Thursday, May 18, 2017

Oman Part III: Anantara and the Al Jabar Mountains

We headed away from the desert into the mountains, steadily climbing toward the Al Jabar mountain range in the interior of Oman.  This was the fancy splurge part of our trip, where we decided to relaxxxx in the high mountains in the middle of our trip.  We were at an elevation of approximately just over 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) for the trip.  As we ascended, I could feel my ears popping.

Here is the main entrance of the Anantara Hotel:

I had hoped that there would be some great hiking and star-gazing here, but I think the place was vastly overrated on both of these counts.  Still, it was a nice break at the midpoint of our trip, and the hotel itself was lovely and comfortable (though it should have been, at those prices)!

 On our first night there, we were invited to the resort's happy hour, where they served beer and wine as the sun set.  Once the sun set, we sat around the huge bonfire in the common area near the hotel's lobby. 
 It was surprisingly chilly in the mornings and nights.  The resort was beautiful during the day with its gardens and water features, but it was stunning at night with all of the lanterns, lights and fires dotting the landscape.  Here was a very pretty light structure within their bar:

 I liked this panoramic view from the common area near the rooms, framed by the walls and a glass barrier.
 Roses were a big thing.

 The pool area was so nice and relaxing, but the sun was very strong here.  We all got a bit burned while sitting here during lunch time, despite slathering on sunblock (and for me, wearing a hat, and hiding under the umbrella)...

I loved the decoration of our room.
This was the beautiful view from our balcony:
 The room and bath were lovely, of course, though I thought the bath salts and soap menus were a bit excessive.
While there weren't that many stars to see, the sunsets were pretty nice.  On our second evening, we scouted a good place for watching the sunset, then took a little walk into one of the old, historic villages.
 Our resort said that the village was abandoned, but it wasn't technically, because some structures seemed occupied, and we also saw a few people and parked cars as we walked through.  Others were clearly in disrepair, but I still liked the look of them nonetheless.
 Overall, very pretty, right?
 All too soon, our time at the Anantara was over and, after two full nights, we had to head back toward Muscat for our final day and night in Oman.

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