Thursday, December 27, 2007


Today for my last excursion in Qatar, I went to Barzan.

It was used as a lookout for pearl divers (which used to be a big thing here), oncoming ships, and as a lunar observatory. There are two towers, and were built in 1910. Here’s the second tower, as seen from the one above.

My mom and I drove through a little town to get there, but by the towers there was no one around at all. When we got to the first tower, there was a door. I hesitated, then let myself in.

They sell picture frames here that have a door such as this over the picture and you open it up to see it. I assumed it was traditional here, but this was the first time I had seen a door like this. The immediate inside was full of trash, and there were stairs to the side. I went up the stairs to the landing and it was small.

I went over to be inside under the tower

and saw a guano covered ladder. I couldn’t not climb up it, so I went up to the top of the fort, knocking down the guano and I went up.

As I was climbing up, I could hear a bunch of birds fly away. The top wasn’t that big, but it did have a bit of guano.

But it did have a great view of the other tower

and of the city of Doha.

My camera batteries died after I took my first picture from the top, and I left my camera bag at the base of the tower since I had to have both hands free to climb up. So I had to climb up twice, since I had to climb down to get new batteries. I then climbed it a third time after I gave my mom the camera so she could take a picture of my at the top. I think the birds were glad that I was gone.

We then walked over to the other tower. I couldn’t go inside, since the door was inside a fenced off area on someone’s land. By this tower there was a little creek and it was green around it. It was the most green that I’ve seen my whole time here. I guess I didn't realize how much of a desert this place is until I was shocked to see something so green.

There was a courtyard by the tower that I could walk around in,

but it had litter everywhere.

This was a fun little place to visit, and it was only about half an hour from my mom’s apartment. It seemed like no one had been there in a long time, even the trash looked old. Even though the towers look desolated, the area around it had built up. The pictures I had seen of it before (on the link at the top and in other places) have just the towers in the desert. But now there were little dwelling places all around, with construction going on as well. Hopefully someone will clean up the place and the towers won’t fall into complete disrepair in the future.


apyknowzitall said...

Wow. That is so amazing (even with all the guano.) What was the cultural climate like for you there? Were people generally nice?... I'm assuming so based on your dune riding entry. So jealous.

Warren said...

People were nice. Most people in Qatar aren't Qatari, people I talked to said it's about 20%. Around 40% of the country is Arab, the rest are from all around the world.

A lot of women wore the full on Arab dress - completely covered. But a lot did not and a good number of people dressed like westerners. It was very mixed that way.

JennyW said...

Warren, I just wanted to say thanks for all these posts—they've been fascinating. And made me want to travel somewhere besides Seattle. (Not that I don't love you, April!)

apyknowzitall said...

Oh come on. Who else can you get to fart next to you on the couch. Oh wait... you have Nick:)