A Travellerspoint blog

July 2017

Kuwait Towers and Mais Alghanim Restaurant

25 July 2017

sunny 125 °F

Camp Arifjan's MWR had a trip to the Kuwait Towers and Mais Alghanim Restuarant for dinner. These trips are always in the evening and it took us awhile to leave the post. We finally arrived at the towers at dusk and instead of going up inside them again I set out for some different angles. I don't know how well I succeeded but I feel like they look pretty cool at dusk.
I also went to have a look at the beach which is kind of dirty looking but the lit up coast line is pretty with the lights.
Just down the road from the towers is Mais Alghanim Restaurant which is a leading Arabic and Lebanese restaurant. The building is HUGE with two floors of restaurant. The door, lights, decorations are intricate and beautiful. Our group of people were put upstairs at a long table within view of two guys playing drums. All around people are enjoying their houka's and we even watch some women in burkha's trying to eat under their clothing.
I had some of that delicious hummus and bread before a shrimp dinner. One thing they have everywhere here is the lemonade with mint that is just great!. For dessert I tried Halewet Al Jebin which is an egyptian dessert. It turned out to be pretty disgustingly sweet but it looked pretty!
I went on the trip with Tina Braddock and Samantha Swehla who are both nurses with the Combat Support Hospital. What a fun night and a good diversion from deployment boredom.

Posted by ErinDriver 05:11 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Fahaheel Market MWR Trip

17 July 2017

sunny 120 °F

One of the benefits of being "deployed" to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait is the MWR office. They offer trips monday through wednesday of every week that take you to a destination around Kuwait City. The "scubby buses" aren't the most comfortable but they get you there for free! Today my friend Phil and I were on the trip to Fahaheel market.
The kind of questionable thing is that the bus dropped us off by the water and said the mall is to the left, the market is across the road on the right, be back by 2200. That was okay for me as a pretty experienced traveler but I think if I wasn't I would have been nervous. For one, crossing the busy road there was not the easiest. We did pass a McDonalds which just fascinates me when it is written in Arabic. It also had a scooter in the back for deliveries!

Phil and I had our WAYS app out and still had to ask someone where exactly this bazaar was. It is a couple of blocks off the road we were dropped off at. As it turns out it wasn't much. We did a quick walk through but these colored chickens were the most interesting thing for me :) Everything else was just cheap stuff.
Along the walk to the bazaar we passed a lot of places selling gold jewelry. It is very popular here and sold by weight so seems expensive to me. I did end up buying a ring I love but probably paid too much for it.

Kuwaitis seem to eat very late at night butPhil and I were starving so went to one of the first places we saw called Mughal Mahal. There menu was large which I guess should have been a clue but it was okay and we still managed to feel like real human beings for a night. Phil got a plate full of donor kabobs and I got a rice dish. Mughal is a mix of Chinese, Asian and Pakistani food so I guess that is why the menu is so big!
We weren't too hungry to hit the Chocolate dessert place right down the road. Kuwaitis also seem to love their chocolate/dessert restaurants. We enjoyed amazing looking and tasting crepes and coffee at Bell Cafe to further surprise us this could happen on deployment. The food was almost too pretty to eat.
A short walk later had us back at the mall which is interesting to walk through with fancy stores and barely a person in any of them. Just outside the mall was a little port with some VERY fancy and expensive looking yachts.

Posted by ErinDriver 04:17 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Dinner in Kuwait City

14 July 2017

sunny 122 °F

Panto took us on the all day tour of Kuwait and was now leaving Kuwait due to the end of his deployment. A few people accompanied him downtown for his farewell dinner.
But before that he had a deal with one of the Kuwaiti's he worked with to take a ride in one of his gliders. Kuwaiti's are basically rich and these things are their toys. Panto is a pilot and so he wanted to ride in one of these as part of his bucketlist for Kuwait. They don't do it a lot during this time of year because of the heat so the trip wasn't long. The rest of us waited on the ground :)
Ashley hadn't been up to the Kuwait Towers so we took her up to the top and got a photo from inside. Also we needed to waste some time because the Kuwaiti's don't eat until later in the evening.
Downtown Kuwait is a hard place to find a place to park but after that was accomplished we found a table at the Shemmam Restaurant. The place was full of locals and the food was great. I have fallen in love with their bread and hummus here as a started. I had the Shemmam Mix which was a huge plate full of different kebobs, fish and quesidilla sort of things. Amazing local food!!
After dinner we went back to the place with the fountain and watching it again before having dessert at The Chocolate Gate. We sat outside enjoying the night and I split a peanut butter cake with Ashley Hall, our OB/GYN doctor.
Panto had this brownie which was funny that it came with a syringe full of sauce :)

Posted by ErinDriver 04:53 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Full Day in Kuwait City

9 July 2017

sunny 115 °F

I am now in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait for a nine month deployment but the good part about this one is that we are able to go off post. There is a scuba diving club at Camp Arifjan and I was scheduled to go today but it was cancelled due to the weather. Luckily I had met Nicole and ended up going to a crazy fourteen hour tour of Kuwait City instead. Her friend Panto was scheduled to leave in one week and had lived downtown Kuwait City so was able to take four of us on a tour. (Nicole brought another of her aviation warrant officers with us).
We started with a quick look at the Kuwait towers. One is actually a water tower. The other ball has a restaurant, viewing tower and small gift shop. Of course there had to be staged shots 😊
Near here is the Opera House which is a really gorgeous building right across the street from the ocean.
It was late morning so Panto needed a pick me up and took us to one of his favorite coffee shops. The coffee comes with a little donut!!! I’m in love!
I love the building designs here. We also go past the library and get a kick out of the benches.
These two brothers are Kuwaiti royalty who are on every business and building.
You have be careful crossing the street here!
We tried to go in the National Museum but most of it was closed for some reason. We then hit up Martyr Park. It was built to commemorate the lives of those who died for Kuwait in the Iraqi invasion in 1990. In addition to the monument that looks very much like the Vietnam War Memorial there is a botanical garden, lake and walkways. It is kind of amazing how green the park can look in the middle of the desert. It was SOOO hot though, we were sweating so much you could almost see through my pants!!
date trees in the park
It was time for lunch and a cool down so on to Al Balad, a Kuwaiti restaurant. The hummus and bread was just so good that I barely had any room left for my lunch of what looked like little meat quesadillas. I had lemonade which looked and tasted a little bit more like a mojito without the rum.
Panto had promised he could find camels on the way to Camp Beurhing so we took off down the highway. On the way we see a sign that says Good Bless US Troops so though of course we needed a picture next to it 😊
By camels next to the road, I thought he meant the camels would be next to the road but in fact we spotted a guy with 3 camels about half a mile off the road. He just turned the vehicle on to the sand and we went to ask the guy if we could take pictures with his camels. Kuwaiti people (although most aren’t from Kuwait) all seem very friendly so far. Obviously the answer was yes and we spent some time admiring these weird looking animals.
Next us was the Grand Mosque. This is the fourth largest Mosque in the world and just beautiful. Nicole and I had to put on a special outfit to go in and the guys had to put on some skirts 😊 We were lucky to have a guide all to ourselves. He told us each little blue spot on the carpet is for a person to pray on.
He showed us how all the alcoves that people can speak from are made so they can’t be heard by the one right next to them. Nicole and I thought they were better for photography.
I was in love with the architecture and how photogenic it was.
Our guide was asked what the carving said around this door and he took out his phone and said “Thank goodness for the I-Koran”. He looked it up on an app on his phone!!!
I should have paid more attention to what he was saying but was just so excited to have some many things to photograph!

There is a souk downtown that we walked through. It felt very local, busy and colorful. Even the fish market was fun to see.
Believe it or not we were getting hungry again and Panto had something else to show us. The opera house park has a collection of restaurants around a small lake that has a light show every thirty minutes after dark. The show was really awesome. NO one is the same so the music and light combinations was different for each one. Some even had fire involved!
Dinner was at Baker ‘n’ Spice. It is an organic restaurant and we sat outside to watch the fountain show. I had pasta with shrimp that was excellent!
It was a pretty interesting method for paying the bill also.
One last thing before calling it a night was seeing the Kuwaiti Towers lit up and then having dessert.
Al Hamra Mall is a beautiful 3 or 4 story building in the city that you would never guess was even there.
large_Al_Hamra_Mall.jpg It holds The Chocolate Bar which was the objective for our final activity. I had a delicious peanut butter dessert with Butterfinger crumbles on top!

Posted by ErinDriver 02:13 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

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