Bahrain: History meets modernity
Just like the previous time, this was also an official visit. Only this time, it was to a small but beautiful county in the east: Bahrain. This county is quiet rich when it comes to its heritage, values and of course in Oil ;). Briefly there are a few districts in total, the Capital and the ‘most happening place’ is Manama. Since I was strictly bound with some project dead lines and meetings, I fell short on the touring part this time. Never the less, I did manage to quickly visit some of the most major places…
Bahrain National Museum: I choose to start off with the national museum mainly because its always good to know the history before touring the rest of the places. And my choice didn’t fail to surprise me either. All the artefacts starting from the stone-age, peal diving, all the way to the oil discovery era were kept for display. There was a dedicated section to show case the Baharini culture and tradition. Life like wax statues where arranged portraying how the old city looked like; barber shops, black smiths, baker etc.There were also displays of all the rituals from child birth to marriages using them.
Bah Al Bahrain: ‘Bah’ means ‘Gateway’, so Bah Al Bahrain stands for ‘Gateway to Bahrain’. Google and lonely planet says that this was built by the British and later on it was redesigned to give a more Islamic touch. This was/is basically the main entrance to the Manama Souq as it was close to the water’s edge, but later on when the land reclamation began, the sea moved further north. Good place to do your ‘tourist shopping’ as there are many shops with local products and artefacts.
World Trade Centre: Basically, these are twin towers which stand tall as one of Bahrain’s architectural break through. It is ranked as the second tallest in Bahrain after the twin towers at the Bahrain Financial Harbor. One of the most interesting things about this building is the wind turbine housed on each of the three sky bridges. These turbines also aid in the power supply of the building. Looking from an engineering point of view the sail shape of the building further aid in channeling the wind into the turbines making it more power efficient.
Qal’at al-Bahrain: A.K.A The Fort of Bahrain. There are many forts in Bahrain, but this one stands out for a few good reasons. Located near the seashore, it gives you a magnificent view of the ocean from the top complimented with the cool breeze. This fort was well know for its architectural design and also was a significant trading place.
Apart from the beautiful view of the ocean, you also get to see a nice city scape from the top of the fort. This place give you a gist of how the buildings in Bahrain was and how it is currently.
Bahrain-Saudi Causeway: The whole intention behind this bridge goes into the nurturing and further solidify the brotherly bond between the two Kingdoms. And this has benefited many people in both the countries. The whole journey from Bahrain to the border takes about an hour tops. Getting to see the horizon over the ocean is a treat for the eyes.
To summarize my overall experience, Bahrain is a small country, but there are quiet a few interesting places to check out. Travel needs to be done either via Cab because bus transport development is just catching up, if you have some one to drive you through, then nothing like it. Am not going to mention a ‘how to get there’ section for each of the above mentioned places as most of them are located in Manama and are quiet close to each other. Except for the Fort and the Causeway, I just covered all of these places by foot. 😉 Like any other Countries in the East, the preferable time to visit is the Winter. The weather in these places become amazing during these times, and if you get lucky you can even catch a drizzle too.
Luv n Peace,