Thursday, July 08, 2021

Arrival in a Maldivian Paradise

After a long day of traveling yesterday we made it to Qatar but still had quite a ways to go.








Doha's airport is pretty nice. It's dominated by a gigantic teddy bear which serves as a pretty good landmark when wandering around.






One area had a large chyron type thing on the wall that seemed to only display poetry.




We had a lot of time to kill so it was fortunate that we were business class passengers and so could spend our time enjoying the Al Mourjan Business Lounge. There was a huge reflecting pool with water dripping into it. Qatar knows how to make an impression, that is for sure.






One thing I like to do at fancy lounges is take a shower. It's a good way to kill time and it makes me feel a little refreshed after sitting on planes all day.


















There was a family quiet room that we chilled at for a bit. Really we had plenty of time to chill in about every room in the entire place.














This was one place outside the lounge that looked awesome and I was a little sad I didn't visit.












This was a shorter flight and so the menu was less fancy. Still pretty nice though, right?






















I guess the soccer people in the safety video are famous. I have no idea.




One nice thing about the covid time period is the thorough education I've received on how to wash my hands.






Corpse Bride






I started really getting excited when I started seeing the islands of the Maldives all over the place.


The country is an archipelago 




There a ton of atolls that comprise the Maldives. They are sort of like rings of land with a donut hole in the middle. One theory of their creation was that volcanoes pushed up from under the water during periods of geological activity. Coral reefs then formed around them. The volcanoes stopped being active and eroded away but the coral remained.










The island where the capital city of Male lives is connected to the island where the airport lives by a little bridge. Rising sea levels are pretty much going to turn this country into Waterworld.




The country is kind of interesting because it sounds like it is a place that takes Islam pretty seriously on islands where locals live, but anything goes on the islands that are uninhabited and have resorts on them.




It was nice to have finally arrived in the country but the victory was short lived. Now we had to take a boat ride to Meeru Island where our resort is situated.






The ride was unpleasant. I'd already had my organs jiggled for about 48 hours on planes at this point so the added hour long boat ride had me feeling pretty pukey. I played the "stare at the horizon" game to try not to die.


The ride felt long but it could have been much worse. Both the airport and our resort were in North MalĂ© Atoll. There are several more atolls that comprise the country, and some of them are so far away and isolated that you have to take a seaplane to your hotel.






Meeru Island Resort & Spa was already a pretty fancy place, but we decided that we were going to have to be some of the most fancy people on it. Most of the guests stay in these little cabins on the island have a perfectly nice vacation. We decided that that sort of behavior was for losers though and booked a Jacuzzi Water Villa. There was a lady holding a sign for us when we got off the boat, and they took us to a special fancy people area to check in and gave us fancy welcome drinks. Did we win the lottery or something? No, this was yet another of our amazing credit card point capers. We both signed up for the Citi Expedia cards and got a nice chunk of points as a welcome bonus. Since the world ended they sat unused for a while, but Expedia started making some nasty moves to devalue the points. So this trip was sort of an emergency to spend our points on an awesome hotel before we got screwed. It turns out we had a lot of points, so we had to book a fancy bungalow on stilts over the ocean with a jacuzzi out back. We had no choice.












Lydia and I mentioned several times on this trip that this was maybe the only watery paradisey type location that actually looked like the pictures. It was amazing.






Our porch was pretty much the ocean. There's a little staircase that leads right into the water.




Jacuzzi: check!










We had a little snack near the infinity pool, as one does.








The island had bats as big as cats. I made it clear to this thing through extended eye contact that if it drank any of my blood I was going to drink an equal amount of his. Two can play that weird game bro.


That's what I thought.










There were hermit crabs absolutely everywhere. As night fell I took to walking around with my phone flashlight on to make sure I didn't crunch any of them.






The dining room building was super cool and the roof was like a funnel.. I'm not sure if to seriously collect rain or just to water some plants they had in the center.




We were so remote that our weather apps just thought we were in the middle of the ocean. Not entirely wrong I suppose.








At night, oh man. Each bungalow was lit up really cool which was nice on its own. But it either attracted fish or just illuminated what they were going to be up to anyway. In either case it was awesome. It was like an aquarium of fish just doing their thing right outside our window!






We even got to see what looked to be a couple of different species of rays. It's funny because again hotels will have pictures of friggin sea horses all over the brochure but then you never see anything. Here though... it's like being a character in the Little Mermaid or something.


We made sure the hot tub was doing its job. I don't believe we wore any clothes either. "Suns down pants down" is my motto today, and maybe forever now.






This painting in the room was actually a pretty good representation of what was going on right outside our door.