City Exploration: Manama and Hawar Island

We started our trip from “Bab-al Bahrain”. Bahrain means “between two seas” in Arabic. “Bab-al Bahrain” means “ entrance door of city”. The door is on the side of the sea. It had first built in 1945, back in the days merchants having made trades in the sea had been selling their products in the bazaar in fornt of this door. In 1980, the little stores here had been renovated. Now there are  tourist offices, souvenir shops and pearl shops in this bazaar.  This bazaar is like far more smaller than our Egyptian Bazaar but side streets are absolute Tahta Kale. There are everything you want from spice-sellers to toy store, from underclothes to electricians. We bought a dessert which is like our almond- peanut butter from one of these shops. It is quite tasty. In the same area, there is one cathedral from ancient times and there are 1-2 old churhes. Even if Bahrain is Muslim country, everybody is free in their beliefs. Therefore, inside of this cathedral is quite crowded.

In the side streets, there are small but attractive cafes. There are elder people playing dominos and drinking tea. Completely photographic! But don’t forget taking permission. They don’t like being photographed.

If you are thinking buying gold, there is a mall just about jewelery called “Gold City”. It is also in this area.

World Trade Center which is very close form here, is a huge example of architectural success. They are producing all the electricity for the building by using wind energy from the propellers between two buildings. 

There are no area codes in this small country. Total population of Bahrain is about 900,000 people and it has been thinking that Bahrain had seperated from Arabian Peninsula in 6000 BC. Bahrain, which is consisted of 36 islands, is 665 km2. 85% of this acreage is land, while the rest 15% of it is consisted of these 35 islands. The biggest ones are Hawar archipelago, Muharraq, Umm Na’san and Sitra. But, many islands are attached to the main land by roads and bridges. Bahrain is also connected to Saudi Arabia by 25-km long King Fahd Gateway. But we didn’t pass over Saudi Arabia.

After the cornice, we headed back to the port area. There is an amusement center called Funland. There are bowling alley and ice rink inside. When we went there, there is an Arabic family skating. The father was skiing in an excellent way and he was trying to teach his children. The mother, on the other hand, was taking photos of them outside the rink. The rink was beautiful but the skates were in bad condition, mostly broken. After a little breezing, we continued our trip walking on the port. There is Coral Beach Club in front of us.

They had built a beautiful place. On the left side, there is a Lebanon restaurant on seafront; on the right side there is an artificial beach. There are 15-20 lounge chairs, small pool and a bar inside. When we went there, there was nobody. We swam in the pool and took a sunbath for 2-3 hours. The sea is cloudy here as well.

We went to Al-Fateh Mosque over there, then. It is also known as the big mosque. At the same time, 7,000 people can worshipped in this mosque. After then, we went to Al Khamis Mosque to complete our daily worshipping. This mosque had been built by Omayyad khalif Omar bin Abdul in 692. It had been renovated in 11th century. It is considered as one of the oldest mosques of Arab World. That’s why it is attracted for the historians and photographers. Two minarets had been attached to this mosque after a while. The first one was in 12th century and the second one was in 16th century. The last renovation had been completed 2-3 years ago.

We went seeing the remains of Saar from 2000 BC. But English archeologists has still been researching. Foundings were quite impressive. When it is completed, it will be attracted by more tourists.

There are various night clubs here. Hard Rock Cafe in Hoora area, Club 1 Under the Metropolitan Hotel,  Rock Botom Cafe in Jufair area and Enigma in Windsor Tower Hotel are among our alternatives. But these nights clubs are not to be said decent. These clubs are generally open till 4-5 in the morning.

For example, we were staying at a hotel across Club 1. But every night was a chaos and the police didn’t even react against the people who hitted on Asian girls.

If you want to go to a place which is still and calm, I suggest you Silk’s Restaurant and Flamingo Cafe in Mövenpick Hotel, and Mamma Mia Italian Restaurant in Riffa area.

The next day we headed back to Hawar Island. We stopped for gas. Benzin costs 0,4 TL. It is even cheaper than water. After we got gas, we go through the most southern of Bahrain. We were heading to Dur. The ferry between Dur and Hawar lasts 45 minutes at most. There is only one hotel on the island, Hawar Resort Hotel. After sunbathing and swimming all day, we went back to Manama and gave the car in.

Bahrain… It had a very special soul, but as the time goes the people made this small country lost its soul…



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 Yaklaşık 15 sene Medya satın alma ve Planlama sektöründe çok uluslu şirketler ile çalıştıktan sonra kendi tutkusu olan gezi ve seyahate yönelerek’u kurmuştur.1997 - 1999 İstanbul Üni