Day 4: Mosque
Hey everyone! Sorry for being so quiet last week! After having to study for an exam and going on holiday I had some catching up to do. But I promise I'll make it up to you with some great posts this week! Firstly though, I thought I'd share some pictures of the last few days of my vacation in Kuwait.
On day 4 Joeri and I wanted to visit the largest mosque in Kuwait, very originally called 'The Grand Mosque'. We already heard it wasn't easy to visit the mosque, and indeed when we arrived there was a notification at the entrance saying that tourist visits were only possible by appointment, which you could make by calling to some mobile number. Luckily, the guard on duty noticed us and told us that it would be OK to visit if we returned at 5 PM, because then there wouldn't be any prayers going on.
Since it didn't go as smoothly as we'd hoped I was prepared for the worst when we returned at 5 PM, but that turned out to be completely unnecessary. Instead we could enter the mosque immediately, and there we received a very friendly welcome from the mosque staff! After being stuffed with tea and cookies, Joeri and I got a private tour of the mosque. Of course it was expected of me to wear a long dress with long sleeves and a headscarf before entering the prayer hall, but as this wasn't my first mosque visit I came prepared (something greatly appreciated by the mosque staff btw). Below a photo I took of the large prayer hall, which has room for more than 10,000 worshippers at once. It is only used during Ramadan though. The rest of the time they don't have need for it.
As we were the only tourist in the Mosque during our entire tour, I couldn't help but wonder how many tourists this "top tourist attraction of Kuwait" (according to our Lonely Planet) sees every year. When I asked our guide about this he said: "No, no, we get LOTS of tourists! We had some French people two days ago!" I didn't even know how to respond to that.... But it did confirm our suspicion that at any given moment there are never more than 20 tourists at once in the entire country of Kuwait.
Day 5: Museum
Our suspicion regarding the amount of tourists in Kuwait was confirmed yet again when Joeri and I visited the other "top tourist attraction of Kuwait" the next day: the Tareq Rajab Museum. Housed in the basement of a large villa, this museum contains a vast collection Islamic art and antiquities, mainly costumes, jewels, ceramics and early Islamic manuscripts from the 8th and 9th Century. It was assembled as a private collection of by Kuwait’s first minister of antiquities and his British wife.
When Joeri and I arrived at 10:30 AM, 1.5 hours after opening time, the guards had to put on the lights and open all the doors for us. Looking at the visitors book, the Tareq Rajab Museum can't have more than 20 visitors a week. Such a waste, since the collection is so interesting and enormous. I must say, that basement is HUGE, but it still amazes me how much stuff you can put into it. Just wish more people would be able to see it for themselves....
Dress : Hobbs / Shoes: Pied-a-terre / Bag: Ebay / Belt: Vintage / Earrings: Cristalina
In the evening we went to eat at the Green Apple, a massive restaurant just around the corner from our hotel, that had so much green neon lighting it worked kind of hypnotising on us during the first 4 days, that we just had to eat there. Turns out that at the Green Apple, every floor has it's own menu and kitchen. First floor: Chinese, second floor: Indian, third floor: Iranian, fourth floor: Lebanese. We decided to be adventurous and go for Iranian, so third floor it was. The food was nice, but mainly the overfriendly employees made me feel uncomfortable in a Stepford Wives kind of way....
Day 6: Market
Of course we couldn't leave Kuwait without visiting the traditional Souq market, with all its different tastes, colours and smells. I find that you can always find the most authentic atmosphere at a local market. And so we did! Obviously I couldn't resist buying a 'keffiyeh' as a souvenir for my dad (that's one of those headdresses for men that looks like a large tea towel)!
As a sharp contrast to the traditional souq, and because we basically had seen everything else Kuwait had to offer, we ended our last day in Kuwait at the largest shopping mall of the world: The Avenues. With over 800 shops it basically means that if you name it, they've got it. Including the most awesome Cheesecake Factory I have ever seen!
Well, that basically sums up the rest of my vacation in Kuwait. It just amazed me how a country with next to no history or nature can still be so interesting to experience. I am pretty sure though that if I were to visit Kuwait again in 20 years, it would be unrecognisably changed again.
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- ABOUT TATIANA -
Hi there! I am a fashion and travel enthusiast living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Tatiana's Delights is your online resource for preppy and minimalist fashion, travel tips, affordable home decor and adorable cat photos. You can find out more about Tatiana's Delights here.
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