Saturday, June 16, 2007

Our Stay at Grand Hotel, Jebel Hafeet

G'day

Thanks to our friends Michael and Gayle Dougall, Christina and I had an overnight stay at the Grand Mercure Hotel, Jebel Hafeet last week. Jebel Hafeet is part of the mountain range that divides Oman and the UAE and the hotel is two thirds of the way to the top.

Also on Jebel Hafeet are a couple of small tourist cafes and a huge palace owned by one of the numerous Sheiks who run the country.
Michael and Gayle had shouted us this stay for my birthday in April and it was the first opportunity we had to take the time out to spoil ourselves.
After work Wednesday we left around 6 pm for the 20 minute drive to the hotel. On arrival we unpacked and dressed for dinner. As it was still early, we visited Lawrence's Bar for a drink or two and then strolled down to the poolside where a South African barbecue was in progress.

There was a range of different meats including chicken and beef kebabs, some lovely mince called botootie (or something similar) and a great range of delicious
vegetables. I had a glass of Australian red wine and Christina had a soda water.

Although it's been very, very hot during the day here, it was pleasantly warm with a gentle breeze at the poolside. An attractive Fillipino lady sang songs in the background as we dined and we could look out at the lights of Al Ain. Sadly, as is usually the case, the sky was cloudy brown over the city making it pointless taking photographs.
We returned to our room around 11 pm and retired for the night. In the morning I had hoped to take some photos of Al Ain without the haze, but even before the sun rose I could see the mist in the sky. I eventually gave up on any ideas I had of some spectacular city shots.

In the morning we had breakfast at the restaurant and, as there was so much lovely food, ate more than we needed to and much more than we usually eat for breakfast. We returned to our room to read for an hour, then played 30 minutes of squash and had a swim and a slide down the slippery slides before showering, changing and heading home early afternoon.
It was a delightful break from the usual routine and we appreciated it and the generosity of Michael and Gayle for making it possible.
The photos above are self-explanatory. Double click on them to see the large view.
Best wishes
Robin
for Christina and Robin

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