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To round out our Spring Break to Oman and Dubai, we extended our layover in Bahrain and spent a couple days exploring the city. In addition to catching several movies and shopping at the City Center mall, we also visited the Qal'at al-Bahrain, explored the Bahrain National Museum, and strolled through the Bab al-Bahrain souq.
Inside Qal'at al-Bahrain (IG@PSCblog)

We arrived in Bahrain in the middle of the day and caught a cab from airport to our hotel. Since the ATM in the airport wouldn't accept my card, I asked the cab driver if he accepted credit cards (like they did in UAE). Nope. Cash only. Fortunately, the Bahraini Dinar ~ 10 Saudi Riyal and they are commonly accepted because lots of Saudis visit the island to escape to (from?) reality. Our cab driver clearly didn't like them, as he constantly emphasized how good everything was in Bahrain compared to Saudi Arabia, and had no kind words for the Saudis that come over for the weekend to get drunk.

City Center Mall
The City Center Mall is the largest mall in Bahrain. More importantly, it has a 20-screen cinema megaplex where we were able to watch Beauty and the Beast one day and Moana the next. I feel like I should point out that we had to leave Saudi Arabia for our girls to see a movie with strong female lead characters (though, technically, we'd have to have left to see any movies at all...as movie theaters are currently banned in Saudi Arabia).  Oh, and if you're interested, we recommend these movies about or set in Saudi Arabia.

There were lots of Saudis around Bahrain. The cab driver concurred with my guess of maybe 10% of the population during the weekend based off of the men wearing the traditional red & white checkered keffiyeh (but Saudi men also wear western clothes). The City Center Mall also has a waterpark, but we had just been to the Legoland Dubai waterpark earlier in the week. As long as we were at the mall, we decided to do some shopping for the girls, since there are actually changing rooms. (vs Saudi where fitting rooms are banned).

Qal'at al-Bahrain
It's a UNESCO heritage site. Qal'at al-Bahrain – Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun. Qal'at al-Bahrain is a typical tell – an artificial mound created by many successive layers of human... Visited Qalat of Bahrain, old fort and trade center. Old city of Dilmun was here. Art installation like dates drying. Palm trees built in to hold up stone. "Known as Dilmun in ancient times, Bahrain’s rich trading history is reflected in numerous archaeological digs around the island. Qalat al-Bahrain site (Bahrain Fort site) is among the most exciting of them and is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort is located atop a 17.5 hectare artificial hill that has been built while enduring over 4,000 years of continuous occupation. It is also the site of the former capital of Dilmun and is one of the most prolific archaeological digs in the Arabian Gulf."

(IG @PSCblog)

Kacey Haircut at ritz Carlton EJ salon, nice. However,rc policy on weekends meant the kids couldn't use the playground while we waited...so I got each of them a chocolate chip cookie and we ate in the boulangerie? Where they proceeded to make a mess of the table cloth. Oh well.

Bahrain National Museum
. Satellite map on floor, light up buildings. Culture. Crafts. Trades. Pearl diving and market were cool. Section on dilmun. For more info: The Bahrain National Museum
Bahrain 2017 our year of archaeology

Bab al-Bahrain
#bab Cab to bab al Bahrain. Flight delayed 1.5 hrs. Gold souk meh. India/ Bangladesh/ Nepal / phillipines calling cards.

(IG @PSCblog)

To mall to kill more time

In airport, got Santa penguin from a girl whose mother was in a niqab, but we had to leave it. "Merry Christmas" vs "airport security procedures"

Flight boarded around 7:35, so we got home about an hour and a half later than we planned... the kids passed out before takeoff.

But at least we have Saturday to recover.

More posts from this trip:
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