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When we landed in Doha last year, things started to take off- We were on a different plane.

A masterpiece of spirited adventure can be captured in this iconic image of  the invincible Land Rover--- Day Trip  to an Archaeological Site  


The name itself , Land Rover, overtly reflects and recognizes the quintessential  zeitgeist of British indomitability.  That  basic and hardy expression of  simplicity is the key to the vehicles longevity and ours. It goes where roads and maps don't. It survives where other cars can't. 

The austere feeling- of -every -bump- or -jolt in the road,  however, was a far cry from the privileged life of excess and access Sarah, Pam and I enjoyed, glamping around the globe this year; especially in Doha, our home base that served more as an aircraft carrier where we could fly off  on a whim on "missions" to Cape Town, Dubai, the East Coast of America including Oyster Bay, Long Island , the southern half of Britain---- and our favorite place, we refer to as Headquarters, Arundel,which remains a continual source of inspiration and renewal. 

The hotels we stayed at we literally "inhabited"  as they  provided a level of service  matched only by our accustomed standards of excellence onboard Crystal and Cunard.  So, we did a bit of gentrified sailing--- crossing the Atlantic onboard the world's last oceanliner, Queen Mary2 on our  NY to SOTON  voyage. Margaret, Pam's good friend, got voluntold she was joining us and added immense value to the novelty.

We needed a city center for our urban life in our host country of Qatar. The Shangra-La  hotel was our first stop in Doha and it was luxurious but not in a"blingy"way.  The Ritz Carlton and The Mondrain  were impressive day trips but  a bit over the top.   We finally  settled into  a quotidian lifestyle of restaurants--Quick Bites and Cuchina along with  gym access at The Marriott Marquis, in West Bay. The doorman, Goodluck (yes that's  his name) greeted us each day. Grant, The head Chef cooked for us. Osama  ran the health and fitness club and pool area. Amenities alone were not enough. We surround ourselves with new and interesting people with everyday epiphanies and  occasional serendipity.

We made the daily 15 minute commute where we lived at  The Pearl, an artifical island of  over 32 kilometres but we worked it out mid rental agreement,  that it would have cost us $12 a day cheaper if we checked in at The Marriott Residences. The  food, would be included too. 

This was one of those "hashtag first-world problems"--living at The Pearl a beautiful residence but more like a movie set- Lights, Camera Doha! 

We leave  this "Earth on Mars"  happy accidental city, that could be imagined anywhere  but  was created  here in the bare desert.  

We leave  in two days. I'm reminded of that Arnold Schwarzenegger line in the movie Terminator "I'll be back".

Here is a trip report with links to videos, photos and impressions of  our last 365 days:


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