Walking into the Sunset

Amidst all the excitement to share with you the seventy thousand pictures in the next five thousand posts, I completely forgot to tell you about the most fantastic part of our five-star stay at Qasr al Sarab resort:  it was free!  Yep, we couldn’t believe our luck either.  One day I was browsing online to check if there was a cheap way to go Kenya for the ultimate safari experience of my dreams, when I saw this competition to answer one question and win a stay for two (with breakfast) at Qasr al Sarab.  “Qasr al what?”  I asked myself, uninterested, until I checked their website and saw the most wonderful opportunity for take a thousand pictures (and to relax, of course).  They asked only one question – how many rooms do the resort have in total? – something which I simply Googled.

A couple of weeks or so later – this was in July, I think – I got an email informing me that I had won.  I dismissed it for a fraction of a second thinking it was a spam mail.  Then I read it a second time.  And a third.  Then I called Masood and told him I’m taking him on a weekend getaway.  The husband does so much for me, and I’m so happy I could give him something in return.

Here’s a self-portrait …

It was a Thursday evening and since there weren’t many people around, the place was calm and private.  The only sounds we could hear were those of flowing water.

We bought sandwiches when we stopped over at the highway to ask for directions.  In case we got stranded in the middle of nowhere, we’d feel better knowing we had food and water with us.  We didn’t get stuck, alhumdulillah, so we had those sandwiches for lunch.   So after relaxing a bit and drinking coffee (there was a coffee machine in the room), we stepped outside to explore our surroundings …

I absolutely love these things!  We sat (and lay) on them for the longest time.  I wondered why we didn’t have this at home.  It made me feel like I’m a princess.  Yes, I decided I was an Arabian princess.

Such a vast place, yet there’s so much privacy.   And when we did come across  another person or two, smiles were automatically exchanged.  Maybe it’s the place.  Or the tranquility.  Or the gorgeous weather.

The picture below shows part of one of the world’s largest dune, and our room’s back door faces this spectacular view directly …

I’m congenitally allergic to very fine particles which include pollen, chalk dust, cigarette smoke, powdered spices, and yes, sand too.  But surprisingly, I was fine throughout our stay here.  Plus I guess I was more worried about Nikon;  the ultra-fine sand of the desert is his worst enemy.

So we kicked off our footwear and ran walked in the desert.  Feelings of pleasure and comfort coursed through our nerve endings as our feet gently dipped into the soft sand.  After sometime – when we realized it was quite a task to move about when one was sinking with each step – we thought it wise to simply sit and enjoy nature …

One of the most precious sunsets I have ever experienced …


  1. My dear Arabian princess (wow! sounds so grand!),

    I was browsing at home and was so disappointed with the slow connection of the internet. I can’t see any of your pics, but you explained the place brilliantly that I think I can imagine it (of course it won’t be as beautifully captured by your pics). Just wait till I go to the office again, I am so eager to see the pics. I must tell you that you have the talent to write for a travel magazine or something equivalent. I love your story! 😉

    1. My sweet friend, Ati ((hugs))

      I was thinking about posting smaller pictures, and I did that. But when I previewed the post, it didn’t look good at all. Sorry about that. When you do return to your office, I’ll remind you to see these pictures 🙂

      And thank you for the compliment! I’m really flattered *blushes*

  2. Wow – the free part is sone pe suhaga (I hope I got that part right).

    Great pictures – I love the one with your husband staring into the distance on the desert – have to take something like that.

    1. Mezba, yep, you got that right!

      Yes, staring-into-the-distance pictures are awesome. I strongly believe everyone should have at least one of those pictures 😀

    1. This desert (and the resort sitting on top of it) is pure luxury and nothing else, well except, perhaps, when you choose to be there in the heat of summer. And they charge you heavily for indulging at this glorious sunset.

      And they charge you heavily for that gorgeous piece of furniture too 🙂

      Photography, of course, is free. So I took a million of them.

  3. Assalaam Alaikum Nadia,

    Wonderful blog you have here, MashaAllah. I recently came across it and was glued after seeing your beautiful photography!

    Your vacation sounds amazing, and the pictures are so gorgeous just as the resort must have been. The place looks so tranquil, serene and seems to give a glimpse into what life may have been like for desert Arabs of the past (referring to the architecture). Thank you so much for sharing your experience. =)

    1. Walaikum Assalam, Sara. Welcome to the Purple Journal!

      I am glad you enjoyed your visit, thank you so much.

      This was a very short stay – just 24 hours – and can hardly be called a vacation, but I’m able to make a series of posts out of the pictures. I wonder how things would be had I the chance to stay there for a few days – I’d be blogging about it forever 😀

  4. Beautiful!!!!
    I have missed your blog a lot in my little absence, and now finally I’m reading all your posts to catch up – and what a great one to read first, this looks so relaxing and peaceful and like such a wonderful place, and of course for free, how much better can it get? 😀

    Lovely photos, I feel so peaceful just looking at them!

    1. ‘liya, I missed you!

      Your ‘little absence’? You’ve been away from the blogging scene for what seems like years! Please resume blogging asap (with normal posts, and not one of those one-sentence ones) 🙂

      Oh, and welcome back to the Purple Journal *hugs*

  5. Oh Nadia,I’m so jealous!:D And you got to go for free!!! Very fortunate,mA!

    I’ve glad you had a wonderous time there and thank you for sharing the fantastic photos too! I really like the water flowing and the pool area pics.Awesome shots of the sun too!

    1. Lat, this was the first time I’d ever win something like this. Yep, all free – except for the gas that we filled the car with and, of course, dinner 😀

      I’m glad you liked the pictures. Thank you so much.

  6. ohhhh girl, this is so amazing 🙂 I totally loved seeing these beautiful and I can imagine the fun u’ve had there … and free five-starer, a gorgeous one for that matter, is all you want 🙂

    I DO wana see all the pics :> Photographer’s delight

    ps: you used a texture to make that framing in pics? i lovedddd it .. can I borrow? 🙂

    1. Asma, a free five-star treat is truly a dream come true; we came home relaxed and with a huge, silly smile pasted on our faces 😀

      Yep, I’ll be posting more pics, inshaAllah.

      Regarding those frames, I used photoscape to add those. It’s ‘ready made’, so to speak. Just one click and it’s done. I’m lazy like that.

  7. Appiya ,
    though i am not a big fan of those sands and deserts but loved the pictures especially the sunset.. most importantly congratulations for winning !!!!

    1. Aww, thank you, Joveria! *tight hugs to you*

      I wasn’t interested much in deserts myself, but that all changed when I ended up living in one 😀

    1. Thank you, Frozeefa! Yeah, we get so many spam mails these days, it’s sometimes hard to tell which ones are genuine 😀

      How’d you been?

  8. Am fine sis… Sighz… If only I wasn’t preggie, I wld hv been in Dubai by now!! My hubby was saying “at this time we wld hv checked into some hotel in Dubai”

  9. The first thing I did when I arrived at the office was to switch on the pc and go to your blog straight away. Masya-Allah! Your pics, sister…. made me yearn for a visit to this place this instant! Such a spectacular view! I love it! I must go visit this place one day, Insya-Allah! Thank you dear, for these lovely pictures. You are truly talented!

    1. Ati, that is so sweet of you, mashaAllah! 🙂

      You’ll love this place when you visit it someday, inshaAllah. Oh, and I can guarantee you that there won’t be any civets around 😉

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