I wonder how many people have given a thought, while they drive across the highways and byways of Bahrain, as to the finest and the most beautiful stretch of road they may have encountered. Given the size and landscape of Bahrain it is not difficult to gauge and assess such areas. Vast stretches of Bahrain are desert, scrubland or yellow rocky hills. But man has managed to harness the natural green stretches or create ‘green’ pockets in the inhabited areas though not always with the best results.
Indeed some of the thickly-green areas falling within the stretch starting from the Lantern Restaurant and ending with the Budaiya Road [whre it meets the sea] could be turned into attractive green enclaves but have been left to the vagaries of nature or the whimsicalities of the owners of all those gardens and fields with only fitful attempts having been made which do little to ‘cheer up’ the tone and tenor of the area on a large scale.
Yes, the individual gated communities, villa complexes and bungalows within compounds do go for landscaping etc. but that is private enterprise meant for the eyes of the owners / tenants. Again one has huge parks like the one near the airport which at one time had [and maybe still has] even the recorded chirpings of birds to break the monotony and solitude of the place. Well, the overall impact is cheering and soothing but there is little to write home about in terms of being ‘taken in’ by the sight.
In my opinion there are only two stretches of public roads in Bahrain which leave one delighted to the core and persuade one to drive slowly so one could take in the sight and imbibe its beauty.
The first is the stretch in Riffa from the Clock Tower to the edge [or dip] of the hilly terrain with the Awali Complex looming in the distance. This royal road is a treat for anyone, whether on foot or in a car, with tall, green, symmetrical trees virtually leaning over to create a kind of unending arbour reminiscent of similar stretches in the oasis of Al Ain in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
And the other is the short road behind the Prime Minister’s office on which the UAE embassy stands, as well as a school and some other lovely villas. Each house is an architectural gem on this stretch with its own carefully-nurtured greenery, symmetrical walls, graceful design – almost like a slice of Miami seafront. And the beauty of it is that there is nothing to distract the view facing the villas but just a wall. So if you drive past the road say at 11am it is a dream experience.
If my readers can find any other lovely stretches of the road in the Kingdom they are welcome to revert.