Qatar was a tough place for us, with the Ratcliff Family hitting an all-time low. I was pretty sick, and actually still am while editing this together on the 6-hour flight to Rome. Ethan was quite sick and spent over 24 hours in bed eating soup and smelling like old soup. He’s a bit better now, so that is good… my cough and runny nose lingers like the memory of mounting a camel. That sounds bad…
We started out with a morning desert safari that included some awkward moments on both camels and trucks. The dunes here were, even more, extreme than Oman, so the girls were, at least, ready for it. You can see more in the video for sure. Tina sure was screaming when she got on that camel… all of them were. Ethan had quite a grumpy camel, which did nothing to help his mood.
And then we had an incredible cooking class from an amazing chef at our hotel at The Ritz-Carlton Sharq Village named Evangelos Liakouris. He was like a Greek Vic Gundotra that can cook. It was over two hours long and the girls went nuts, especially with the “Deconstructed Black Forest Cake.” From there, we went to another epic dinner at the other Ritz-Carlton in Doha at an Italian restaurant called Porcini where the kids got to make some pizzas. Once again, another day of non-stop eating!
The city of Doha glistens in wild colors at night. Most of the buildings cycle through various LED color states.
It’s a huge city and Tina was surprised at the size of a city she had never heard of before a few months ago.
Here’s an incredible restaurant we found in the souq called Parisa.
The last call to prayer for the evening at a mosque.
Photogenic camels in the desert.
Here’s one of the three pools from the Sharq Village that had no sharks, thank goodness.
A gentleman at the camp were we got the camels.
The family gets their first feel for how strange it is to get on a camel for a ride.
I join them, but have great trouble holding both the Osmo and the camel.
This is a place the falcons, the National Bird of Qatar, would come and perch.
A beautiful amphiteatre at night.
Two ladies go in a different entrance on the left.
After the dune bashing it was time for dune-sliding!.
I hope this captures the massive size of the dunes that we slid down then climbed up.
Here we are on the border of Saudi Arabia, which was about half a kilometer away at one point.
Scarlett walks through a portal to explore the sea on the other side.
The family with another camel friend.
Isabella loves all animals, and she came to visit Jamilla here at the Sharq Village about seven times!.
A pair of Muslim women walk home for the evening across the entrance to The Pearl.
The beginning of an amazing 2-hour cooking class.
Daily Photo – Artificial Islands keep growing out into the sea as Doha expands to every horizon.
Qatar is one of those little financial powerhouses in the middle east that has no shortage of the accoutrements of fine living. This is the Qatar Airlines terminal, where I was practically alone except for an army of servants, none of whom were from Qatar.
While on the flight, I got this Qatar Airlines sleeping-shirt that was long-sleeved and just about one of the nicest shirts I’ve ever gotten. My family makes fun of me because I wear it all the time around the house at night. It’s soft, fits perfect, and, did I mention it’s soft? One time, our maid washed it and misplaced it for a few weeks. I was lost without it… I kept asking everyone, “Where’s my Qatar Airlines shirt!” They thought I was crazy… But now, it’s back in my control and everything is okay.
This is such an extreme title for what is a fairly commonplace thing in Doha, I am sure. I thought the internal architecture here and this vase was really spectacular, so I did my best to caputre the scene to share with you all!
I spent a massive amount of time in airports during my 3-day trek via Qatar on my most recent trip to Kuala Lumpur. There were snow delays in Atlanta, which made me spend a night there, and then because everything was sold out, the only way to get to KL was via Doha, which, ashamedly, I had to look up. I thought I was kind of a world traveler, but I had not heard of Doha. I admit it.
But then I flew into Doha and on approach, it looks a lot like Dubai, but not nearly as much as the ultra-posh lounge area. I was warned many times by grisly-looking security guards not to take any photos of any people in the lounge, especially if they were wearing the national uniform.