here and headed back to the house to get some rest for the next day.