We wanted to see a bit of nature while we were in Doha and drove towards a place called Purple Island with a driver.
He did warn us, that he knew somewhat where it was, but was not 100% sure of the route as the roads keep on changing. (Same thing here in Dubai, you have to allow for some extra time with you as very often a road is closed, but no sign to tell you where is an alternative route).
Since it was Friday morning the roads were empty and I was mainly concentrating on the scenery, we passed at least 5 big shopping malls, some of them had not completed construction yet.
No camels or other animals in vicinity, the scenery did not change a lot, from town into bigger villages and as we got closer to Al Khor (means Creek) and Purple Island, it was less habitation, occasionally fishermen or winter camps on the beach.
Sanne www.mitziemee.com was with the girls in the back seat. I did wonder how did she manage to sleep while those two were fighting like cats and dogs? At least she was keeping her eyes closed and I hope she managed to get a nap. The drive was supposed to be 30min, but it took more than an hour. Well, the place where we stopped at had a low tide, and somewhere there was an island.
Hmmm…. The island was not purple and I´m not quite sure if we did get where we were supposed to go. Close by, but not exactly.
I knew the tides would decide if we could get on the island itself, but we basically only saw flamingos from the distance until they flew away. The rest we saw was shrubs, white mud and crab holes. In other words, we were standing in a mangrove forest.
For me standing there was not so big thing, but for the kids feeling the mud under their feet (soon bare feet) this was the biggest enjoyment- what else!? They bad a blast! Luckily I had taken a towel and some water for us to clean our feet, not sure if the driver would have allowed us back to the car otherwise.
Later on, I was reading about Qatar´s mangroves from Ecomena´s homepage, that 70% of Qatar´s mangroves have been lost due to the development of the infrastructure. New for me was as well a fact that mangroves can store five times more carbon than tropical or boreal forests! I guess I should have appreciated a bit more the moment when my sneakers got stuck into the “blue carbons”.
In the afternoon after we had got most of the mud cleaned from ourselves and enjoyed an exquisite brunch at the hotel´s restaurant Hwang, we went to the Corniche to play at the playground.
Closest playground to Intercontinental Doha the City is a playground called “Sheraton Park”. Obviously named after hotel Sheraton. We walked from the hotel to City Centre Mall and took taxi from there for 10 QAR. Taxi ride was maybe 2minutes. We could have walked the whole way, but since the little one had just got better with her fever, I wanted to save her energy for the play instead.
Last time when we were in Doha the playground had only a few expatriate families and us playing.
This time it was packed with people, of course, it was Friday and during the winter months everyone wants to be outside and enjoy the fresh air. A family picnic is a very popular way to spend your time in the parks in these countries.
Not sure what were my kids after, their mission was to do as much as possible in one visit. They were all over the park and the playground. What I like about this park is the vicinity to the clean brand new bathrooms/washrooms. You might agree with me, that there is nothing worse than trying to find a bathroom when in a new town with kids -especially when they inform you that they need to go NOW.
Same as in Dubai, I love the openness of kids how they interact with each other. We had been only a few minutes in the park and already my 6-year-old had gotten a new friend. An older girl who was keen to know from where did she come from. She was living in Doha and her parents came from Nigeria. I did not listen to the whole part of their chat, but I heard the words: “Doha, Dubai, stylish and “I love these!” I guess it is never too early for girls to talk about fashion?