Congratulations to our brothers and sisters in Kuwait, who are celebrating their 52nd National Day, and the 22nd anniversary of the country’s liberation, today. I thought this was an appropriate time to share snippets of the trip my family and I took a couple of weeks ago to Kuwait City.
We went with the intention of experiencing our first family trip abroad in years, we’re obviously not the travelling type as a family. Apart from the occasional Umrah trip, I don’t remember us crossing the borders together for the last 20 years at least. This just had to happen, NOW.
Being the eldest child and the most traveled, I was assigned to take the lead on the organization front. My sister instantly became my “Wazir”, and my brother was content with playing chaperon. My mother…..well, she happily tagged along.
We spent two nights in the Kuwaiti capital, which wasn’t enough for each of us to fulfill an individual plan. Me, being also the explorer in the family, wanted to see the sights, but at the end I succumbed to the ladies’ cash blowing urges and we mainly went shopping!
We explored the capital as a rising shopping hub, and a decent short getaway destination in the region. Kuwait is becoming seriously famous for its boutique and local fashion and lifestyle brands, mostly focused on traditional clothes and abayas. Souks and markets are equally fun and lively, though not that cheap we heard. Still, my sister and I later found it really hard to not buy.
We planned to punctuate our shopping campaign with regular feeding intervals at some of Kuwait’s popular joints. Friends at home suggested eating at a Kuwaiti restaurant called “Freej Swuaileh”, located in the Salmiyah district. I was told not to leave the country without trying it, and I am truly glad we did. The food was yummy, authentic and reasonably priced. The atmosphere and services were reflective of a true Arabian hospitality spirit, but it was the food that we were so full of at the end, that walking the malls after that seemed like an unachievable mission.
Traditional sweets shop inside the Freej Swaileh Resturant
After the big lunch, we headed to see the Kuwait Towers, or at least we wanted to. Unfortunately they were closed. I couldn’t believe our luck. I had come across plenty of online reviews that indicated the place is worth visiting since it’s Kuwait’s most prominent landmark. It would be like visiting Agra and not seeing the Taj Mahal if we didn’t go. Yet, the reviews also warned that it may appear a bit rundown and overdue for a major round of maintenance. Apparently they finally got around to it, which had to be during our visit!
We hovered around, took some photos of the exterior, checked it off my GCC must see bucket list I suppose (yes I have one). Will have to take a closer look next time.
Later in the evening, My siblings and I headed out again for another shopping spree at Souq Al Mubarkiyah, another vibrant shopping spot where you get a taste of the true spirit of the country. this place is all about the sounds, the colors, the architecture, and the details. A wonderful place to get lost and allow yourself to just look around and take it all in. i thought it was a great people watching spot too, if that’s what you’re into.
Souq Al Mubarkiyah
The next day, after breakfast at the hotel, we went out to see more of the city. We ended up at Souq Sharq Mall, where we spent the whole day and burnt a deep and wide holes in or pockets. lots of self restrain was exercised on this morning however.
Sharq Mall and Marina
On our last day, we had to catch an afternoon flight back home, so we only had enough time to finish packing and have one last meal in city. We had breakfast at Marina Crescent, I thought the place looked pretty familiar with a layout and vibe similar to Dubai Marina area. All in all it is a great part of the city to dine and relax close to the sea.
The most valuable lesson I learnt during this trip was that the apple never falls far away from the tree. Mom didn’t stop taking photos throughout the weekend. She photographed everything and everyone she laid eyes on. i promise it was really hard to get her away from her smartphone and Instagram. I now know for sure that I am my mother’s daughter…
This was fun! Maybe we’ll do it again soon…