Friday, July 1, 2016

A 10-hour layover at Hamad International Airport in Doha, just in time for the end of Ramadan sale. And about buying Repetto ballet flats.


So on the way to Copenhagen from Asia on a Qatar Airways flight, living a #Travelife, I had a 10-hour stopover at Hamad International Airport in Doha.

Actually, I wasn't really supposed to be stuck at the airport, because if I'd just organised my life a little better amidst the mad rushing about of the last 60 days, I would have been able to get my visa for Doha and Doha hotel done in time to join my companions for a 10-hour stay at the Oryx Rotana Hotel.

NO WAY OUT OF
A 10-HOUR AIRPORT STAY



But somehow I'd overlooked this for myself and by yesterday I'd run out of options as visa processing for Doha takes several days, and there was no choice but to stay at the Qatar Airways airport lounge as even the airport hotel in Doha was fully booked.

Yes, you have to book as early as possible for this Qatar airport hotel, as they only have 100 rooms.

----------------


STRESS OVER A STOPOVER

Being a creature of comfort, I can't tell you how distressing this news initially was. But as I have tons of work to do before my Iceland holiday starts tomorrow, I resigned myself to setting up "office" at my regular spot in the Doha airport lounge -- the very same set of chairs I'd commandeered three weeks ago -- and to finishing up as much as possible.

However, as many of my friends will tell you, I'm incredibly lucky in my never-ending #Travelife.

PERHAPS THE BEST AIRPORT
IN THE WORLD


So first off, not all airports are created equal, and Doha's Hamad International Airport is probably the best in the world right now. So if I had to pick an airport to get stuck in, I couldn't have done any better.

Then, when  I got to the airport after a nine-hour red-eye flight from Manila, I discovered that all the airport shops were at the tail-end of a Ramadan sale that ends on Tuesday with discounts of up to 50%.

So I put on my Fitbit and walked the whole airport in search of sales.

ONE ROUND AT DOHA AIRPORT
IS 8000 STEPS


This was a very nice double-whammy.

The walk around Doha airport earned me 8000 Fitbit steps and I picked up a couple of very nice bargains, including a pair of Repetto ballet flats for the unbelievable price of US$42 and some Ugg boots for a winter trip to Scandinavia for something like US$80.


Then, when I was done shopping, I returned to the Qatar lounge in time to see the last of the morning passengers leave and I literally had the whole Qatar Airways lounge to myself for a time. It was so quiet and peaceful I could have fallen asleep.


BREAKFAST AT
THE QATAR AIRWAYS LOUNGE


But instead I went up to the restaurant for my usual Qatar lounge breakfast of foul medames, which is an Egyptian bean soup which I load up with cumin, and the Egyptian version of scrambled eggs.


Being a person of habit, I order this every single time and I love it.

And just like that, a couple of hours passed so quickly that I'm even wondering if I'll be able to do another Fitbit walk around the airport before my next flight, in Doha, as always living a never-ending #Travelife.

No comments:

Post a Comment