Posted on February 17, 2023
Patti has set this weeks challenge and her post can be viewed HERE
MB found himself in recent days in The Kingdom of Bahrain, an island state in the Arabian Gulf, a mere stones throw from Qatar. It’s linked to Saudi Arabia by a long bridge/causway.
In days past, there were direct flights between MB’s home base of Qatar and Bahrain, being only a short 25-minute flight away. However, there are currently no direct flights, which necessitates a flight from Doha to nearby Dubai and then an onwards flight to Manama, the capital city of Bahrain.
There are a number of tourist attractions in Bahrain, one of which is a visit to the Grand Mosque where visitors can take a guided tour during which the guide will explain the basics of Islam, very similar to the Open Doors – Open Minds programme at Jumairah Mosque in Dubai which MB also did a number of years back.
As the guide was explaining the direction of Mecca etc to the group, MB’s attention was caught by an interesting shadow on the mosque carpet floor, resulting from the sun-shade trellis structure fixed on the external face of the window. MB momentarily departed the group to capture the shot.
Voila – MB’s entry to this week’s LCPH:
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, Bahrain, Monochrome, mosque, Shadow, Travel
Posted on November 4, 2022
In case anyone thinks MB is some kind of gun nut, he’s not. He would be very much on the side of strict gun control and bans on military-type weaponry if he lived in countries where such debates rage. MB appreciates that others have opposing views. And certain arguments they espouse have merit. But coming from a country that put away the guns in recent years after 800 years of it, MB can see the benefits of gunless society, more or less.
But MB digresses……………………….
Apart from the occasional usage of an old single-barrel shotgun growing up on a farm, MB was not familiar with any sort of firearms until he and a friend recently visited the newly opened gun range in Doha called ‘Al Hadaf’. It’s next to Khalifa Football Stadium or Villagio Shopping Mall, and means in English ‘The Target’. It’s a super-modern facility and has a 100M range for pistol and rifle practice. A ‘clay’ range is currently under construction and will open in a few months from now.
In addition to the range, Al Hadaf has coffee shops, a VIP lounge (de rigeure at any new facility in Qatar!), and a showroom to view lots of merchandise. Needless to say, many of the facility instructors were asking MB if his name was, by any chance, Client Eastwood. MB gave them a steely stare, and didn’t even need a ‘make my day’ statement!
So, dear HX followers, if any of you happen to be visiting Qatar for the November/December FIFA World Cup, or anytime soon, a visit to Al Hadaf is a few hours well spent, if shooting’s your cup of tea.
A few pics……………………
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, Alhadaf, Doha, MiddleEast, Qatar, Range, Shooting, Sport, Travel
Posted on September 24, 2022
Thanks to Donna for this week’s post whose blog site can be accessed HERE.
MB harks (or harps!) back to an old post to take up this week’s photo challenge – Over The Hill, and he includes a link to that post below for those interested in reading the full story/post.
In St. John’s Church graveyard in the village of Knockainey, mere spitting distance from MB’s HX locality back home, lies a most intriguing gravestone. The gravestone inscription tells the tale of one John Murphy, who was well over the hill – more than 100 years before he actually died!Read More
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, Cemetry, Death, Grave, Over The Hill, Photography, Travel
Posted on September 17, 2022
Thanks to Tina for this week’s challenge. Tina’s great post (and pics) are available HERE.
In September 2017, MB attended the wedding of a Lebanese friend in one of the oldest towns in the region, Byblos, on Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast. The wedding venue was the Saint Jean-Marc Cathedral, built by the Crusaders in 1,115 AD, a few hundred meters from the Crusader Castle of the same era. i
The church was originally built in honour of St John the Baptist, but a name change followed in later years to honour the Saint who introduced Christianity to the Byblos/Jbail region.MB made a post of that wedding trip which can be viewed HERE if followers wish to see more of the church and ceremony.
MB has chosen a shot from that wedding to try to meet Tina’s ‘Opposites’ theme. The shot shows the bride disappearing into the church where the groom awaits.
And so begins their married lives, leaving their opposite, so to speak, ‘single’ lives behind.
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, byblos, Church, Crusades, Jbeil, Opposites, Photography, Travel, wedding
Posted on September 4, 2022
Thanks to John for this week’s challenge. His post is available HERE. MB also recommends a look at Tina’s great TRAVELS & TRIFLES blog post HERE. MB’s tongue is always hanging out when he views Tina’s travel posts & pics!Read More
Posted on July 26, 2022
MB previously attended a pre-covid AR concert in AR’s hometown of Maastricht, Holland, in July 2019. MB posted about that concert HERE.Read More
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, Andre, Holland, Maastricht, Music, Rieu, Travel
Posted on July 21, 2022
As Hawaii is to US citizens, so is Jeju to the Koreans.
Jeju is a large island off the south coast of South Korea, a little over one hour’s flying time from Seoul. Jeju airport is very busy as MB and MB2 witnessed, and caters for domestic and international flights. Tourism become even more hectic during covid as it was an in-country free-to-travel-to destination. The native population of the island is approx 600k and Jeju Island is one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The Shield Volcano in Hallasan National Park in the centre of the island is the tallest mountain in all of South Korea.
MB hired a car at the airport on arrival and quickly discovered that car hire procedures are not exactly as they are back home. Take the ‘fill the tank to the same level you received it when you return it’ rule. This normally involves filling the tank to the max when dropping it back, ie. to the same level you received it. But on turning on the ignition of the small Kia that MB had hired, MB immediately noticed that the petrol gauge was registering zero petrol in the tank. As in totally zero. Nada. Nothing. The dial did not move even 1 mm when MB turned on the car. So, realising that the car was only running on fumes, and starting to sweat, MB instructed MB2 to keep her eyes peeled for a petrol station or this car journey might come to an immediate stop. MB2 thankfully spotted one only a few hundred meters from the car hire yard so a solution seemed to be immediately at hand.
But all was not what it seemed. MB jumped out of the car, grabbed the petrol nozzle, and looked at the digital display. Sacre bleu! Merde! It was totally in Korean script, with no English language translations to be seen. The normal green/black hoses that might distinguish petrol from diesel obviously were an unknown principle in Korea, so the hoses gave MB no clue which one to use. Nor could MB even work out how to turn on the hoses or which button to press, let alone extract any petrol from them.
Enter the scene, Korean speaking and reading MB2, who jumped out of the car on hearing various blasphemies from MB, hit a series of touch-screen buttons on the large digital screen and said “proceed now dad” as if this was some problem she solved each and every day!
And onwards they went!
There are multiple attractions on the island and MB and MB2 covered many of them. There’s a very interesting National Stone Park (called ‘The National Stone Park’!) that has extensive rock sculptures and statues (unsurprisingly!) which must have taken hundreds of years to complete all those years ago.
MB & MB 2 also visited a waterfall in the south of the island and the Manjanggul Cave, the 12th longest so-called Lave Tube cave system in the world.
But for MB and MB2, the favorite haunt by far was the Dongmun traditional night wet market where some of the best street food in the world is cooked. MB and MB gorged themselves each night on market food treats from fish to various meats and veg and all sorts of delicious Asian combinations that they had never before encountered. Take a look at the video (last below) to get a flavour of the action and the food.
From Jeju, MB and MB2 took a 4-hour ferry journey to a small city called Mokpo in the South West of the Korean peninsula to catch up with a certain Irish nun.
But that’s a story for another day!
Shots + 1 video:
The guys preparing the food were part chef/part DJ:
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, Cave, Dongmun, Hallasan, Jeju, Korea, Manganggul, market, Park, South, Stone, Travel
Posted on July 19, 2022
In recent times, MB has visited the Acropolis and Pantheon in Athens, Greece, which followers can read HERE. The Pantheon is missing some of its structure and is currently undergoing renovations by the Greek government and UNESCO experts. The fact that the structure is damaged and missing many of its columns is the result of a cannon attack in the year 1687 by the Venetians.
So MB decided that to visit the city where the attackers hailed from all those many years ago to see what might have turned them into marauding invaders. And that’s what MB did in early May this year.
MB went to Venice.Read More
Posted on May 22, 2022
It didn’t make any international headlines, but a few days back, an international incident occurred in the Myeongdong area of central Seoul between MB and one Mr Kim, owner of a traditional Korean restaurant on a restaurant-filled old side street just behind the Lotte City Hotel.Read More
Posted on March 1, 2022
On Friday morning last, in the small hours of a misty Doha morning, MB ascended silently into the blue heavens.
Much like Jesus Christ did all those years ago MB?
Well, no lads. Not at all like JC did. MB was actually standing in a steel-framed basket that was attached to a rather large balloon. It was powered by butane gas, not divine intervention.Read More
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, Air, Ballooning, Doha, Hot, Qatar, Travel
Posted on November 13, 2021
Thanks to Patti/Pilotfish blog for this week’s challenge. Take a look at Pattie’s related post HERE.
To look at most shapes and designs, you generally need to zoom in. However, MB has selected a pic for this week’s challenge where ‘zoom out’ is the order of the day.Read More
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, Athens, Photo Challenge, Shapes & Designs, Travel
Posted on November 10, 2021
Thanks to Tina for a great challenge this week. Followers of MB can view Tina’s post HERE. MB suggests that you stop and take a look. Tina’s shots are always awesome and being a well-traveled lady, she takes followers on a virtual world tour on almost every post. Shukhran Tina!
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Acropolis, Adventure, Greece, HIA, Parthenon, Qatar Airways, Travel
Posted on October 19, 2021
It’s back to Tbilisi again for MBs effort to meet this weeks Street Art challenge. You can see host Patti’s effort HERE.Read More
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, cat, Fish, Photography, Street Art, Tbilisi, Travel
Posted on October 15, 2021
The Lens-Artists ladies have set The Ordinary challenge for MB.
On recent trip to Tbilisi, MB & daughter MB2 stayed in the cosy Amente Narikale hotel in the citys Old Town area. On morning Nr 1, MB got up for an early breakfast (as MB2 snoozed on!) and chose the outdoor courtyard to dine under the clear blue Tbilisi sky. The hotel cat was soon a beneficiary of MBs’ decision, and MB went to the breakfast bar for seconds to ensure he and Mr Cat had a filling start to the day.Read More
Category: Irish man in the Middle East Tagged: Adventure, Amante, Hotel, Narikala, Ordinary, Tbilisi, Travel
Posted on September 29, 2021
It's a mad HX world!