Every place we passed through during our walking adventure around Bahrain has its own smell. The first day when we camped by Bilaj AIjazaer beach, we could always smell the sea. The morning of the third day we crossed an industrial area in Sitra island, the road was full of big trucks and definitely I didn’t like the smell but when we went through the residential area, there was one smell that attracted me. It is the smell of the hot bread or as we call it here in Bahrain “Khobez”. This nice smell led me to the local bakery in the area. We stopped by and ordered our favorite snack the special double bread with cheese.
[Note: This is day III of a 5-days story of our walking trip around Bahrain. To read Day 1 click here.]
The people in the villages of Bahrain have very close relationships and where’s everyone knows everyone, so we’ve been directly noticed as an outsiders adding to that I wasn’t wearing the traditional Abaya and we were carrying big backpacks which made us really look odd. Our aim was to reach Sitra fish market, we’ve heard a lot about it but never visit it before. In middle of the road we stopped to take rest. We were setting on the floor and laying our heads to one of the walls when a white small bus passed by and stopped directly in front of us. The bus driver asked “Are you kicked out of the house!?” in strong Sitra village accent. “No we are just taking rest man” Hussain answered. “What”? . Yes we came all the way walking from Sitra mall to here, we are on a walking trip to explore Bahrain in five days. “Yes like I will believe you, get on I will ride you to wherever you want” he insisted. We got in the bus finally, he took us in small tour around Sitra island before reaching Sitra fish market.
At the entrance of the fish market, a group of people set, who you can ask them to clean the fish or shrimps for you the way you want. They were working very fast and very hard and what they earn for cleaning 1 Kg of fish is only 300 Fils which equal to 0.8$. I was surprised when one of them told me that he has been doing this job for 35 years and he started when has was 10 years old only. We really enjoyed talking to all of them they were very nice and welcoming.
We went inside the market, it was very crowded and vivid, one of the fishermen came holding a big pail, everyone took a step back to give him the space to unload what he hold, I could see what’s coming out, big Hammour fishes still half alive, and from here you can really get fresh fish! There are different types of fish, shrimps, crab and many other types of sea food. At the other side of the market you can find some vegetables and in the middle there are small gathering place for old men and other sellers. We wouldn’t leave Sitra without having a sea food meal, we’ve ordered a tasty lunch of spiced fried fish and white rise from a traditional restaurant lays in front of the fish market.
We left Sitra island, heading to Manama, through the bridge connecting Sitra to the mother island. We passed through Sitra corniche, which is a nice place to have walk and watch flamingo and other types of birds. The bridge wasn’t walking friendly at all for sometime we had to walk inline with the fast cars on the highway. We went through Um Al-Hassam, Al-Adliya and Al-Jufair area and from there we went on the bridge connecting it with Muharraq island.
We were walking next to Bahrain national museum when one car stopped for us. This time a nice lady asking to pick us up to wherever we want. I was very tired after a long walk and we wouldn’t mind a ride for few kms; Maram the nice lady who picked us up works at the Arab regional center for world heritage, we had an interesting talk with her about different UNESCO sites in middle east region. Maram dropped us at Muhrraq traditional Souq, we said thanks and bye. In Muhrraq Souq you can find the finest Bahraini traditional Halwa and other sweets, we took a fast tour and head for Al Ghous park, our campsite for tonight, we set up our tent, and take out our camp fire to prepare hot tea for family, friends and other people arriving to our campsite who knew our camping location after we announced in social media.