Next weekend is American Thanksgiving. I work at an American school so we have a long weekend to honor that day!
Michael works at a Canadian school so no long weekend for him. 😦
So what to do? I know!! Travel!!!
My first plan was to travel to either Jordan or Morocco. Michael has already been to Petra and Marrakech so he wouldn’t miss anything if I went where he has already been. But, unfortunately, flight times weren’t good. Next, I wanted to go to Azerbaijan but leaving after work on Wednesday offered flight times with long layovers taking up most of Thursday. Next option: a nearby country with a short flight time. Oman and Kuwait fit this with flight times of an hour and a half. Perfect!
I thought about Salalah, but I’d already been to Oman. I wanted a new adventure in a new country!
I googled to see if it is safe for a woman to travel solo to Kuwait and all reports were yes!
Kuwait it is!
What I know about Kuwait it that they support Qatar in the Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and U.A.E. blockade of this little country and the 1990/1991 Gulf War – when Iraq invaded Kuwait. CNN had constant live broadcasts from the frontlines. I was 21. I was more interested in boys and partying than war in the Middle East. But the war was difficult to ignore because more than 4000 Canadian troops were sent there to help drive Iraq out of Kuwait.
Now here I am, 27 years later living in the Middle East and flying into Kuwait City for a weekend, a city that was once a war zone.
After my flight and hotel is booked my next inquiry after safety is the culture – as a woman, do I have to cover myself? The answer is no – I do not have to wear an abaya. I do not have to cover my hair or face. I do have to wear modest clothing and from what I’ve read Kuwait seems to be more conservative that Qatar. An example of this is that alcohol is completely banned in Kuwait. In Qatar, alcohol is served only in hotel bars & restaurants (at very high prices) and can be purchased (as well as pork products) with a (upon application approval) license at the Qatar Distribution Company.
Now what to see? My hotel is downtown and near two main must-sees:
- Souk Al-Mubarakiya – this is one of the oldest souks in Kuwait. It was damaged during the Iraqi invasion back in 1990 but was renovated back to its traditional style.
- Grand Mosque – Is the official mosque of Kuwait. Free tours seem to start at either 9:00am or 9:30am!
Next, when living in the Middle East, a staple, a showcase of wealth and something to see as each mall owner seems to try to outdo the other – are the shopping malls! According to TripAdvisor, the number one thing to do in Kuwait is visit The Avenues Mall. When I was in Dubai, I spent an entire day at The Dubai Mall. This included a tour of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. I wonder what The Avenues Mall will have?
There is also the Al Corniche – a walkway along the waterfront of the southernmost tip of the city where I can also find the Kuwait Towers. I’d like to spend some time here and walk along the corniche!
So it seems I have my short trip to Kuwait planned! I do want to spend the most of my time in the souk though, shopping for interesting finds and checking out the restaurants as another of my favorites in life after travel is food!!
Yours in travel!!!
Stephanie, xo 🙂