This weekend I talked Zach into doing something that I have been long interested in checking out.
The first Saturday of every month (while the weather is still tolerable) MIA Park hosts a big Art Bazaar where tons of local artists and vendors set up shop and sell their custom creations.
The park is down by the Islamic Museum of Art which is about four and a half miles from us down the Corniche. Since it was such a beautiful day, I was able to talk my trooper of a husband into going for a run/walk down to it with me.
The best thing about going for long walks or runs around Doha is that they never come without some spectacular views!
After breaking through the city you pop out on the Corniche and get to enjoy the contrast of perfect blue water with intense and imaginative architecture.
You may notice that the Corniche and even the sky for that matter look rather.. Well dusty. That is because just a day ago we had a HUGE sand storm!
Now I don’t know about you but I have never been in a sand storm before so I didn’t really know what to expect but when we went to bed at night we could hear he winds whipping hard against our window. In the morning instead of seeing our usual view, this is all that could be seen.
The city was literally ( and still kind of is) in a huge fog of sand and dust!
That afternoon when I was walking around outside, the wind would blow and I could literally feel grains of sand hitting my face. Which seriously sucks when you have contacts and I do so I was not a happy camper because those grains got in my eyes like nothing else.
Many people even where face masks to assure they don’t breathe it all in.
(Nice pinky ring bro)
Luckily the city goes to great lengths to clean up– our building literally made it rain all around then had tons of workers washing it all away.
Welcome to life in the desert!
OKAY BACK TO MY STORY
So we jogged down the Corniche until we finally got to the Islamic Museum
We went just past that..
And BAM ! Tons of vendors all set up in the beautiful, huge, green park!
There was art work, pottery, handmade wooden– things?? Lol it was so cool!
Even these sweet little Qatari figurines! Haha!
But seriously the best part (this is going to sound so weird) was that no one haggles you!!! They simply let you look, touch and walk on by without bombarding you and trying to make the sale. I cannot tell you how pleasant it was!!! Especially after our experience in Cacun where people literally chased us around trying to sell.
It was like a modern Souk.
One area even had food vendors!
Now I must give a disclaimer that none of this food could EVER compare to the Lebanse dinner Myriam and Firas prepared for us Friday night. Seriously. It was ridiculous.
Lebanese food is like my new favorite thing ever!!
Not to mention the never ending game of UNO that seriously lasted like two/three? hours!!
(Love them!) okay back to MIA PARK!
All (clearly) homemade food!
Which honestly is cool but also seriously scary because you have no idea who these people are or what kind of sanitary lengths they went to to produce the food. Not to mention that almost none of it was recognizable to us lol
Like what exactly is this lady making?
Hey at least she has on gloves??
There were tons of these food vendors and each made dishes that were unique to their culture.
We entrusted our fate to this lady
She made some chicken on a stick for us and poured a bit of her homemade spicy dressing on top.
We wanted to find a quiet spot to escape the crowd and enjoy our food so we went back to the other side of the museum.
Dinner and a view!! All for just 17 QR or $4.66 WHAT A DEAL!
This little girl loves Zach 🙂
Then once we finished our chicken I just had to go back for desert!
I know that I mentioned our regimented nutrition plan but any plan that doesn’t include cholotae just isn’t a plan for me! Lol
We chose homemade potato-donuts from two awesome women who had a whole table of goodies
Omg it was heaven
Even though you can’t tell Zach liked it too! Lol
I got chocolate he got glazed and we paid just $1.65!! Heck yes!
Instead of sitting with these though, it was getting dark so we decided to take them to go.
It was perfect because as we walked (and munched) we got to see the sunset and the city light up.
Once we finished our treat we jogged back down the Corniche.
My silly husband is one of those that as we run loves to jump up things, hop over things and make it more of a game. I however save my endurance and go in as steady and straight of a path as I can.
When we got close to the city, like always it took our breath away. We slowed down to a walk and Zach took my hand and led my up onto the ledge that separates the water from the walkway.
From up there you can see everything and the world slows down.
You have people walking down below you, a huge glowing city in front of you and cool water all along the side. All you hear is the gentle washing sound of the water and wind in your hair.
In that moment I was captivated.
It is like when you love something but you have it so frequently that you loose the sense of wonder you once had then in a moment all of the initial awe comes back to you in a rush.
Have I mentioned that I love this city ?
In that moment, it was all that I had.
I was completely present and completely engulfed.
Before I was ready, it was time to exit the Corniche and head into the city to our little home.
It is amazing how a nine mile walk can feel too short.
At the end of the day my shoes (and self) were covered in sand and I had blisters on my feel but all I could feel was the glow of the city pulsing through my veins.
Doha, you will forever have my heart.
Shokran and Gig Em
As you can see, we didn’t start tracking until we were almost at the park. Counting our missed km though it comes out to be right about 14 total.