Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Metro Update (rumour)

I wandered down to Souq Waqif last night, taking the metro to the closest station, Musherib. With all of the nearby construction I'd say walking to the Souq from there is not a great option, you need to walk along the road next to construction fences and no sidewalk, you can't cut through the new Musherib neighbourhood yet. A metro-bus is available though so I recommend taking that.

Anyway I went over to Souq Al Nejada to see how its development was doing. It's coming along nicely, it looks like it will focus on selling carpets.

It also appears that the plaza is over the Souq Waqif metro station, which is part of the Gold Line.

The Gold Line is set to open sometime between now and the end of 2020 but I'm going to say it won't be open in the next few months for sure. The Souq Waqif station still has a lot of work to do, and it was the same at Al Sadd Station when I drove by there the other day.

But the Green line looks a lot more further along. I was at Al Bidda Station (both the Green and Red line go through there) and they were testing trains on the Green line, including the information signs. So I expect in the next few months some or all of the Green line will become operational, at a minimum I figure the Mansoura to Education City section. It would make sense to try to have that ready for September when students head back to the Universities.

Qatar Rail's website is silent on upcoming openings but that's my guess: Green Line by September, Gold Line much later.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Travel in the Digital Age

Yesterday I got back from a big vacation (Greece & Turkey. Santorini really is as stunning as pictures show it to be). When I got home I noticed that there just seemed to be a lot of clutter in the apartment, stuff slowly building up over the years, so it was time for a spring cleaning (well, it's summer but you get the idea).

Cleaning a bookshelf I found tons and tons of papers from previous travels. Maps, transit information, pamphlets that they give out at various attractions, just tons of vacation stuff. It made me reflect on why did I bother saving all of this? I chucked it out of course but I figure that I kept it because I was being old school and thinking I might need it again if I ever visited those places.

Thanks to the internet age how people travel has really changed. Papers maps? Use Google maps or other mapping apps. Need info on a place? Wiki or the attraction's website. Plane tickets? Just show them the confirmation email on your phone. What do you want to do tonight? There'll be tons of tourism websites, reviews, nearby restaurant listings, and sites with up-to-date events happening in the city. Heck, use your phone to buy tickets to the show you just found online. It's almost quaint to have guidebooks and printed items with you these days. Not that I'm entirely digital -- I still pre-print hotel reservations and things like that just in case something happens to my smartphone, but there's really not much of a need to carry books and papers with you when wandering around seeing the sights.

I'm old enough to remember travellers' cheques. Do those even exist anymore?

So out they went. The maps, pamphlets, guidebooks, all of it. I'll try to break the habit of keeping stuff like that with me. It'll save paper as well, one of the great benefits of digital technology. Maybe 10 years from now we'll find reading a physical newspaper or magazine to be 'old school'.

I'll still print tickets and reservations though.