Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Doha Diaries: Days 60-65, Red Bull, Katara Cultural Village, Sleeping In!

[Day 60] December 28th, Wednesday, Doha Gives You Wings?

I am getting into serious vacation mode...time flies, I do very little but relax.  I am cool with that.  While waiting for the elevator, I spot something that I did not expect to see...a Red Bull car.

[Day 61] December 29th, Thursday, Katara Cultural Village

At breakfast, I was exposed to a new local dish...

Yes, that placard reads "Foul Madames.  However, it appears the actual name is Ful Medames, or just Ful (pronounced more or less like "full").  It is a slow-cooked fava bean dish.  I was told it was a regional delicacy, but my quickie research suggests it is Egyptian in origin.

You can add garlic, tomato, onion, and...something else I forgot.  Finally, some lemon juice and oil.

It was interesting, but I won't be craving it any time in the near future.

Later that morning, I walked out to the Katara Cultural Village.  It was a good 3+ mile walk, but the weather was so amazing that it was quite pleasant.  After some wandering, I stopped at L'wzaar, a seafood restaurant/market (more restaurant than market).  I was amazed at the stuff they brought to every table, it sure beat a bowl of chips and some salsa.

I opted for scallops and stir fried vegetables.  They were OK, but somewhat bland.  Oh well, can't win 'em all.  Onward to the amphitheater!

I was really taken aback by the statue at the amphitheater, so here are a lot of pictures...

And there ya go.  I left prematurely in response to a call from Ed Brothers.  He and his family were back from Austria and it was time to catch up while he ran some errands.

Fortunately for me, this also included a tour of some parts of Education City, to include the super swanky student center and the well-appointed recreation center.  Nice stuff, these kids have it pretty good.

From there, we went to get some Karak, a tea drink that is described as the closest thing to a national everage Qatar has.  Basically, it's tea with a healthy amount of sugar cubes, evaporated milk, cardamom, and possibly some other spices.   It was good stuff.

Good fortune continued to smile on me this day and I was invited to a dinner party with Ed and Nicole's friends and it was...TEX MEX!  Made-from-scratch guacamole, salsa, enchiladas, etc.  It was great food and great company.  Thanks to Raymond and Anna for graciously allowing me into their home and to crash their party.

[Day 62] December 30th, Friday, Chillin' and Rowin'

One nice feature of the new hotel is that they have a pair of Concept 2 rowing machines.  I had tried them out once last weekend, so this was my second workout on them.  Here's a post-workout picture.  Notice in the background the expansiveness of the gym and that's only about 50% of the gym; there is also a section with dumb bells, a section with bar bells, and a section with weight machines.

Aside from that, I did very much of nothing today.

[Day 63] December 31st, Saturday, More Chillin'

More of nothing today.

[Day 64] January 1st, Sunday, More Than a Full Night's Sleep?

By some miracle, I was able to sleep more than 6-7 hours last night; I think it has been well over a year since I was able to do that.  I think my body has finally accepted that I am on vacation.  Aside from some sunbathing...a whole lot of nothing today.

[Day 65] January 2nd, Monday, More Than a Full Night's Sleep?

And again, I was able to sleep in.  Of course, tomorrow I return to work.  I am actually ready for that.  Sleeping in is nice, as is the state of relaxation I have reached, but I really want to get back to work and tackle the work I need to do.

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