Kuwait Day 2 – Scientific (Center and the) American

Kuwait_Aquarium.jpgWhether I forgot or just didn’t think about it, I was awoken early on Sunday morning by the sun streaming in through the window I had left uncovered. Not a huge deal, to be certain, but all in all I knew I wasn’t going to get more sleep. So up I jumped, took a shower (and mentally thanked the Corniche hotel for providing beach size bathroom towels!) and headed upstairs for breakfast. 

The spread was huge, lots of salads as well as traditional breakfast fare (including beef sausage) and hummus with pita bread. Delicious! Since I still wasn’t sure what the plan for the day was, I decided to hit the mall across the street until I heard from Mohamed about heading over to the theatre. After a few minutes I figured I could walk for a while and get my daily steps in (plus, since I wasn’t eating at home it was harder to eat as well as I had been so more steps meant more calories burnt). I headed out, just following the shoreline.

It’s beautiful.

The water is blue and lovely (and cold!) and there’s a path along the water’s edge where I passed other walkers and joggers, kids playing and mothers watching them play. And almost all of them were smiling and happy. They also smiled back at me as I walked past, smile on my own face (To be fair, I try to have a smile on my face most of the time, but walking along the coast in February wearing nothing but shirtsleeves is enough to make any Lithuanian resident smile). Around 10:15 I called Mohamed to check and make sure I hadn’t missed him… and woke him up. He’d been at the theatre until early in the morning so we were looking at an afternoon start at the earliest. No problem. The one thing I had read about in Kuwait that I really wanted to see was the Scientific Center, where the Aquarium was located and if I kept walking, I was bound to run into it. So I kept on walking.

Along the way I passed little outcroppings where you could sit and take in the scenery, including a gazebo which, I’m sure, has been the sight of many, many wedding photographs. If Rasa was here, I would have grabbed her and done a set of wedding photos just because – it’s that pretty!

There was also a couple of fishing piers, locked because they were for members of the fishing club only. Eventually, though, I did make it to the center. It’s a lovely building, which houses the aquarium, a children’s discovery center, an IMAX theatre and an Applebee’s restaurant. I went to the ticket office and thought about getting a joint ticket for the aquarium and IMAX but the one film I really wanted to see had just started and since I still didn’t know what time we were going to head to the theatre, I figured the aquarium itself would be enough.

“How long does it take to go through?” I asked the bored guy working there.

“Forty-five minutes,” he responded.

“If that,” his co-worker joined in.

Okay then. I looked over the board and noticed I was in time for the shark and ray feeding so that was an added bonus and would take some time so I bought my ticket and headed inside. The beginning of the exhibit covered desert animals local to the region, including Fenic foxes and bobcats. I would have liked to learn more, but the touch screen information centers near each enclosure were either not working or poorly programmed so once you went to one piece of information, there was no way to go back or continue on. So I watched a cat wander around a small glass enclosed cage for a bit before moving the next exhibit, some snakes or a larger area where a little two footed marsupial thing that looked like a mouse was running around. There was a learning counter where a worker had a hedgehog out and available for petting… so I did.

From there, there was a liminal area with otters and penguins (evidently the penguins are a big deal here) which then deposited guests into the second area, which was the aquarium proper. There were tanks with clownfish and jellys, a nice display of cuttlefish and then came the big tank with the sharks and rays (among others). There were also bleacher seats so I figured this is where the feeding would take place, and I was right. A diver soon entered the water and the same girl who had been at the hedgehog station was here to illuminate on the habits of the various sea life – at least I assume that’s what she was doing since it was all in Arabic, which I don’t speak. But the dozen or so kids sitting around me with their parents all seemed to really enjoy it, and that’s what was really important.

Talk over, I saw the rest of the place and headed back out into the world – all told I was in there for about 50 minutes so spot on timing wise. Back outside, I continued down the coast and saw there were a number of outdoor science exhibits, there to illustrate various principles or conundrums. Really cool stuff.

Still hadn’t heard from Mohamed but I decided it would be best to be closer to the hotel when he did call so I headed back towards home, but ended up in the Marina Mall instead, thinking about lunch. One of the things about Kuwait is the abundance and excitement of malls. This is where everyone goes and makes up a fair bit of social activity. So I wandered a bit before settling at a Starbucks to write and have a coffee. Then I had a small Hardee’s burger for lunch.

That’s when Mohamed called.

A half hour later he came and got me and we headed to the theatre. It’s a great space, and I got the grand tour. We solved a couple of possible issues before they became issues and IMG_5387then I went back to the hotel for the night.

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