Hubster and I just got back from a weekend at the Shangri-La in Oman, a two hour flight from Riyadh. We didn’t get to see much of Muscat, though what we did see of the city looked very simple/quaint and surprisingly clean. And coming from a Canadian, that means that you can pretty much eat off the pavement. The big shocker came when we realized all the drivers were staying in their lanes! We really only drove through Muscat on our way to the Shangri La which was located about 30 minutes from the airport and outside of town, but the resort was just fabulous.
The resort is actually a complex of three hotels of varying classes, and it sprawls across quite a bit of land. We spent the weekend sipping cocktails at their bars and outdoor lounges, strolling down the beach at night, soaking up the sun, falling asleep on their comfy loungers, kayaking, watching fish swim by our ankles in the ocean, admiring the extensive grounds and beautiful spa, floating down their lazy river…the list goes on.
The absolute highlight of the trip was getting a chance to watch an enormous hawksbill turtle lay her eggs on the beach at night! This was the last place in the world we expected to catch such an amazing event. The Hawksbill Turtle is on the critically endangered list, and we felt a bit bad that a resort had been built on some of their prime nesting beaches in the area. But at the very least, they seemed to have pretty dedicated turtle ranger on the resort looking out for them, and nests marked off on the beach to prevent trampling.
The lowlight of the trip was watching hubster’s light pink sun kissed skin turn a deep shade of red coming out of the shower, regret in his eyes. It’s always the same story. He goes,“ohh! I wanna go out in the sun *right now*! Let’s get this sunscreen over with!” And then four hours later, “what happened to me??!” with complete and utter shock, as if it hasn’t happened a hundred times before.
I totally recommend that expats try to take trips on the weekends to break up your stay here. It’s something we wish we had been doing the whole time we were here. We booked through an Oman Air package that had a special deal going for Riyadh and picked up our paper tickets at their Riyadh office. We had a very good experience with the airline – planes with adequate leg space, decent food, good service, punctual, etc. - so we would fly again with them without hesitation. Here's the link!
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