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Around the island in 24 hours
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Around the island in 24 hours
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Sugared sweets and spice, and pearls that are nice: Then it is on to the souk to see and sample spices, nuts and sweets, including the unusual and delicious halwa - a kind of cross between Turkish delight and jelly. Best eaten warm, either straight from the shop or reheated later, I have since brought some home and enjoy it from time to time. Apparently it will keep for weeks, not even needing to be stored in a refrigerator.

The spices and the way they are displayed in such a variety of patterns and colours that are just asking to be photographed, provide a constant challenge to find new angles. It's a pity that I cannot record or photograph the wonderful aromas given off by them as well - you must come to Bahrain to experience them for yourself!

Wandering through the souk brings us to the long established shop of Mohammed Hassan, an elderly and extremely experienced pearl merchant, where we view his amazing array of pearls. Of every conceivable colour, size and stunning variation of types, these natural Bahraini gems are indeed a sight to behold and an irresistible subject for some close-up photographs.

The same can be said for Abbas pearl merchants just ahead in the Gold Souk. Abbas has the most exquisite jewellery on display with pearls set into brooches, rings, necklaces and earrings. I enquire the price of a small brooch with a pearl whose diameter is at least one centimetre across. I am not surprised, indeed I almost expect it to be more than the $5,400 quoted! It is sights like these that make me say it's not just scenery that makes a place worth visiting!

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