Saturday, September 13, 2008

Qatar, Day Two

Last night a couple of people from Jon's office, along with Jon and I, went to the Souk. It is a traditional old style market. There were so many vendors it would have taken several hours to stop by each one. When we first arrived the vendors were closed. During Ramadan they don't open until 8:00 p.m. So we had dinner at an Irani restaurant. The food was wonderful. Jon and I both ate from the buffet which had chicken, lamb, rice, vegetables, etc. The lamb was so yummy. Here are pictures from the restaurant.

This is the entrance of the restaurant.

The hallway leading to the restaurant. I loved the inside it was incredible. Every inch of the walls were covered with some sort of glass, decoration, sculpture or painting. It was the most colorful place I've ever seen.

Me standing in the hallway.

The chandeliers were so awesome as well. There was a fountain in the center of the restaurant as you can see in this pic.

Jon and I

The chandeliers again.

Myself, Sandy, and Jorge eating dinner.

After eating we walked around the market to de-stuff ourselves. It was so hard to get the full effect of the architecture at night but I still took several pictures. There were vendors who sold antiques, souvenirs, fabrics, pashminas, clothing worn by Qatari people, etc. Jon bought a t-shirt and I bought a couple of pashminas because they are so great for winter. We also bought some post cards and a couple of things for family back home.

While shopping a man stopped Jon and asked him if he wanted to try this head piece on! Jon was like "uh sure" so as not to be rude. I had to take a picture.

Falconry is big over here and throughout the Middle East. The nomads who lived here centuries ago used the falcons to hunt other birds, rabbits, and even gazelle. They still use them for hunting, and the season starts in October. They also have showing competitions, similar to dog shows. The most impressive and beautiful falcons can cost tens of thousands of dollars, with royal falcons worth even more. It looks kind of sad here in the pictures of the shops, but falcons are treated with such reverence that they are issued passports and even placed in first class on the airplanes while in route to hunting areas in other countries. While we were looking at the birds, a Qatari man started talking to us and showed Jon the way to hold them with the glove. We thought he worked at the shop, but he was just a friendly customer. He then took us to the other shops and showed us around.

They usually keep hoods over their heads so they don't get scared. They can see so far away that something down the street could startle them.

The Qatari man took the hood off the bird; they are so impressive looking!!

In another shop, the birds didn't have hoods and weren't as calm as the others. The hunting season starts soon, so thankfully the birds will soon be taken out to soar the skies as they were meant. The next time we are down here, we'll try to accompany a hunt to see these guys in action.

1 comment:

BrianB said...

I want a falcon, daddy! I want a falcon now! bum bumbum bum bumbum I want a feast... I want a bean feast. <-- What the H? The bean feast after-party would probably smell like walking through a cattle ranch. j/k

I'm glad you guys are getting to explore the world. Wish I could be there with yous guys...