Destinations Magazine

A Taste of the Kingdom of Bahrain

By Sonyaandtravis @sonyaandtravis

Keen to visit another Middle East country whilst in the region, prior to our travels through Central Asia, we decided to have a two day stopover in Bahrain, a tiny little island to the north-west of Qatar. In addition, the local budget airlines Gulf Air conveniently flew to Shiraz in Iran, our entry to the Silk Road. It was only two days prior to our departure that we received a call from Gulf Air informing us that the Bahrain to Shiraz flights no longer running for the last eighteen months. Luckily, Qatar Airways also flew to Shiraz, so we quickly booked the flight, it turned out we hadn’t quite left Qatar.

We arrived in the evening and after checking into our hotel we headed to the Manama Souq. The souk is literally a functional market with many stalls and shops littered along narrow streets, contrasting the beautiful fairytale-like architecture that we were familiar with in Qatar. It was so plain,  that as we walked around we wandered if we’d reached the ‘souq’ yet.

The next day we spent visiting three main attractions, Bahrain National Museum, Al-Fatih Mosque and the Bahrain Fort.

Bahrain National Museum

The Bahrain National Museum has a vast collection of archaeological finds on the ancient Dilmun civilisation, some of the interesting items, were the vast amount of foreign artifactss found in Bahrain (e.g porcelain from China), indicating the site of the city  as a past trading hub.

Wooden Arabic door at Bahrain National Museum
Sonya standing on a Bahrain aerial map
Sonya sitting on a bench in the Bahrain National Museum

Some turquoise coins in a clay pot
Stone with Arabic carvings
The calligraphy and manuscripts section

One of the many beautiful Qurans
Clay pot in the Bahrain National Museum
Stone arrow heads in the Bahrain National Museum

Al-Fatih Mosque

The Al-Fatih Mosque, while not the most aesthetic of the mosques we had seen, though was enjoyable and eye-opening due to the very helpful guide that showed us around and answered all of our questions with respect to the Islamic faith, we finally learnt what was being said during the call-to-prayer and how the prayer times were calculated.

Al-Fatih Mosque decorative windows
Al-Fatih Mosque internal courtyard
Sonya admiring the French lights, that resemble pearls

Qal’at al-Bahrain (Bahrain Fort)

The Bahrain Fort, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, and located on a tell (layers of ancient sites), which was the location of the capital of the ancient Dilmun civilisation. The fort sitting and the tell are an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort complex is quite large and is surrounded by a moat, it took  a little while to walk the circumference. We didn’t spend too much time inside as we were rushed for time.

Bahrain Fort lookout tower
Qal'at al-Bahrain (Bahrain Fort)
Qal'at al-Bahrain (Bahrain Fort)

Bahrain flag on the Bahrain Fort
Arches in the Bahrain Fort

View of Bahrain from the Bahrain Fort
Travis in front of the Bahrain Fort
The Till site of the ancient Dilmun civilisation

Sar Burial Chambers

Located close to the Bahrain Fort is a complex of Dilmun burial chambers, still being excavated, the many chamber rooms are visible.

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