I was excited about my first travels to the Middle East; I planned my itinerary weeks in advance. It was simple: my tour plan was to spend two weeks in Jordan, where I would travel to Amman, the capital of Jordan, and then proceed to Doha, the capital city of Qatar, following which I booked my hotels in Egypt. I wanted to spend at least three weeks in Egypt, knowing there would be much to see in Cairo. I had also planned a trip to Tehran in Iran, but that was not to be as fighting had started in Iran, and due to the adverse conditions in the country where there was great fear of familiar tourists being detained or arrested, I decided against the trip. I was going to three countries that I would cover in this trip: Jordan, Qatar, and Egypt. As luck would have it, I would also get an opportunity to see Bahrain. This was because my flight from Delhi to Bahrain was delayed, and thus, the connected flight from Bahrain to Amman would also have to be rescheduled.
Due to this, I got the chance to spend a whole day in Bahrain itself. I got friendly with a lovely Airhostess on my flight from Delhi to Bahrain, who gave me a lot of attention and ensured that my first air travel in business class would be an experience I would never forget. I got champagne and prawns for dinner and enjoyed the in-flight entertainment. When I landed in Bahrain, I was given a new waiting pass and was booked into a beautiful five-star hotel for the night. Bahrain was warm, and my first impression of the country was fantastic. The roads are brilliant, and the government is an island city surrounded by water and pristine beaches. Everyone drives cars here, and people are very well off.
This is a fishing country, and fishing is what the people of this country do. Along with oil and tourism, that is what sustains the economy of this place. A Kenyan cab driver who duly drove me to my hotel picked me up at the airport. The Art hotel was where I would spend my day in this country. I was greeted by a Pakistani waiter called Malik in the hotel, and I was happy to speak Urdu with him. The people are amiable here, and the country is very sparsely populated. It has only two million people. There is a lot of space around, and everyone is very well off. Most people drive cars here, and Bahrain looks to be a very prosperous city. After tucking into a plate full of Biriyani, I had a quick hot shower and decided to catch a tapas. I felt totally jet lagged.
Since I had to be at the airport the next day early in the morning, I could not see much of the city or any of its attractions, but I managed to get a good feel of the country nonetheless.