Friday, March 26, 2010

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king (Frank Sinatra)

Road Trip Part 1.
The weekend saw us with a car and a full tank of gas (thanks to Colin). We headed out onto the 6 lane blacktop with a thirst for adventure and a map of Doha balanced on my knee.

We headed to The Pearl (pictured left - it's described as "a Riviera-style man-made island, developed in an exclusive environment in Doha, Qatar, and the Middle East's most glamorous address. Covering 400 hectares of reclaimed land, it is Qatar's first international urban development venture").

First of all we got lost and headed up the north-west road to the Landmark mall (cup of tea at Paul's and raspberry tart thing later I consulted the map and realised my error). Back on the blacktop!

We made it to The Pearl and wow! It fair takes the breath away. The sheer scale of the place is amazing. As a feat of engineering alone it is staggering. Here's a link if you want to find out more. Maybe a retirement prospect for you?

The whole thing is still being developed so we could only walk around the first of those circle things after parking the purdmobile on the centre thing (pretty much in the middle of that picture up on the left).

It has expensive shops and expensive cars and is, all in all, expensive living writ large. Here we are marvelling at the sights.

We waited around for this Giorgio guy but he must have been on a lunch break - maybe round the corner at Gordon Ramsey's swank new eaterie. Anyway - he missed out on a sale! Jacky suggested I could photoshop my head onto the mannequin and save a few thousand bucks.

What to do, What to do? A Roller or a Maserati? Jacky has expensive tastes.

As you can see a lot of the buildings are still being constructed (like everywhere else in Doha), seemingly all at the same time. This takes a veritable army of workers and that's what they've got - hordes of Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani men - who live in camps out of town. They are bused in and out daily in old American school buses.

This very flash railing runs the entire way around the circle (some random Kiwi guy had to get in on the picture unfortunately but you get the idea).

These two shots show the view looking across to the West Bay high rises which we often walk to from our place (The City Center Mall is there).

Finally here are few snaps of the launches moored for easy access to the piazza. Get a load of the little boat tethered to the huge launch with THREE 250 outboards on it. It's a different world huh!

Love and peace - Wozza

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