The Big Bus tour took us to Wafi, as I wrote in Part 1, but it’s a mall I have been to 101 times before. It’s where the hat type shop ‘Oasis’ is located so not only have I shopped there, I have modeled there too! Yep, it was as strange to do it as to read the words that I have actually modeled!!!
Wafi also boasts an amazing selection of restaurants so I’ve visited a fair few of those. Then, on top of that, they had a Rooftop Movies series one year. I don’t know if they still do it but it was lovely at the time!
So given I have been here so often, imagine when I discovered there was a whole section that I had never heard of!
I had always assumed that this lovely little oasis was the pedestrian entrance to the parking or something similar. I am not the most observant person and the fact the parking garage was next to it and not at all underground never quite computed.
Nor did the big lettering saying “Souq”, which I am faintly embarrassed about but not enough not to share. It’s just something you have to know about me. I may see lovely photo opportunities but I don’t notice the smaller detail in things. I see bigger pictures. That’s even more amusing to know if you worked with me and I am known for spotting formatting or spacing errors that no-one else can!
We descended the beautiful stairs and discovered not only is there a souq, but a restaurant too! It’s amazing what you can find when you have someone points you in the right direction!
The souq is divided into four quarters (not equal in size!), two of which were Egyptian and Moroccan. I didn’t noticeably see the Syrian or Turkish sections but I could have pictures of them without realising! It wasn’t hugely sign posted. You just looked up and there was a little hanging sign. We noticed because the Moroccan bit was so incredibly different.
In ‘Egypt’ there was a lot of what I would call bric-a-brac shops, filled to the brim with fabulous looking Arabian treasures. There was one corner which had a shop with the most beautiful chess boards and chess pieces. It’s one of those things that one day when I am a grown up, I will have because all grown up homes should have a chess board…. with a “Chess for Dummies” hidden closely nearby if you’re me!
You could also buy lots of oud stylie perfume (no thank you very much!), abayas, kanduras, and beautiful sparkly shoes and jewellery. There was also a fabulous dress shop that had some of the prettiest abayas I have ever seen, but also gorgeous dresses for little girls. They had the prices to match so sadly my niece didn’t get a hugely over the top dress that she would never wear!
The most outstanding part of this souq though was the ceiling. It was stained glass and incredibly detailed. I am pretty sure it showed a story if you walked from one end to another, and also that there were descriptions as you went. Sadly, I never have learned more than basic Arabic and never have mastered their writing so I can’t confirm that!
I think we lost a lot of the atmosphere because we were there so early. Only about 25% of the shops were open. I imagine it a very beautiful but chaotic place in the evenings, but actually I would go back to see how it changed.
As there was so much to see, even when only at 25% functioning, this is all the words I have for now! There are of course a lot of pictures because I love to take them and you have to see how amazing this place is!
I am still a little confused though. I mean, how did I not know about this before?! It would have been a great place to bring guests so they could have a look around and shop, then a nice lunch or dinner!
Am I the only one who didn’t know it was there?!