Monday, August 04, 2008

Living in Paintings and Fake Hotels!

We had a 3 day weekend last week, and we drove 1250km away to a Salalah ( in Oman. That's a neighbouring country).

Overnight, the scene changed from nothing but desert on both sides...

... to this!

The weather was wonderful, the temperature at a pleasant 20- 22 deg C, and the place was so greeeeeeen!

We were going up this mountain at one point of time and we had camels climbing alongside us, ambling along, calmly grazing. And then, 10 minutes later, we came across cows!
Never have I ever heard of camels and cows sharing the same zip code!

And the place was just soo beautiful, I felt like I was in a painting, cos it's so hard to believe that a place this beautiful actually exists! That too in the middle of a desert!

The whole trip was planned at the spur of a moment, so we didn't have any hotel reservations, which was the only downside! The Hilton, which is supposed to be the only decent hotel around, was completely booked. We stayed at another place, which was very opulent in it's decor, what with arabic-style furniture and all, but felt like a fake hotel!

Ok, I know that sounds weird, but let me tell you why! First of all, we went to one of the restaurants at the hotel and when we ordered a dish, the waitress had no idea what it was! We had to give her the number on the menu! The food, obviously, was pretty awful.

Then, in our suite, I decided to relax in a bubble bath for a while after the long drive. I got into the tub, and pulled the shower curtain, and the whole thing came off in my hands! I'm not Incredible Hulk and I hadn't tugged that hard! So when I looked up, I saw that the rod was not fixed to the wall!!! It was just there, a rod about the same length as the wall, just propped up!

Later, in the tub, my elbow hit the soap dish, and it just fell off the hook that it was resting on and plunked into the tub!

See what I mean? It's a building pretending to be a hotel!

But besides the hotel thing, everything else was wonderful! I had amazing company, fantastic views and the best weather one can wish for (esp. when one is used to roasting in 50 degrees heat all the time!)

It was a wonderful road trip, and driving there was half the fun! We had to drive through clouds that were so thick that visibility was zero, and the only way we could make out where to go was by the reflectors on the roads! And this on a 2 lane road on the side of a mountain with oncoming traffic on the other lane!

I can't think of a more perfect break! I would recommend this trip to anyone who lives in the UAE. Just make sure you book the Hilton in advance!


Anonymous said...

Incidently i was half way there at the same time and settled down in muscat. Was too lazy to drive 1000 km more from there to salalah. Seeing the pics, going there me soon next...

Rahul said...

Does it not seem so much better when the simple pleasures of life come after a tedious attempt... Sylvan vegetation amidst the desert makes it worth more that on its own i think..

APOO said...

I say you are the female version of the incredible hulk - what anger does to him, lower temperatures do to you. Do when you suddenly moved from 50 C to 20 C, there you went, breaking rods and soap dishes and what not.

I would like to know how many went to Shalala-lalala (sorry, everytime I hear that name, I break into that song), and how many returned

Anonymous said...

how much did thed whole trip cost per head - i mean would be great to know the break down to plan it.

and was it easy to find a hotel?

any other tips you can give.

K said...

Oh, I hear they have a 'magic road' up there? Know anything about it? :-p

Sonia said...

Peaceguy: Well, hope you had fun in Muscat! :o)

Rahul: I know. It's such a pleasant contrast for your eyes, from all the brown to such lush greenery!

Apoo: And YOU are Supergirl! :P

Anon: To tell the truth, I'm not really sure about the cost yet, cos different people paid for diff stuff and we haven't gotten round to calculating and figuring it out yet. But it's not expensive at ALL! You can get some excellent rates at the Hilton. And the food is very cheap in Salalah! It's only a fraction of what you would pay were you to eat out in dubai. the only thing that'll cost you is petrol. But that's also cheaper outside dubai!

K: Now who told you about that? ;P

AB said...

Ha ha Supergirl and the Hulk. Wonderful!

Btw Hulk, I love thee better for this post:D

zombie said...

Am glad you didn't meet any psycho at the 'fake' hotel :) seriously..the way you described this whole thing it seemed like a scene from the movie 'Psycho'.

Looks you like you guys had a lot of fun! send some more pics na..

Sonia said...

AB: I'm NOT Hulk! :P

Zombie: I'm glad I didn't watch Psycho then! :D I'll mail you the link to my picasa album, :o)

zombie said...

whenever you watch it you'll get the creeps esp when you combine it with your fake hotel experience! :)

Mez said...

U almost came around my place then. O bt well am 12 hrs far frm Salalah.

Mez said...

Khareef festival..anytin to share abt tht?

Sonia said...

Zombie: ok, i won't watch it!

Mez: You're in Muscat. that is quiiite far away! :)
And we didn't go to the Khareef festival at all. We heard about it on the radio, but we didn't want to go to crowded places with a lot of people and lots of shopping, cos we'd just gotten away from a place like that - dxb! :)

We went to Marneef caves and to the Magic road and all sorts of isolated places where we could take in the beauty and the silence.

APOO said...

So now I am supposed to wear panties on my blue pants?

Sonia said...

Apoo: not pants you doofus! LEOTARDS! :P

Mez said...

yip am in mct...shud catch up sumtime wen am in dubai :)

Sonia said...

Mez: sure! :o)