As I was booking my return flight from Saudi back to London, I found a reasonable ticket with a five-hour waiting time. I have been using Qatar airways for years, but I never had the courage to book a flight with a long layover. So, I decided it was time! I wanted to dedicate these few hours to the museum of Islamic art. Unfortunately as my luck would have it, the museum is closed on Tuesdays. I went for the second best thing, Souq Waqif. It's an open traditional Qatari market with a similar vibe to Souq Al Mubarkiah, the traditional Kuwaiti market I reviewed few months ago. Souq Waqif had open and shaded areas. I think I picked the hottest time of the day on one of the hottest months of the year; 12pm mid August.
Thankfully, I had some company that cooled down the heat *metaphorically* I met with my artist friend, Aziza Iqbal that I only knew via Instagram and mutual artists friends. We started with a walk around the shaded and air conditioned areas of the Souq: the Gold Souq and the hand craft market, but a half an hour walk was all it took before we were ready for lunch. I was starving by that time especially that I was awake since 6am and with the busyness of packing and running off to the airport, I didn't even have time for a cuppa.
Aziza chose a delicious Syrian restaurant in the souq that was adorned in Arabic and Turkish ornaments and *of course* Islamic patterns. I say *of course* because most of Qatar seemed to be covered in Islamic Patterns. I enjoyed their presences, but I was confused of the way they were used.
After lunch, we battled the heat once more to the modern art centre. They had so many lovely works of art and an adorable arts supplies store. Right outside, there was a little quaint gelato place called Italia Mia. I am not usually into ice cream, but that was really good.
The hours flew by and the heat stopped me from discovering the rest of the Souq, but it was worth going and taking a quick look at the country. It felt like a free trip. I totally recommend that you take a long layover and discover the city you are stopping at midway.
Qatar, we will meet again soon.