My final day in Bahrain was spent wishing it was sunnier so that I could go to the beach, but also feeling generally lethargic and unmotivated to do anything outside except for going to a Bahrain mall and seeing Bahrain indoors. This was a much needed rest day, sleep in day, do laundry day, and catch up on writing day. It was also a reminder that it actually was winter in this part of the world as well.
We did eventually venture out in the afternoon (Brice worked the morning) to see some of Bahrain indoors, starting with the Moda Mall. We decided to walk it from Manama, but we had some challenges with the wind. Brice had explained that there is a winter wind that often blows through called the Shamal, and man was it blowing today. At times it was absolutely stultifying and I could barely advance forward. I especially encountered this in the wind tunnel formed around the Diplomat Hotel. It was an interesting experience.
Before getting to the mall, we walked by the Golden Tulip hotel to check out where many expats liked to do Friday brunch (like our Saturday) and live karaoke, which were both apparently things did in Bahrain indoors. While the buffet area seemed small, we heard rumors of amazing delicacies and a never-ending array of decadent food. From my time India where the boozy weekend brunch culture among youth and foreigners also was a big deal, I could certainly picture it.
After the Golden Tulip, we continued exploring Bahrain indoors by visiting the Moda Mall, the mall attached to the Bahrain World Trade Centre (which I had photographed a few times already from various points within Manama). Unfortunately we were not able to go up in the towers or even really take pictures of it from anywhere within the mall. It was just office buildings and did not offer tours. I was able to grab this picture on our walk towards the Golden Tulip:
Moda Mall was a high-end Gulf mall, similar to any of the fancy malls I had previously visited in Dubai and Kuwait. Every designer luxury brand you could think of had a home there, including Tiffany’s. Brice said the prices were actually somewhat competitive. The experience also allowed for some good people watching, indulgent as it was.
After the mall, we went to The Domain Hotel and went up to the 36th floor for some panoramic city shots, continuing our theme of Bahrain indoors (looking out).
At that was basically it for the day. I spent the latter half doing laundry, went to the gym, and cooked in the room, and took some time late night to reflect and write. I also came down with a bit of a bug but it worked itself out by the following morning when I was getting ready to go to Oman. I was sad to go – Brice was a more than hospitable host and Bahrain was a more than hospitable country. As always, more adventures awaited ahead – namely Oman, and Qatar, countries 51 and 52 for me.