What seemed so interesting to me was that Bahrain seems to pull off the mix of culture thing fairly well. It is an Islamic state, but women are not required to be covered or segregated from men. They can be though, it boils down to personal choice in most cases. Shorts and skirts are commonly worn, Burkini's are not required to swim. Alcohol is served in the restaurants and bars that are attached to hotels, and pork is served. It seems that similar to the UAE and Qatar, Muslims are expected to follow the rules of their faith. Therefore, only the "Westerners" or non-Muslims should be drinking and dancing with women they aren't married too. The reality is quite far from that perfect picture of what "should" happen and the bars that we went to seemed to be at least split 50/50 Muslims and Non-Muslims. And it should be mentioned that I can't tell who is from where in the Arab world, so who am I to say that drinking is "haram" for them or that they're even Muslims.)
The trip across the causeway was a little crowded, but pretty uneventful. The customs officers seemed a little friendlier than they do at the airport but nothing special. When we got into Bahrain though everything changed...traffic was much more controlled and traffic laws had to be obeyed. Police officers in clean cars pulled people over and issued them tickets. Seatbelts had to be worn and child safety seats had to be used. Maybe strangest of all for me on the road was that women were driving!
|Leaving Saudi, entering Bahrain|
We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Manama which had received 4 stars from Orbitz reviewers. The hotel was great and had a few different restaurant choices. The room was nice, bed comfy as could be-I really, really enjoyed this aspect! We hit the bar for lunch and a drink, found both to be excellent even if a tiny bit pricey.
|"Back off Brah..I'm on vacation!"|
|View from our 3rd floor room.|
|We found an appetizer with sausage and Ribs...Yum!|
There are a few big malls (which is nothing odd for us coming from Saudi where the un-official national past-time is shopping) but in Bahrain you can actually find fitting rooms and a few other things not easily found in Saudi. You can also shop as a couple if you so choose with no fear of the CPVPV (Religious Police) arresting you.
|Very "Sailor Jerry", except that its more Trader Vic's-y|
|Shot from our table towards the enormous restaurant|
|How can you wrong with this many Rum Drinks?|
The next day, I took the opportunity to sleep in and enjoy the room. I headed downstairs about 10:30 and met up with friends in the coffee shop. We all decided to indulge ourselves with the hotels enormous brunch…which also happened to be a champagne brunch…can you see where this is going? I had initially said that all I wanted was a couple of last beers before the weekend ended…but instead ended up drinking Mimosas all day…and then having my last beers.