Doha Metro Red Line from Downtown to Hamad International Airport

My flight was still in the afternoon. 7 pm to be exact. So I was going to relax first until my staying time at Casper Hotel ended at noon. Since the Shubuh prayer, I rolled up again with dormitory blanket, it was very comfortable to close my eyes in a warm blanket in the midst of freezing morning. Until the alarm was jealous and shouted at me….It was nine o’clock. I have to get up, have breakfast and got ready.

After taking a shower I folded my clothesline which was still damp, I would definitely place it in a separate plastic bag in my backpack later. I properly separated every piece of equipment which had been dismantled five days ago. Toiletries, t-shirts, camera, tripod, snacks and trousers were packed in each plastic bag.

Followed by chewing parathas made by GRANDMA Bakery and Sweets along with two pieces of my own hand-made beef eye eggs.

Exactly 12:30 hours, I was ready to go…..

I hugged and shook hands with three of my new Pakistani friends and family who worked at hotel. After saying hello, I went back to hometown.

Thank you friend.

As usual I was standing at the bus shelter just to the left of hotel gate.

“It’s time to try Free Doha Metrolink Shuttle Services, coincidentally, my Karwa Smart Card has already run out of balance,” I thought to myself. But the Metrolink bus never stopped when I tried to stop it. When stopping the third bus, the Metrolink driver pointed to a sign pole at the end of block. He pointed to himself then pointed to me then pointed to sign pole. I quickly interpreted the signal: “Run there, I’m waiting for you!”. I spontaneously ran, when the bus overtook me and stopped at the pole.

“Good morning, friends. You must stop this Metrolink in its shelter, Okay!. Tommorow if you want to use it, you must wait at this pole”, he said as he quickly stepped on Metrolink pedal.

“Oh okay, Sir”, I said understanding, he didn’t seem to know that I was going to my hometown and the next day I was no longer in Doha.

“Where will this metrolink stop?” I asked the Nigerian driver.

“It will stop in Oqba Ibn Nafie Station, It’s free, if you want back to hotel just wait this bus in Oqba Ibn Nafie Station again, okay!”, he answered in detail, apparently he knew I was a free seeker traveler….Hahaha.

Ten minutes later, I arrived at Oqba Ibn Nafie Station…..

I no longer have change and I also knew that the ticketing vending machine didn’t accept large denominations. I went straight to customer service which was occupied by Filipino staff. I meant to exchange money, lucky they provide small denominations. I was willing to convert the Riyal into small denominations which would certainly affect its exchange rate to US Dollars at the airport, more smaller the denomination, more cheaper the price. But that was okay, there wasn’t other option.

I started taking the Doha Metro Red Line to Hamad International Airport T1 Station. Traveling in a distance of 10 km, not passing by a single station, I arrived in twenty minutes.

Arriving at Hamad International Airport T1 Station platform.
 Looking at the interior….Cool right?
Very artistic.

Hamad International Airport T1 Station is a transportation shelter which is connected to Hamad International Airport by a luxurious pedestrian bridge. This refrigerated and roof-covered pedestrian bridge has glass walls and features with travelator. Straddling the main routes of vehicles around Hamad International Airport. Also passing by iconic venues such as the HIA Mosque with its fantastic minaret.

Vehicle lanes traversed by pedestrian bridges.
HIA Mosque minaret.

Had time to leave the connector for a moment, I was passed on to the airport parking lot which was quite large, then I was going back into a connector to the main terminal building.

Airport parking slots.
Travelator on the connecting bridge.

Walking for ten minutes I finally arrived at Departure Gate. It was still 14:05 hours, I still needed to wait about two and a half hours for the check-in counter to open. I went straight to the check-in area to find a comfortable waiting area and at the same time to rest.

In front of the Departure Hall.
Check-in area.
Waiting for PR 685 to Manila.

You know Philippine Airlines?……

Cooking a Backpacker-style Menu in Qatar

<—-Previous Story

Apart from visiting free tourist spots, cooking is a common thing that backpackers do to reduce spending on their travel days. Because they must also be good in creating reserve funds to anticipate unexpected costs. Likewise with my days in Qatar, cooking has become a routine every morning and night considering the living cost in Qatar isn’t cheap.

That afternoon, it started on the return journey from Katara Cultural Village using Doha Metro. I headed for Souq Waqif Station and departed from Katara Station via Red Line and connected with Gold Line at Msheireb Station. This was my second trip using Doha Metro.

Platform at Katara Station.
This is a sign for toilets, prayer rooms and child care rooms…That’s funny..
Doha Metro Red Line.

From Souq Waqif Station I continued journey by Karwa Bus No. 12 from Al Ghanim Bus Station to go to Casper Hotel where I stayed while in Qatar. This was my 9th trip using Karwa Bus. The return journey that afternoon took two hours to arrive at the hotel. Before arriving, I had time to shop first at Abdulla Ali Bumatar minimarket which is located near the hotel to buy logistical needs until my last day in Qatar.

Not a hotel, rather this is an inn.

After finishing in bathing, I immediately performed maghrib prayer in congregation at the musholla near the inn. Entering relaxing time, I rushed to pantry to do routine night activities….Yes, cooking.

Come on go to the pantry!

The main food ingredient which I ate every day was Kerala Paratha bread made by GRANDMA Bakery and Sweets, quite cheap, I bought three parata sheets for 2 Rial. Three pieces of parata were more than enough to make me feel full.

As for the side dish, I chose to buy the cheapest packaged sardines on display at minimarket. I give 3 Rial to get a can with three medium pieces of sardines in it. Because this was the cheapest sardines, of course it would affect the taste, the taste was plain. It looked like sardines poured into palm oil only.

Paratha Bread.
Reheat the packaged sardines.

When traveling, luxury food isn’ t my concern so far. The most important thing is how to keep trying to eat three times a day at an affordable price but nutritionally feasible. So I can be sure that I will rarely eat at a restaurant, except if I am going in a business trip….. Yes, because a business trip is paid by my office.

Then, how about my menu on next day, before starting my fourth day exploration in Qatar. Do you want to know?…..

Here is it:

Very simple breakfast, right?
It’s a noodle from my country. I found in Qatar.

So that’s one of my many ways to save money while exploring Qatar. Don’t be imitated….It’s so torturous….Hahaha.

Come on, let’s go for exploration…

Next Story—->

Trying Doha Metro Red Line from DECC to Katara

<—-Previous Story

Exploring Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) in a country which has it has become a tradition in my every trip, even though my first choice transportation is city bus. Before trying Doha Metro, I myself have trying MRT in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, India, United Arab Emirates and of course Jakarta’s MRT as a pride mass transportation mode in my capital city.

Exiting a modern shopping center “City Center Doha” in West Bay area, I retraced departure route when heading to this shopping mall, again walking through Omar Street to DECC Station. Because it’s located right next to DECC building, nearest Doha Metro station has the same name as this venue.

The exterior of DECC station building itself looks more like a mosque door than station building. Still relying on Persian-style arches with wide openings with authentic colors, desert brown.

DECC Station Building.

This is Qatar’s proud rapid transit system, one of the goals of which is to welcoming World Cup 2022. The Doha Metro line which was first operated in 2019 is the red line which I was currently aiming for.

Entering station building, everything was shiny, clean and looked new. I chose stairs to go underground and looked for an automatic ticketing vending machine, even though this station provided an elevator to make access easier.

Let’s try the stairs first.
Time to hunting for tickets.
Automatic ticketing vending machine.

Doha Metro itself has three lines, i.e red line, green line and gold line with an average length of 76 km and a total of 37 stations. The ticket price is actually almost equivalent to Karwa Bus ticket price, which is around 2 Riyal for a single journey and 4 Riyal for a full day of travel. An advantage of Doha Metro system is the existence of a free feeder bus whivh connects station to hotel where we are staying or other places which aren’t covered by Doha Metro line. This feeder bus is known as Free Doha Metrolink Shuttle Services.

This is the route map.
Standard single journey, this type of ticket can be used for two modes of transportation, i.e Doha Metro and Mshreib Tram.

As soon as I arrived at the platform, several Filipino Doha Metro officers tried to kindly ask my final destination and directed me to wait at the right platform, even though I was used to finding the platform myself based on the instructions.

Doha Metro platform.

This Doha Metro train is the most modern train with a cruising speed of around 100 km/hour and has been named as the fastest driverless train in the world. By ownership, Doha Metro is 51% owned by Hamad Group, 49% is owned by a French state-owned public transport company

Check out the route board!
Quiet….I swear….

In 15 minutes, I was transported 5 Km by this train to Katara Station. The minimum of Doha Metro passengers made my trip almost without interaction, I couldn’t feel the hustle and bustle of Qatari citizens in their daily lives.

Get off at Katara Station platform.

Get off the Doha Metro, now I would go to ground level using elevator provided.

Well, now just tried the lift.

Similar to the condition of DECC station building, Katara Station also looks brand new. The quiet traffic of city’s residents using the services of Doha Metro made the station building look empty and showed me its relief. Meanwhile, Many Southeast Asian-looking Doha Metro employees worked in every station.

That’s the automatic fare collection gates.
Exit the Katara Station building.

I’ve arrived at Katara Cultural Village and was ready to explore. Let’s see what this cultural center of Qatar looks like!.

Katara Station Exterior.

Next Story—->

West Bay….The Origin of Burj Doha which Amazes the World

<—-Previous Story

Indonesian made noodles was caught when displaying at Abdulla Ali Bumatar mini market.

Indonesian made noodles was caught when displaying at Abdulla Ali Bumatar mini market.

Dinner….Finally I tasted my favorite noodles after two weeks of adventure leaving my hometown. Made the mood for my trip back to top level.

Next day….Near noon but still freezing cold, at ten o’clock in the morning, I started my second day of adventure in Qatar. Take my Karwa Bus subscription which had number 12, I went to Al Ghanim Bus Station. For the third time, I would take a Karwa Bus with a different number.

Here it wass….Karwa Bus No. 76 to West Bay.

Ten minutes later, I was hurtling towards West Bay via Al Corniche Street. Since this is a circular service, I let myself flow with the flow of Karwa Bus. I didn’t get off when bus started to reaching the West Bay area, the bus turned at Al Fundug Street, continued on Omar Al Mukhtar Street, and switched to Conference Center Street, then closed its circular route on Al Corniche Street to return to Al Ghanim Bus Station.

I got off right at the beginning of West Bay area which was near the most famous skyscraper in Qatar, Burj Doha. The bullet-shaped building which was the Best Tall Building Worldwide eight years ago.

Three phenomenal buildings from left to right: Al Bidda Tower, Qatar Petroleum Headquarters and Burj Doha (white).
Burj Doha was closer.

I chose to walk inside of the corniche to feel a sensation of walking under the mighty skyscrapers on the left and the blue Persian Gulf on the right. The sights were truly extraordinary and immeasurable and were still etched in my memory until today.

Making time for lunch.

I started to go deeper into West Bay area, then I passed a road to the left of Burj Doha and I’m completely immersed in many towering skyscrapers of Doha.

Tornado Tower belongs to QIPCO Holding which is engaged in investment and shares.

I arrived at Al Funduq Street and this streets were very busy. The car runs very slowly because the shoulder of the road is used as a parking lot for vehicles. Looking like that parking was still a problem in West Bay area…..Similar to Jakarta, isn’t it?

From left to right: Ministry of Justice Building (white), Al Fardan Twin Building (workspace provider), Woqod Tower for offices (pointed out).
Navigation Tower (Building for offices with adjoining architecture).

In a moment, I was in the heart of West Bay area. Located at the end of Al Funduq Street, which then traffic was directed through country’s protocol streets, namely Majlis Al Ta’awon Street and Omar Al Mukhtar Street.

The left bend is the end of Al Funduq Street.
My photo with background of Palm Tower (offices tower).
Omar Mukhtar Street view towards DECC.

The sun was at its highest when I entered the center of West Bay. Activities in this area were also starting to get busy. A protocol road with five lanes in each segment was starting to become congested with vehicles. I slowly approached DECC (Doha Exhibition & Convention Center) which was the main event venue in Doha.

You need to know, apart from Karwa Bus number 76, West Bay is a business district which can be accessed by Doha Metro Red Line. There are at least two MRT stations in this area, namely West Bay QIC Station and DECC Station.

The entrance to DECC MRT Station is set against the west side of DECC Building.

Before leaving West Bay area, I would briefly visit one of shopping centers in this area which providing ice rink facilities.

Come on!….Seeing for a moment.

Next Story—->

Doha Metro Red Line dari Doha ke Hamad International Airport

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Penerbanganku masih sore nanti. Jam 19:00 tepatnya. Jadi aku akan bersantai dahulu hingga masa inapku di Casper Hotel habis tepat di tengah hari. Sedari Shalat Subuh, aku kembali menggulung badan dengan selimut dormitory, nyaman sekali memejamkan mata dalam hangat selimut di tengah bekunya pagi. Hingga alarm iri dan meneriakiku….Sudah pukul sembilan. Aku harus bangun, sarapan dan bersiap diri.

Selepas mandi kulipat jemuran yang masih lembab, sudah pasti akan kutempatkan di kantong plastik tersendiri di backpackku nanti. Kupisahkan dengan baik setiap peralatan yang sudah terbongkar sejak lima hari lalu. Toiletries, t-shirt, kamera, tripod, snack dan celana panjang kupacking pada kantong plastik masing-masing.

Berlanjut kemudian dengan mengunyah paratha buatan GRANDMA Bakery and Sweets beserta dua lembar telur mata sapi karya tanganku sendiri.

Tepat 12:30, aku undur diri…..

Aku berpelukan dan berjabat tangan dengan tiga sahabat sekaligus keluarga baruku asal Pakistan yang bekerja mengurusi penginapan itu. Seusai mengucap salam, aku pulang.

Terimakasih kawan.

Seperti biasa aku berdiri di shelter bus tepat di sebelah kiri gerbang penginapan.

“Saatnya mencoba Free Doha Metrolink Shuttle Services, kebetulan Karwa Smart Cardku memang sudah menipis saldonya”, batinku beride. Tapi bus Metrolink itu tak pernah berhenti ketika aku stop. Saat menyetop bus ketiga, sopir Metrolink itu menunjuk sebuah tiang di ujung sana. Dia menunjuk dirinya lalu menunjukku lalu menunjuk tiang itu. Aku cepat memaknai isyarat itu: “Larilah kesana, aku menunggumu!”. Aku spontan berlari, ketika bus mendahuliku dan berhenti di tiang itu.

Good morning, friend. You must stop this Metrolink in its shelter, Okay!. Tommorow if you want to use it, you must wait at this pole”, ucapnya sembari menginjak Metrolink itu cepat-cepat.

Oh Okay, Sir”, ucapku memahami, dia tak tahu rupanya bahwa aku akan pulang dan esok hari sudah tak berada lagi di Doha.

Where will this metrolink stop?”, tanyaku pada pengemudi berkebangsaan Nigeria itu.

It will stop in Oqba Ibn Nafie Station, It’s free, if you want back to home just wait this bus in Oqba Ibn Nafie Station again, okay!”, jawabnya detail, rupanya dia tahu aku pengelana pencari gratisan….Hahaha.

Sepuluh menit kemudian, aku tiba di Stasiun Oqba Ibn Nafie…..

Aku sudah tak punya receh dan aku juga tahu bahwa ticketing vending machine itu tak menerima pecahan besar. Aku langsung menuju customer service yang diduduki oleh para staf berkebangsaan Philippines. Aku bermaksud menukarkan uang, beruntung mereka menyediakan uang pecahan kecil. Aku rela menukarkan Riyal menjadi pecahan kecil yang tentu akan berpengaruh terhadap nilai tukarnya ke Dolar Amerika di bandara nanti, semakin kecil pecahan tentu harganya akan semakin murah. Tapi tak apalah, tak ada opsi lain.

Aku mulai menaiki Doha Metro Red Line menuju Stasiun Hamad International Airport T1. Menempuh jarak 10 Km, tak berselang dengan satu stasiun pun, aku tiba dalam dua puluh menit.

Tiba di platform Stasiun Hamad International Airport T1.
Lihat interiornya….Keren kan?
Artistik banget.

Stasiun Hamad International Aiport T1 adalah sebuah shelter transportasi yang terhubung dengan Hamad International Airport oleh sebuah jembatan penyeberangan mewah. Jembatan penyeberangan bernaung atap dan berpendingin ini berdindingkan kaca dan berfasilitaskan travelator. Mengangkangi jalur-jalur utama kendaraan di sekitaran Hamad International Airport. Juga melewati venue ikonik sepeti HIA Mosque dengan minaretnya yang aduhai.

Jalur kendaraan yang dilewati oleh jembatan penyeberangan.
HIA Mosque minaret.

Sempat keluar sejenak dari connector itu, aku dilewatkan pada lahan parkir bandara yang cukup luas, kemudian aku dimasukkan lagi ke dalam sebuah connector menuju bangunan utama terminal.

Parking slot bandara.
Travelator di jembatan penghubung.

Berjalan selama sepuluh menit akhirnya aku tiba di Departure Gate. Masih jam 14:05, aku masih perlu menunggu sekitar dua setengah jam hingga konter check-in dibuka. Aku langsung menuju check-in area untuk mencari tempat tunggu yang nyaman dan sekaligus beristirahat.

Di depan Departure Hall.
Check-in area.
Menunggu PR 685 menuju Manila.

Tau kan Philippine Airlines?……

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Memasak Menu ala Backpacker di Qatar

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Selain mengunjungi tempat-tempat wisata gratisan, memasak adalah hal lazim yang dilakukan para backpacker untuk mengerem pengeluaran di hari-hari perjalanannya. Karena mereka juga harus pandai menciptakan dana cadangan untuk mengantisipasi jika terjadi biaya tak terduga. Begitu pula dengan hari-hariku di Qatar, memasak sudah menjadi rutinitas setiap pagi dan malam mengingat biaya hidup di Qatar tidaklah murah.

Sore itu, bermula pada perjalanan pulang dari Katara Cultural Village menggunakan Doha Metro. Aku menuju Stasiun Souq Waqif dan bertolak dari Stasiun Katara melalui kombinasi Red Line dan bersambung dengan Gold Line di Stasiun Msheireb. Ini adalah perjalanan keduaku menggunakan Doha Metro.

Platform di Stasiun Katara.
Ini tanda toilet, musholla dan child care room…Lucu ya.
Doha Metro Red Line.

Dari Stasiun Souq Waqif aku menyambung perjalanan dengan Karwa Bus No. 12 dari Al Ghanim Bus Station untuk menuju Casper Hotel, tempatku menginap selama di Qatar. Ini adalah perjalananku ke-9 menggunakan Karwa Bus. Perjalanan pulang sore itu membutuhkan waktu dua jam hingga tiba di penginapan. Sebelum tiba, aku sempat berbelanja terlebih dahulu di Abdulla Ali Bumatar minimarket yang terletak di dekat hotel untuk membeli kebutuhan logistik hingga hari terakhirku di Qatar nanti.

Bukan hotel, lebih tepatnya ini adalah penginapan.

Setelah selesai membersihkan diri, aku segera menunaikan shalat maghrib berjama’ah di musholla dekat penginapan. Memasuki waktu bersantai, aku bergegas menuju pantry untuk melakukan kegiatan rutin malam hari….Yes, memasak.

Yuk masuk pantry!

Bahan pangan utama yang mejadi santapanku setiap hari adalah roti Paratha khas Kerala buatan GRANDMA Bakery and Sweets, cukup murah, tiga lembar parata kubeli dengan harga Rp. 8.000. Tiga lembar parata sudah lebih dari cukup untuk membuatku merasa kenyang.

Sedangkan untuk lauknya aku memilih membeli sarden kemasan termurah yang dipajang di minimarket. Kuberikan Rp. 12.000 untuk mendapatkan satu kaleng kemasan berisi tiga potongan sedang ikan sarden. Karena ini sarden termurah, tentu akan berpengaruh pada rasa, rasanya plain, kawan….Hmmhh. Itu tampak seperti ikan sarden yang dituang ke dalam minyak sawit saja…..Hahahaha.

Roti Paratha.
Memanaskan sarden kemasan.

Ketika berpergian, kemewahan makanan bukanlah menjadi concernku sejauh ini. Yang terpenting adalah bagaimana tetap mengupayakan makan tiga kali sehari dengan harga terjangkau tetapi layak nutrisi. Jadi bisa dipastikan aku akan jarang sekali bersantap di restoran kecuali jika yang kujalani adalah business trip…..Ya, iya lah, business trip kan dibayarin kantor. Hahahaha.

Lalu, bagaimana dengan menuku di keesokan harinya, sebelum memulai eksplorasi hari keempat di Qatar. Mau tahu?…..

Ini dia:

Sarapan yang sangat sederhana, kan?

Nah itulah satu dari sekian banyak caraku untuk berhemat selama menjelajah Qatar. Jangan ditiru….Itu sangat menyiksa….Hahaha.

Yuk lah, kita jalan lageee…..

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Menjajal Doha Metro Red Line dari DECC ke Katara

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Menjajal Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) di negara yang memilikinya telah menjadi tradisi dalam setiap perjalananku, walaupun transportasi pilihan pertamaku adalah bus kota. Sebelum mencoba Doha Metro, aku sendiri sudah pernah mencicipi MRT di Singapura, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Tiongkok, Jepang, Korea Selatan, India, Uni Emirates Arab dan tentu MRT Jakarta sebagai moda transportasi massal kebanggaan Jakarta.

Keluar dari pusat perbelanjaan modern City Center Doha di area West Bay, aku kembali menelusuri jalur keberangkatan ketika menuju shopping mall tersebut, kembali mengukur jalanan Omar Street menuju Stasiun DECC. DECC boleh dikata sebagai Jakarta Convention Centernya Qatar. Karena terletak persis di sebelah gedung DECC inilah maka pemberhentian Doha Metro ini bernama serupa dengan venue itu.

Eksterior bangunan stasiun DECC sendiri lebih tampak seperti pintu masjid daripada bangunan stasiun. Masih mengandalkan lengkungan ala Persia dengan bukaan yang lebar dengan warna otentik, coklat padang pasir.

Bangunan Stasiun DECC.

Inilah rapid transit system kebanggan Qatar yang salah satu tujuannya adalah untuk menyambut gelaran Piala Dunia 2022. Jalur Doha Metro yang pertama kali dioperasikan pada tahun 2019 adalah jalur merah yang sedang kusasar ini.

Memasuki bangunan stasiun, semuanya mengkilap, bersih dan nampak baru. Aku memilih jalur tangga untuk turun ke bawah tanah dan mencari keberadaan automatic ticketing vending machine, walaupun pengelola Doha Metro menyediakan lift untuk mempermudah akses.

Kita cobain jalur tangganya dahulu.
Saatnya berburu tiket.
Automatic ticketing vending machine.

Doha Metro sendiri  memiliki tiga jalur yaitu red line, green line dan gold line dengan rataan panjang 76 Km dan keseluruhan memiliki 37 stasiun. Harga tiket sebetulnya hampir setara dengan harga tiket Karwa Bus yaitu berkisar Rp. 8.000 untuk sekali perjalanan tunggal (single journey) dan Rp. 16.000 untuk satu hari penuh perjalanan (day pass). Satu kelebihan dalam sistem Doha Metro adalah keberadaan free feeder bus yang mengkoneksikan stasiun dengan hotel tempat kita menginap atau tempat lain yang tak terjangkau oleh jalur Doha Metro. Bus pengumpan ini dikenal dengan nama Free Doha Metrolink Shuttle Services.

Ini dia peta jalurnya.
Standard single journey, tiket jenis ini bisa dipakai untuk dua moda transportasi yaitu Doha Metro dan Mshreib Tram.

Begitu tiba di platform, beberapa petugas Doha Metro berkebangsaan Philippines berusaha dengan ramah menanyakan tujuan akhirku dan mengarahkan untuk menunggu di platform yang tepat, walaupun sebetulnya aku sudah terbiasa mencari sendiri keberadaan platform berdasarkan petunjuk yang ada.

Platform Doha Metro.

Kereta milik Doha Metro ini adalah kereta termodern yang memiliki kecepatan jelajah sekitar 100 Km/jam dan dinobatkan menjadi  kereta tanpa pengemudi tercepat di dunia. Secara kepemilikan, 51% saham Doha Metro dimiliki oleh Hamad Group, 49 % saham dimiliki oleh perusahaan transportasi umum milik negara Perancis

Lihat route boardnya!

Dalam 15 menit aku dihantarkan sejauh 5 Km oleh kereta ini hingga Stasiun Katara. Sepinya penumpang Doha Metro membuat perjalananku nyaris tanpa interaksi, aku tak bisa merasakan hiruk pikuk warga Qatar dalam keseharian mereka.

Turun di platform Stasiun Katara.

Turun dari Doha Metro, kini aku akan menuju ke permukaan tanah dengan menggunakan lift yang disediakan.

Nah, sekarang baru cobain lifnya.

Mirip seperti kondisi bangunan stasiun DECC, Stasiun Katara juga tampak gres. Sepinya lalu lintas warga kota yang menggunakan jasa Doha Metro menjadikan bangunan stasiun tampak kosong dan memamerkan kelegaannya kepadaku. Sementara para pegawai Doha Metro berwajah Asia Tenggara itu menghias di setiap stasiun.

Itu dia automatic fare collection gatesnya.
Keluar dari bangunan Stasiun Katara.

Aku sudah tiba di Katara Cultural Village dan siap untuk melakukan eksplorasi. Yuk kita lihat seperti apa pusat budaya Qatar ini !.

Eksterior Stasiun Katara.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

West Bay, Asal Burj Doha Memukau Dunia

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Kesayangan kepergok nongkrong di Abdulla Ali Bumatar minimarket.

Makan malam….Akhirnya kucicipi ramen kesayangan itu setelah genap dua minggu berpetualang meninggalkan kampung halaman. Membuat mood perjalananku kembali ke puncak….Hahaha.

Di keesokan harinya, menjelang siang tetapi masih saja dingin menusuk, pukul sepuluh pagi, aku memulai petualangan hari kedua di Qatar. Menaiki Karwa Bus langganan bernomor 12, kutuju Al Ghanim Bus Station. Untuk ketigakalinya, aku akan menaiki Karwa Bus dengan nomor berbeda.

Ini dia….Karwa Bus No. 76 menuju West Bay.

Sepuluh menit kemudian, aku meluncur menuju West Bay melalui Al Corniche Street. Karena ini adalah circular service, aku membiarkan diri mengalir mengikuti alur Karwa Bus itu. Aku tak turun ketika bus mulai memasuki area West Bay, bus berbelok di Al Fundug Street, berlanjut di Omar Al Mukhtar Street, beralih ke Conference Center Street, lalu menutup rute melingkarnya di Al Corniche Street untuk kembali menuju ke Al Ghanim Bus Station.

Aku turun tepat di permulaan area West Bay yaitu di dekat bangunan pencakar langit paling tersohor di Qatar yaitu Burj Doha. Bangunan berbentuk peluru yang pernah menjadi Best Tall Building Worldwide delapan tahun silam.

Tiga bangunan fenomenal dari kiri ke kanan: Al Bidda Tower, Qatar Petroleum Headquarter dan Burj Doha (putih).
Burj Doha lebih dekat.

Aku memilih berjalan di sisi corniche untuk merasakan sensasi berjalan di bawah perkasanya gedung pencakar langit di sisi kiri dan birunya Teluk Persia di sisi kanan. Pemandangan yang sungguh luar biasa tak terkira dan masih terekam di ingatanku hingga kini.

Menyempatkan diri untuk makan siang.

Aku mulai masuk lebih dalam  ke area West Bay, kini aku melewati jalanan di sebelah kiri Burj Doha dan aku benar-benar tenggelam dalam julangan jajaran pencakar langit kota Doha.

Tornado Tower milik QIPCO Holding yang bergerak di bidang investasi dan saham.

Aku sampai di Al Funduq Street, jalanan begitu padat. Mobil berjalan sangat pelan karena bahu jalan digunakan sebagai tempat parkir kendaraan. Sepertinya parkir masih menjadi masalah di area West Bay…..Mirip Jakarta ya….Hahaha.

Dari kiri ke kanan: Ministry of Justice Building (putih), Al Fardan Twin Building (workspace provider), Woqod Tower untuk perkantoran (berujung lancip).
Navigation Tower (Bangunan untuk perkantoran berarsitektur sempal sebelah).

Sebentar kemudian, aku sudah berada di jantung area West Bay. Berada di ujung Al Funduq Street yang kemudian arus kendaraan dialirkan oleh jalur protokol negara itu, yaitu Majlis Al Ta’awon Street dan Omar Al Mukhtar Street.

Tikungan di kiri itulah akhir dari Al Funduq Street.
Aku berlatar Palm Tower (perkantoran).
Penampakan Omar Mukhtar Street menuju DECC.

Matahari berada di titik tertinggi ketika aku memasuki pusat West Bay. Aktivitas di area itu juga mulai ramai. Jalan protokol dengan lima jalur di setiap ruas mulai padat dengan kendaraan. Perlahan aku mendekati DECC (Doha Exhibition & Convention Center) yang merupakan main event venue di kota Doha.

Perlu kamu ketahui, selain karwa Bus bernomor 76,  West Bay adalah distrik bisnis yang bisa diakses dengan Doha Metro Red Line. Setidaknya terdapat dua stasiun MRT di area ini yaitu West Bay QIC Station dan DECC Station.

Pintu masuk Stasiun MRT DECC berlatar DECC Building bagian barat.

Sebelum meninggalkan area West Bay, aku akan mengunjungi sejenak salah satu pusat perbelanjaan di area itu yang menyediakan fasilitas ice rink.

Yukss….Lihat bentar.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->