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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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!
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!
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… 🙂