I've been here now just over a month, so I'm beginning to get a good idea what makes Manama tick. I've also got my cargo arriving next week, which includes my mountain bike and guitars. The bike'll make me much more mobile and enable me to explore deeper into the island. Some people say I'll be crazy to ride a bike in the summer heat, but I've always been a keen cyclist, so I'm confident I can handle it, provided I have the appropriate headware!
Anyway, for this blog I've decided to focus on the main shopping mall in Manama. It's called City Centre. In fact, it's sister to the one in Dubai, probably bigger too. The reason it's important is because this is the place most people seem to end up on their days off. It represents shopping in the Gulf at its most state of the art, particularly if you're a Westerner. And apart from anything, it's a great place to be just to cool off during the summer heat!
Practically every shop you could imagine is here, not disimilar in scale to the impressive Central World in Bangkok, where I've just come from (what a tragedy Central World got burned down during the recent turmoil in Bangkok). It's set slightly outside the main drag in a land reclamation area. In fact, coming from a distance it looks almost like it's in the middle of the desert, surrounded by nothing but sand. Land reclamation's a big thing here, and is one of the reasons there are no decent beaches to speak of, just these strips they call corniches.
As usual, I'll let the pics do the talking. hopefully in my next blog I'll cover something more cultural.