20 Jan : Day off in Doha

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I started the day off walking out of the hotel with two of the Indians I keep saying hello to every morning. I don’t know what they do but they are always there with their big smiles wanting to talk cricket.

They took me around the corner to show me a rather expensive car that had skidded in yesterdays rain and was basically written off.

Today was a day off!But still took my cameras with me. With two clients pulling out at the last-minute I need to make this trip pay so whilst exploring took some pictures to give to two other travel libraries that I contribute to.

I am so glad I went and explored today!

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With the boys at the hotel with the Mercedes’ wanting £29 to take me to the city, I got a local metered cab and paid £3.15!

I was instantly impressed with the Museum of Islamic Art building, I did not go inside but its architecture was stunning.

 

 

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Just like in Africa, many many locals WANTED their pictures taken. I may possibly go back to the shops in Souq Waqif and do a feature on the shopkeepers but I wanted to see as much as I could and without looking at the map found the old parts that Doha is famous for.

 

 

 

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As Hara said the other day, the pictures look better with locals in them.

 

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It seemed like an age to wait for four Argentinian girls talking in  Spanish to leave one corner in order for me to shoot locals walking down a street!

 

Although the tourists flock to this part of town, and no wonder, its gorgeous – the locals come here too.

I will aim to come back again next week and have a proper look around.

One reason was because I had run out of money.

I found a World Cup Trophy replica.

I bartered from 500 to 220. It still cost £37 but I have huge ideas for my purchase in the next few days or so! With the Qatar World Cup winning bid still in the news, hopefully I can create some editorial images to accompany articles to help pay for the room service bills that I have accumulated over the past few weeks.

With travel photography still in the forefront of my mind, I then stumbled upon the Grand Mosque, took some pictures of a rather huge clock with arabic numbers on it before I was taken away by a security man showing me a secret services pass in his wallet!

Regardless of what the future held, I did not want to lose the pictures I had taken already for the last three hours so I hid my card in my sock. If they wanted to delete the images or something then I would only lose 20 or so that was in my camera.

Apparently I had crossed an invisible boundary line where no TV or cameras are allowed. One man was insistent on something but a kind man who looked like Chemical Ali was relaxed and during this time I remained calm – which may surprise some – but I guessed showing respect and apologising, doing lots of don’t shoot me signs with my hands showed that I was not someone to take matters further with. After a heavy 10 minutes I was let go but told to walk back down the street I had come from, even though the road I wanted to go down was 15 meters away. It was best not to argue.

The two guards were still arguing when I left.

 

I walked along the Al Corniche street with the sea to my right.

Prime opportunity to get the trophy out.

 

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I shot with the 2022 World Cup – the trophy looked OK. The picture taken was not stunning but I have seen worse.

Leaving the old Doha behind me I headed on a 4km walk to the new part.

 

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Again – stunning.

 

 

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Buildings that make some of the skyline in Tokyo and Dubai look feeble, I was very impressed with this city.

 

 

After watching CNN for an hour last night commenting on China, one building I fell in love with was one being built by a Chinese company.

It is called the Doha High Rise Office Building.

So named, just like it says on the tin I suppose!

With an aluminium facade Doha 9 as it is also called cost £100m to build.

I walked for about 2 hours around these amazing skyscrapers.

I headed back to the view of the skyline by the water in anticipation of sunset.

I was not disappointed. With lights changing colours every 30 seconds, the skyline made better TV than pictures.

 

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The buildings took a different feel to them lit in the Doha early evening.

 

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The mosque looked sensational, but I feared another situation happening if I took more images of it.

 

 

I wanted to venture back into the old part and see what that was like under lights, but my legs were hurting.

I had walked 12km today.

I decided to head back to the Islamic Art Museum because it looked amazing under the floodlights and also this was where I had spotted many taxi divers turn during the day.

It was very dark and I did not want to hang around for a taxi.

I could walk no more!

A kind security man let me through the shut gates to do a picture. Still from the rain yesterday Doha was still wet. Wearing my trusty Crocs, I went flying from slipping on a wet shiny marble surface. I did well to catch a camera but hurt my shoulder and finger. My nan’s friend used to have falls every week – she was 82. Felt a little embarrassed to write a status update “just had a fall”.

I got a taxi OK and at the hotel had some food then a long soak in the bath to rest my aching legs.

Finger swollen, I fear it may be broken. Luckily it’s not my shutter firing finger!

Today despite the fall was a good time out. Back to the football tomorrow with batteries fully charged – well my soul is, that reminds me I must recharge my camera batteries.

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One response to “20 Jan : Day off in Doha

  1. APOLOGIES FOR THE BAD TYPE SETTING… seem to be having problems at the moment – it looks fine on the proofs but terrible on the actual page.

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