Thursday, July 12:  In my attempt to stay cool this summer, I continue today on my quest to check out the hotel pools in Muscat.  Today, it is a little overcast in Nizwa, very unusual in Oman, and I debate whether I should make the trip to the capital.  However, I’ve ventured afield from hazy, dusty Nizwa before to find sunshine in Muscat. I do have a pedicure scheduled, so I go anyway, bringing along my bathing suit.  Just in case.

the outdoor cafe near the pool

Today, sadly, is different.  It is just as overcast in Muscat as in Nizwa.  You’d think I would be happy about that, since the normal sizzling heat in Muscat is slightly reduced. But when I go to a pool, I like it to be sunny. Because part of going to a pool is sunning and getting a tan. 🙂

the radisson blu pool

I finish my pedicure close to noon and head to the Radisson Blu Hotel (Radisson Blu Hotel Muscat).  I decide to come here this time because it is only 7 rials to get in for the day, as opposed to 10 at the other pools. And since I’m getting such a late start and am not that excited about the weather, I don’t want to splurge.

Blue thou art, intensely blue; Flower, whence came thy dazzling hue? ~ James Montgomery

The location of the Radisson Blu is not great, in the middle of the Khuwair business district. The hotel is billed as a first-class business hotel in the heart of Muscat and I guess that’s its draw.  My 7 rials entitles me to use of the Fontana Health Club gym, sauna and pool, but all I use today is the pool.  I got my exercise this morning at 5 a.m., taking a long walk in my neighborhood.

Blue oblivion, largely lit, smiled and smiled at me. ~ William Rose Benet

The pool is small and all the sun beds are shaded with huge umbrellas.  So not a great tanning place anyway.  I lounge in the sun bed under the umbrella, falling asleep almost immediately.  I dip in the pool from time to time, but it is quiet here and actually not very interesting.  I read some of Little Infamies, my book of Greek short stories, thumb through my Time Out Muscat, and sip on some water. Exciting.

I am so ready to get out of this place for a good long break!

the outdoor cafe ~ no one sitting out here today…

I take some pictures of the pool and an Omani guy asks me if he’s in my picture.  I say yes and he asks if it will be online anywhere.  I tell him he can Google my blog.  Later, when I look at the picture I see I just captured the back of his head, so he won’t even recognize himself if he finds my blog!

the Omani who wanted to see his picture… except it’s just the back of his head!

There’s a nice changing room with showers and lockers and a hair dryer hooked to the wall;  I shower & change and go for a little shopping at Qurum City Center, where I have a fried rice and prawn dinner at Chow King. Then I rush off to Al Shatti Cinema to see a Hindi movie called Cocktail, which I will write about in another post.

I think next weekend I need to have a splurge at one of the nicer hotel pools.  Possibly the Chedi.  Or the Shangri-La… 🙂

Olivos Restaurant