We spent the long Eid weekend in and around Muscat. This post is a little late – but I hope you enjoy the images from out trip. It makes a nice change being on holiday with my camera and not on business. This was a good four days with the family and all we did is explore this beautiful part of the world.
After an initial hiccup with my wife’s health, we were off to a great start. We stayed in the hotel on the first day enjoying the pools and the fantastic beach. We turned in after watching one of the nicest sunsets I’ve witnessed for a long time.
The beautiful mountains, which provide the perfect backdrop to almost every seen in Oman, were one of the star attractions for this visit. Not only because I’m a man who has loved mountains all my life, but because it’s time to impose this on my children. I had promised them a new experience; which in Kuwait seemed to only worry them: ‘What if we fall off?’ they kept asking.
I arranged for a car and a local driver to take us to Nizwa. There we would see the fort and the old souq before exploring the areas near-by. The journey was long but easy. The scenery was interesting and varied. The mountains were imposing and proud. From time to time, we even caught glimpses of every-day-life when we spotted children playing outside houses, goats grazing around their shepherds, and speeding motorists rushing from town to town for their Eid visits.
We stopped a few times to get some shots of the more interesting spots. Nizwa is a lovely town with a very prominent fort. The market was not fully open, but pottery seemed to be their thing!
As we left Nizwa to explore the surrounding areas, the mountains were there again decorating our journey. We managed to get tickets to visit the Al Hoota Cave. This turned out to be a nice bonus to the trip. There are bats inside, eight-eyed spiders… and blind fish! No photography is allowed in the cave – even if some people were rude enough to do it.
To me, this was the highlight of the trip. Masfat Al Abreen is a community living on a mountain and extending their dwellings down the whole valley. They get fresh water year round from the top of the mountain, and have therefore used it to irrigate their plantations of vegetables and fruit. As soon as you enter this place, you will forget where you are! I plan to one day return and trek all the way down – which I hear takes more than an hour.
We also saw the town nearby with many old houses. Some had been abandoned – but others on the same street were still in use.
Our driver knew his way around this place and he drove us into this date-palm farm. The picture that follows it is the same farm from a distance!
The final day was spent in Muscat’s Souq Mutrah and around the Corniche. We closed the final day with a relaxed evening walk to have coffee with Omani friends.
Oman is truly a wonderful place. It’s well organised, tidy, clean, safe, interesting, beautiful and its people are very kind. We look forward to going again soon.