Usually when I blog about my travels it’s to share pictures of beautiful beaches, hotels, food, and the like. But I thought it would be fun to share a few outtakes from my trip to Bali last month, seeing as I spent nearly half of my 49-hour journey there waiting in airport lounges. Most notable was my 10-hour layover at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, which was unlike any I’d passed through before.
Exhibit A: This giant screen showing moving images of…caballeros.
Hands down, the oddest thing we saw was this 23-foot-tall teddy bear sculpture by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. It weighs 20 tons and was bought by a member of Qatar’s royal family at auction for $6.8 million.
The airport also has a lounge designated specifically for members of Qatar’s royal family.
It also houses a hotel for guests who can’t stand to pass the time with mere mortals in public. Joking aside, it’s pretty stinking convenient!
There’s also a swanky pool, fitness center, and spa, which guests can use for a fee.
Squash before the next leg, anyone?
As I tend to do, I spent a respectable amount of time during my layover snacking. Since I’d flown Qatar Airways‘ Business Class from D.C. and would fly it again to Jakarta, I had access to its lounge at the airport. It houses two gleaming restaurants with self-serve food stations. I loaded up on tuna and bean salad, warm hummus and pita bread, and falafel with a delightfully spicy sauce, and washed it all down with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. (I had this exact meal twice during my layover.) Groggy and jetlagged, I didn’t explore every nook and cranny of the airport as I would have liked to—nor did I photograph the private shower room I took advantage of on my return trip—but it’s hard to think of my epic trip to Bali without visions of Hamad Airport popping into my mind. By the end of my long layover, it had become an integral part of the trip.
What’s been your longest layover, and where was it? How did you pass the time?