Day 2 – Part 1 . 20 December 2010
Okay, so now time for kids as I promised them with Water Park.
20. City Center Mall & Gold Souk
Bahrain City Centre is the first and biggest mixed-use development in Bahrain offering the best shopping, leisure and entertainment experience to its customers under one roof. Strategically located on Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Highway in the heart of Manama, Bahrain City Centre is home for Bahrain’s biggest cinema complex, Wahoo Water Park, Magic Planet and hundreds of international retail brands.
We managed to visit City Center with a main purpose of getting wet in water park, no shopping, no strolling! The nearby airy, clean and bright food court was our lunch venue. Meanwhile my kids were impatient to rush into the water park while they were having their lunch. Calm down kids!
We went to Gold Souk, not for buying gold this time but for praying…hehehe. The interior design of gold souk itself is excellent; Arabian architecture with golden touch.
Walked back to water park we passed the mall’s main atrium where way down below a Cinderella dressed and flooded with apples: can you count how many apples are there?
21. Wahoo Water Park
My kids can’t help hiding their excitement as we entered a ticket counter. Normal price is BD10 for adult and children above 1.2m, BD6 for children below 1.2m.
You can easily spend half day here and may see time flying fast. Located near food court in 3rd floor of Bahrain City Center, this region’s first indoor/outdoor water park offers temperature controlled 15,000 square meter water park facilities both indoor and outdoor. So you can enjoy the park regardless the seasons.
Upon purchasing tickets we were given watch-like water-proof wrist identities which shall be used to access the park and/or access locker. Access to locker can be had by paying additional fee and then activating “the watch”.
Indoor facilities include wave pool (at regular interval), lazy river, side winder, and many water slides (named as The Rain Fortress, The Master Blaster, and The Black Hole). Restaurants are also available for a cup of hot coffee and alike.
While outdoor, there are gangslides (4 paralel slides), The Mat Racer (long long slides), and the Flow Rider where you can practice surfing. The last two are not for free unfortunately.
And here we go, enjoy the rest of the day, trying every single ride until heavy wrinkles appeared on our skin.
“Next time we should go to Bahrain again and go here! Yes, Dad?” ask my youngest son.
22. King Faisal Corniche, Bahrain WTC
Night fell in Bahrain when we left City Center. Intrigued by high twin tower with its wind turbines, the first skyscraper in the world to integrate it into its design, I drove my car towards Bahrain World Trade Center. The best photograph spot, perpendicular to the tower is from King Faisal Corniche, right near a small hut selling snacks and hot tea or coffee, perfect companion for enjoying the vistas. From this point you will also get view to Bahrain Financial Harbour.
Bahrain WTC is a 240m high and 50-floor twin tower complex built in 2008. It is now the second tallest building in Bahrain after the twin towers of the Bahrain Financial Harbour. The two towers are linked via three skybridges, each holding a 225KW wind turbine, totaling to 675kW of wind power production. Each of these turbines measure 29 m (95 ft) in diameter, and is aligned north, which is the direction from which air from the Persian Gulf blows in. The sail-shaped buildings on either side are designed to funnel wind through the gap to provide accelerated wind passing through the turbines. This was confirmed by wind tunnel tests, which showed that the buildings create an S-shaped flow, ensuring that any wind coming within a 45° angle to either side of the central axis will create a wind stream that remains perpendicular to the turbines. This significantly increases their potential to generate electricity.
The wind turbines are expected to provide 11% to 15% of the towers’ total power consumption, or approximately 1.1 to 1.3 GWh a year. This is equivalent to providing the lighting for about 300 homes annually. The three turbines were turned on for the first time on the 8th of April, 2008. They are expected to operate 50% of the time on an average day (Wikipedia)
23. Seef Mall
Before back to hotel we managed to go to Seef Mall. It is the first but second largest mall in Bahrain. Our plan is to search for souvenirs but nothing in here so we ended up with having dinner only.
24. Hard Rock Cafe and Exhibition Avenue
A must for every city where it has Hard Rock Café is to buy its shot glass: been there, done that, got the shot glass! From Seef Mall we drove home and took detour to Exhibition Avenue where HRC is located at. The Exhibition Avenue is the most prominent location in Hoora (considered as one of Manama’s nightlife centers). In the evenings, especially during weekends, this avenue becomes a very busy street with many tourists, locals, and foreigners. Much of the architecture of Hoora is in the traditional Gulf style and dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. At the backside of this row of buildings lie narrow streets and old buildings, very similar to Musheireb, and Sofitel area.
Beware that securing a parking spot can be arduous in this vibrant street strip.
Next: Bab Al Bahrain, Al Khamis Mosque, Bahrain National Museum, Al Fateh Corniche, Bait Al Quran & La Fontaine