Well, it’s been a while ago now since this happened but at the beginning of March we had a visit from the parents, which Dan re-named ‘the Royal Visit’. It was their first visit to Bahrain and in fact their first jaunt to the Middle East so we were intrigued to what they might think of it. Luckily they came at the right time of year when the weather wasn’t too hot. In fact, we even had a couple of cloudy days with a few spots of rain.
Although we were working during the week we did manage to take them to the main hotspots of Bahrain! First stop was Muharraq….. we walked through the old souq area and the newly developed trail around Muharraq but unfortunately because of the time of day a lot of the places were closed. At once place we were reliably informed that it would be open next year! We did manage to have a look round the Mohammed Bin Faris Music Hall which is all modern wood and steel on the outside and hides a very cute little auditorium inside, where free concerts are held every Thursday night.
A little walk around Muharraq and opening a few random doors we found a small, deserted cafe where we had a rest from the heat and dust for a bit. During the weekend we also showed mam & dad the delights of The Tree of Life and had a walk around Adliya which included many coffee stops and lunch.
During the week on quieter working days we had a visit to the National Museum and a quick peek at the National Theatre.
We also had a tour of Al Fateh Grand Mosque in Juffair which is somewhere I had never been to. Of course we had to cover up and were given our Abayas to wear which caused much merriment! The mosque is huge (apparently one of the largest in the world) and can accommodate over 7,000 worshippers. Our guide was very good at explaining everything, especially the similarities between religions and after our tour one of the guides wrote our names in Arabic on a card as a souvenir.
Final stop of things to do in Bahrain was a visit to Bahrain Fort. We had a walk around and explored all the little hidey-holes. This place is great for a bit of history and we really like looking at the modern tower blocks from the ancient ruins.
So, what did mam & dad make of Bahrain? I think they enjoyed their time here and were interested in seeing local Bahraini’s and experiencing their culture. Of course mam got chatting to a local lady at the bus stop and found out lots of info! When we were working they enjoyed pottering around to one of the many different malls near us and I believe lots of coffees and pastries were devoured. Will they be back? Will there be a sequel – The Second Royal Visit? Let’s wait and see. 🙂