Tuesday 14 April 2009

Oman: afternoon tea with the ladies

Al BustanApril and Gail’s last day in Oman began with a couple of hours of leisurely shopping for dates, halwa, Omani sweets and frankincense. Mrs M took them to a local Omani supermarket where the prices were so cheap, they just had to buy more to make it seem worthwhile.
I don’t remember volunteering for the next activity, but at 2pm I found myself driving the Three Shopateers plus Lou and Jan to the Al Afternoon tea - Al BustanBustan for afternoon tea. There were no paint fumes or drilling noises as there were just before Christmas, so we took our seats and selected our fancy teas. The sandwiches were a tad on the small side as were the scones, and sadly the cream was not real clotted cream. Nonetheless there seemed to be plenty of things for the girls to talk about.
We finished the afternoon with a tour of the hotel. Our guide shAl Bustanowed us the theatre, one of the ballrooms used for weddings and a couple of the guest rooms. The gardens have improved considerably after the renovations with impressive new pools, some of which are accessible directly from the rooms on the ground floor. I spotted an electric buggy near the beach, but it didn’t seem to be picking up expired leathery-skinned Europeans like it did when we stayed a couple of years ago.
There was still an opportunity for one last shopping trip to the souq on the way home. I sat this one out in the car. To my relief, after only half an hour, the group returned with the required incense burners. Surely there would be no more time for shopping?

I wonder what I will do with all the Brownie points I have earned this week?

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