Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm back!

Okay, I'm back in Doha! (Actually, I was back on the 10th but have been swamped with unpacking/work/etc thereafter)

Wow, Bermuda was awesome! It was sunny pretty much the whole time I was there and I was down at the beach 4 times. Got to see Hamilton, St. George's, Tobacco Bay, the Aquarium/Zoo (with its Galapagos tortoises and evil little monkeys), my old house, and meet up with tons of friends that I'd not seen since I left for Qatar. Drank plenty of Black Seal Rum too. In fact the wedding reception I attended really seemed to take off when the Black Seal came out (and incriminating photos show its true. No, not of the bride or groom).

I've traveled a lot around the world but I have yet to find any beaches that can compare to Bermuda's. I guess after living there for five years you just kind of took it for granted so was a real wake-up call to go back and experience it again.

Not everything in Bermuda was laughter and joy. I went back to my barbershop to find out that Harold, an elderly Bermudian gentlemen who had been my barber while I lived in Bermuda, had passed away two years ago. He enjoyed talking about Bermuda and politics, and used to keep a bottle of St. Lucia Rum on the counter for use as a hair tonic -- something Bermudian men used to use in the past to prevent hair loss. I was saddened to hear he was gone.

After that it was three days in not-quite-as-warm London, where I think at one point temperatures dropped to 9°C at midday (in May!). But I got to wander around Kensington, Oxford Street, St. Paul's Cathedral, saw Les Miserables at a theater near Piccadilly Circus, went to a barbecue in Putney, and had a few pints at a couple of pubs to round out the British experience. Managed to pick up the latest book by Richard Dawkins while I was there too.

So, long story short, let's send out some kudos:

Yotel (yotel.com): a capsule hotel that opened up recently at Gatwick airport. I had an eight hour layover after a 7-hour overnight flight and was able to catch five hours sleep in a comfortable bed for the price of about 6 pounds an hour.

Horizons Cottages in Bermuda: a pretty hotel made up of a number of small buildings across a 150-year-old estate. A taste of old Bermuda at its best. Also provided access to the facilities at the nearby Coral Beach Club.

Janel and Enrico, whose wedding I flew to Bermuda for. Congratulations guys! Fantastic wedding, I had a great time.

My friends Knut & Petra, and George & RItu, who each had me over for dinner to catch up on old times.

Shauna, for inviting me over to my old house in Bermuda so that I could see the place once again.

David, for letting me crash in London at his place for a few days and going to the play.

David's friends Damien and (uh-oh, I can't remember her name I keep thinking it's Allison but I know that's not it) for inviting me over to their barbecue. Damien has two airline seats in his living room (tray tables and all), which was really cool to sit in.

and Qatar Airways and British Airways. The flights were smooth, service was fine.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Vacation update

In London right now, saw St Paul's Cathedral and Les Miserables yesterday, going to a BBQ today. Fly back to Qatar tomorrow. I believe some people are trying to reach me today so hopefully they stop by the blog to see that I'm not at home.