Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Ernie Does Doha

We had survived our first night in Doha, Qatar, but just barely.

After a sleepless night I took Ern out on a walk of the grounds while Lydia got some actual rest. The hotel had a touristy but fun atmosphere.

"Welcome to Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel

Traditional, romantic, and secluded. Feel like royalty at Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel – a beach resort carefully designed to emulate an elegantly marbled Sheikh’s palace. Admire Doha’s natural beauty from the balcony of your luxury room or suite and unwind at the infinity pool and private beach before letting go at the exceptional spa. Located a few steps away from the National Museum of Qatar and Souq Waqif, this Ritz-Carlton resort in Doha will be the perfect starting point of your memorable experience in Qatar."

There was a fun little Souq. This is where the kids club area was along with a bunch of stores.

There was a pool of water in the lobby covered in flower petals to resemble the Qatari flag.

The ladies working in the lobby were flirting with Ernie a lot and squeezing his chubby feet.

We called another car seat cab as we were still waiting on our luggage from Finnair. We had a lot of conversations on how long we should wait for our bags to materialize before we start buying emergency replacements.

While we were standing around waiting for our luggage that never arrived at the airport I spotted a bunch of ads for "Expo 2023" in Doha but I knew something was off because Dubai just had an Expo in 2020 and they only have every 5 years. Me and the Lydster checked out EXPO Milan 2015. Anyway, apparently there are baby off-year Expos as well. This was actually a specialized "International Horticultural Exposition" organized under the theme "Green Desert, Better Environment".

Italy pavilion. I think the US was too cool to show up for this one.

Saudi Arabia had a cool looking one.

Big Ern is turning into a hummus gourmand.

Next we went for a stroll at Katara Plaza.

I was most excited about Galeries Lafayette. I had a great time at the mothership in Paris but this place was a sad comparison. 

Pearl Island is an "artificial island with an area of nearly four square kilometers. It is the first land in Qatar to be available for freehold ownership by foreign nationals."

He liked his little rubber ducky that the hotel gave him.

I don't usually order room service but the hotel menu looked really fun and authentic so I went for it.

By the time the food arrived Ern was asleep so we ate in the dark like cave people. This was Machbous Dajaj. Chicken and rice essentially.

This was fun and different: 

Sweet gelatin pudding spiced with saffron and cardamom"