I arrived in Doha after a long day of travel through Frankfurt. Thankfully it would seem Doha isn’t an overly popular destination so that meant a fairly empty plane. I had expected the heat but the blast of hot, humid air when we stepped out of the airport was still somewhat of a shock. We were met by a driver who drove towards the “Manhattan” portion of the city – the part that is made up entirely of skyscrapers and cranes to build… more skyscrapers, including one that will end up being 1.5km TALL.
The majority of our team is staying in the Marriott which is lovely and overly air-conditioned and quite Western. I am not complaining at all, in fact it feels quite decadent to not have to make my bed for the next 38 days! Jet lag seems to come and go so I am seeing lots of sunrises, enjoying some very solo gym/pool time and reading some good books at 2am.
To be honest, I have not yet had the chance to really explore much. It is difficult to walk anywhere here since the city isn’t conducive to pedestrians (who needs sidewalks when you have 4 lane roads and a million roundabouts!) so we are limited to car services and taxis (which is an adventure since you are never sure if you will get a taxi with a meter or some guy who offers to drive you somewhere for $15). A few nights ago, we ventured to the Souq Wakif which was fascinating and has been rated #2 of 2976 things to do in the Middle East. I am really looking forward to going back and taking some pictures once I figure exactly what the etiquette is with regards to taking photos of strangers!
The people we’ve met have been incredibly kind and open to us and I am really looking forward to getting into our Venues and getting to work and being part of our teams. I’ll be working at Aquatics http://www.arabgames2011.qa/newen/venues/aspire-the-academy-of-sports-excellence/and Tennis: http://www.arabgames2011.qa/newen/venues/khalifa-international-complex-for-tennis-and-squash/which, by all accounts, could not be more different in terms of readiness and organization. Fun!
We’re off to the Dunes and a beach today so I hope to get a better feel for this place by the end of today… back to work tomorrow! Here’s hoping I won’t see the sunrise tomorrow…