The Boy had planned a lovely day out for us on New Year’s Day, which was very sweet but also slightly worrying. I generally have a hangover on NYD and can’t leave the couch.
Thankfully, and in part no doubt to the party being incredibly tame due to the circumstances, I woke up fresh as a daisy!
(Side note – Where on earth does that expression come from!?)
We skipped breakfast and jumped in the car, and headed out for Hatta. I hadn’t been in years, so was super excited to see the mountains again. I also was curious how they would stand up against the stunning mountainous landscape of the Cape Province.
Smaller. Much smaller. Also, less green. And less clouds! But, still stunning. They are an entirely different type of beautiful. They are jagged and harsh and brutal, and absolutely incredible.
But I got ahead of myself a little…
We were heading up the Hatta Road – whether it’s called that or not, I don’t know, but it’s what we all call it – and get to the first check point (yep, they still exist) and get turned back. It turns out that only GCC peeps can get through on that road now.
(Another side note – I don’t know whether or not it’s only for people on GCC passports, or GCC residents too. It was all a bit confusing.)
We were told the new route and headed off in a bit of a snit. Me, not him. He doesn’t get irritated ever I don’t think. But I liked that road. It was the way I’ve been before. I know where I am going. I wanted to see if the same stuff was still there.
Turns out this is the best decision ever! The new road takes you off much more into the mountains! I wouldn’t have known that you could go through so much if they hadn’t changed the rules, so yay!! We have both agreed that next time we will get up earlier, have a breakfast, and then stop for a little explore. So wasn’t happening that day though!
We arrived at the Hatta Fort Hotel and were both very happy to see that it is completely unchanged since the last time we were both there – me in 2013 and him in 2014. It’s probably been unchanged since it opened in the 60’s and personally, I hope it stays the that way for years and years to come.
It’s like stepping back in time. It reminds me a bit of Kellerman’s in Dirty Dancing, only with a backdrop of beautiful scarred mountains. I love it!
There are normally some gorgeous peacocks ambling around the entrance way, but they are not fond of the heat, so must have been having a nice snooze somewhere cool. As was the camel that sits patiently waiting to give kids (and me if I ever remember) a ride around the complex.
After a good stretch (it’s a 2hr drive, at least) we head into the hotel. The door was opened by the sweetest old dude who greets us like long lost family. Although everyone else is really lovely, this guy takes the award. He reminds me a bit of Johnny Barnes in Bermuda… One of those lovely cheerful types that likes to make everyone they meet as happy as they are. Bless him!
We headed up to Jeema, the hotel’s international buffet restaurant. I’ve heard the food is good, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s not a huge selection of dishes, but each and everyone is fresh and tasty. Also, it was still the festive season so there was more turkey! I love Christmas dinners!
I would also like to take a moment to mention the triple chocolate mousse on the desert station. The Boy is considerably taller and stronger than me, but he had to work very hard to convince me to not bypass all savory food options and hit the mousse head on. Which I am thankful for… and also kind of resentful of! By the time I had eaten my way around everything else, I only had room for one of these little pots of chocolaty heaven! I am sure I could have had about 4 had I not bothered with the grown up food!!!!!
We rolled out of the restaurant… ok, so that’s a lie. I had too much sugar in my blood and the singers were covering a song by Blue that I really like, so I actually bopped along singing quietly. I should have been rolling. I ate A LOT. It’s not my fault though… I can’t help myself with tasty bites!!
In order to counter balance some of my over-indulgence, we decided it would be a fab idea to walk to the top of the mini-mountain in front of the building. It was much easier than I thought, but then again I thought I was going to die if I did attempt to climb it! I haven’t been to the gym in months and have been eating and smoking more than normal!
Maybe I exaggerate. It’s not that huge and I didn’t think I was going to die. I was a bit worried about how out of breath I would be due to the excessive smoking of late.
But I did it!
I honestly would highly recommend that you make the drive and visit Hatta Fort Hotel. It’s not flashy or fancy, but as a consequence, there are no Dubai Wankers either! It’s blissful and I cannot wait to go back!