|Our view today out over the marina.|
There I am, standing over the sink, looking out at the boats in the marina, pushing bad leaves of romaine down the garbage disposal (a luxury we did not have in Bahrain). I thought of Bahrain and my morning walks at the Ritz-Carlton.
One EXCEPTIONALLY enjoyable part of the Middle East experience was our membership at the Ritz-Carlton’s Royal Sporting Club. This resort was the “country club” for Bahrain.
We were given a family membership to the Ritz as part of the lease for our flat. The Ritz was located just across the street from our flat -- close and very enjoyable.
|Beyond the Ritz's island and marina, the dhow fishing boats would go out at sunset and return at sunrise. This is the view from our flat as they were going out one evening.|
|This is a view from the windows in our flat of the King's Highway. We crossed this beautiful street to get to the Ritz each morning.|
Most mornings during the workweek, Hubby D and I would rise at 4:50 AM and walk across our street to the gym for a 45-minute workout. He used the elliptical machine and other gym equipment. I varied my workout from swimming, weight lifting and just walking the paths around the grounds. There was also a water aerobics class twice weekly and I enjoyed snorkeling in the lagoon a few times.
|This is the indoor pool where I swam laps and took water aerobics.|
|The Ritz always has one table reserved by the indoor pool. Who is it reserved for? The King.|
When we walked across the street together, the guards at the Ritz gate would greet Hubby D but only nod at me. Only when I was alone would they greet me. In the Middle East it is not respectful to talk to a man’s wife if she is walking with him.
|This is the gate to the Ritz complex.|
My walks at the Ritz were definitely a highlight of my stay in Bahrain.
Many days, I would return to the Ritz after Hubby D left for the office to sit in the spa or take an additional extended walk.
My route from our flat to the Ritz took me past the Ritz fleet of limos, a long row of Lexus sedans, a Hummer RV, and a Rolls Royce.
|Just inside the gates at the Ritz there is this strange forest of badly pruned trees. I had to include a photo in this blog because I walked past it every morning.|
There was a metal detector to pass through before reaching the foyer of the health club. Immediately inside was a beautiful flower arrangement that was changed ever few days.
|This is the entrance to the ladies locker room and Hamam (Turkish spa).|
After signing in at the desk, I would pass through the automatic doors, go past the hot tub down a stone walkway leading to the walking paths around the Ritz private island.
|Another improvement suggested by the group was to label some of the trees. This is the only tree that was native to the Arabian Sea coastline.|
|This was the only plant labeled originating in North America. It always looked like it was about to die. I think they were trying to tell us that the climate was too harsh for us.|
|From the grounds at the Ritz, you could see our building.|
|One spot I wrote about previously in this blog was what I called the bubble pools. This was my favorite spot to read the newspaper in the morning.|
|This was my view when I sat at the chilled pool.|
|Another view of the chilled pool.|
|There were several 3 bedroom villas for rent nightly on the Ritz property. This is the view out to the Arabian Sea between two of them.|
|This is one of the villas.|
|There were several walls at the Ritz where vegetation was planted. These were quite stunning.|
|Part of my walk took me by a cage with beautiful parrots.|
|The walking path also wound around the Ritz Marina.|
|The view of the beach was spectacular.|
The Ritz was also beautiful at night.
|The lights on the building would change for special occasions. Theses are for the World Cup.|
|When there were nighttime events at the Ritz, they would cook outside.|
|For Bahrain National Day (December 16) and Christmas, the Ritz decorates the grounds. These umbrellas were installed over the entrance road last December. Although it was stunning, we never found out why they used umbrellas.|
Here is a video I took on my last morning walk at the Ritz. If you are reading this in an email, you will have to go to my blog page online to view the video. http://brendahyde.blogspot.com
|Far off in the background over my right shoulder you can see the Ritz and where we lived, Rasfa Towers.|
It seems appropriate. I turn and begin the walk back to prepare to launch into a new adventure of my own.
|As you can imagine, looking at Manama during sunrise over the lagoon from the walking paths at the Ritz was absolutely magnificent. I took this shot at 5am just three days before we left Bahrain and returned to the United States.|