HAMAD AIRPORT, DOHA, QATAR

WEDNESDAY, 28th June

HEADING HOME FROM VIENNA TO ADELAIDE (Transit stop in Doha).

Our day started with the alarm at 06:00 at the Hotel in Vienna. We had booked a taxi for 07:00 and it was waiting for us when we got to reception. There were three of us travelling to the airport as Erika was flying back to Zurich a little later in the morning. We were not sure whether she would be allowed through to the overseas International    Departure area so were pleased that, with a bit of sweet talking (in German, of course) she was able to join us for breakfast.  Time to say Goodbye – not easy when parting from a friend. The word “goodbye”originates as a parting prayer of blessing, “God be with Ye” (from the heart).

HAMAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – In its bid to become a tourist destination of the future, the oil-rich nation of Qatar has gone all-out to impress visitors. With eighty designer stores and shops selling gold, travellers can spend while they wait.There are works of art like the over-sized Lamp Bear by a Swiss artist. Extravagance has been taken to another level with gold-plated coffee kiosks.There are huge futuristic play areas for children.

We had 5 hours on the ground so had plenty of time to walk, explore, have a light meal and chat to other South Australians awaiting the direct flight to Adelaide, South Australia arriving at 17:35 on Thursday 29th June. Pat’s home is in Western Australia so she had a Domestic flight to Perth the next day. We certainly had a wonderful 8 weeks together and I am thankful to her and to all friends, both old and new, who made the time so memorable.

In future days I may add to this, my Diary, as I know that special times will come to mind as I revisit my photographs.

THIS IS THE DAY – 5TH MAY 2017

It is a beautiful morning in Adelaide, currently 17 degrees with sunshine and a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.The time is 11:00 and I find it hard to believe that I have time to sit writing this Post.  

Refrigerator is empty, cleaned and turned off, towels are on the clothes line, case is locked and I have even had a walk as there will be little walking in the upcoming hours. Many thanks for best wishes via phone calls, cards texts and emails and for shared meals and coffees.

A friend’s handiwork

The day progressed well;  Michelle drove me to the Airport and Pat arrived from Perth. We departed a few minutes early on the 22:25 flight to Doha. WHERE IS DOHA? This city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the east of the country of Qatar. It is Qatar’s fastest growing city with over 50% of the population living in Doha or its surrounding suburbs and it is also the economic centre of the country. The city population is close to 1.5 million.

Today we had an experience I would not choose to repeat. Our arrival in DOHA was delayed and, as there was no available Bay for the Aircraft, we were bussed to the Terminal and then faced literally thousands of travellers in Transit, all needing to pass through Passport Control. There was no semblance of orderly queues but just a throng of bodies in a mob. The outcome was that, having been scanned, we ran through to the departure gate for Flight QR7 to London and were last to board with departure being 20 minutes late(held for us and 2 others).  We had another delay when arriving at Heathrow and were in a holding pattern for 20 minutes.

After travelling on National Express bus to Victoria Coach Station it was great to join Erika (from Switzerland) at Airways Hotel Victoria.   A day of many and varied memories with thanks to Captains and Crew of Qatar Airways flights for safe arrival.  Bed will be good tonight.