Bahrain - Roadtrip through the oven


I arrived in Bahrain from Pakistan by plane. It's such a small country, almost an island, and the only neighbor attached is Saudi Arabia, accessible by a highway. I know Bahrain solely for Formula 1 and because of the incredible heat.

My plan for Bahrain is small. Visiting the tree of life (a famous tree in the desert) and visiting the souk. I don't have any other plan which may sound sad, but I couldn't think of much more about what to do there. 

However, once there, I rented a car and was able to visit much more than expected. I stayed 3 days.

The plane landed at 23pm. I had an apartment in a residential area called Juffair, which is the most convenient area to stay as a tourist. I knew my apartment was high up in the building but seeing this view of Bahrain the next morning was unexpectedly and nice.




Day 2 - Fullday road trip through Bahrain

Bahrain doesn't get many tourists anyway, but the majority of foreigners are from the US navy. That's why there are so many American restaurants everywhere in the country. 

They even named a street full of American restaurants "American alley".



The country is very expensive, except for gasoline. Never been to a country with cheap gas prices, with only around 50 cents per liter. There are plenty of car rental shops and hearing the prices of rent for 1-2 days, made me think "why not rent a car, there is AC inside". Getting the car was a straightforward process and the car cost only 30 dollars for 1 day. Within only 20 minutes I was driving.



I drove down south towards the so-called Tree of life, a part of Bahrain’s history. A 400-year-old living thing in the middle of the desert without any nurturing and surviving through harsh conditions. 



Extreme heat

Wide roads and road conditions are perfect and there is almost zero traffic outside the center. No road tax anywhere in the country and no entrance fee anywhere either. 

There are many transition towers, oil and fracking infrastructures - all over the desert.

It's extremely hot in Bahrain but I also arrived in the worst heat of the season. When opening the door of the car it's like opening the door of an oven in the kitchen and the wind makes it even worse.

Unfortunately, the heat cannot be captured on images.

 


As there is no Formula 1 race (or any other race) the circuit and the stadium are completely empty at the "Bahrain International Circuit"



I drove back up towards the city. Along the way is a small fort "Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed Fort", a piece of history overlooking the valley. Although I was not overly impressed.



In the north of the country is an artificial handmade peninsula "Nurana Island". No proper roads to access it, but no problem do drive there with 2wd. The view on the city "Manama" is great.



It was already late afternoon and for the last stop, I continued to the "Bahrain Fort". 

It's an old and large Dutch Fort built hundreds of years ago. A nice historic landmark, not very extraordinary, however, for one time visit its good to see, especially as it comes with a view of the beach.




Day 3 - Souq (Bazaar) and giving back the car

Had to bring back the car at around lunchtime, so still had plenty of time to drive around. With this low gas price, it's almost like a free ride anyway.

They are building everywhere within the city. It's crazy as they even try to extend the country by manually adding sand and concrete to have more land. And it seems it works.



I drove towards the northern Peninsula, over the Muharraq Causeway. 

No destination or goal, in particular, I simply drove around wherever it seemed to be interesting to visit. With the extreme heat outside I was happy staying in the AC car and seeing the views from behind the window.

Along the bay of the peninsula is a huge stretch of beach with dozens of food trucks. But it was too early to get some post-breakfast.



So far I haven't been to the city center of "Manama", the area with the biggest bazaar. 



Well, the city center with the souq "Manama". Not spectacular, especially during mid-day and with 40 degrees. So that was my last destination in Bahrain before bringing back the car.




Day 4 - Flying out to Kuwait

I checked the temperatures for Kuwait and realized it's even hotter than here in Bahrain. They have constantly between 35 and 49 degrees these days. Whereas at around midnight it has 39 degrees, it looks like the place is going to be a bit uncomfortable.

With the Uber taxi, I drove to the Airport. All went well and departure was as planned during the morning.

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