Blogs from Oman, Middle East - page 13

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Middle East » Oman » Musandam Peninsula April 30th 2008

The last couple of days have seen us trawl up more marine life to analyse, quite a few technical problems, with a bit of gear, so have been kept busy with a few more challenging problems - the heat and humidy play funny games with electronics. Photos are of samples caught, lots of electric rays, sardines, various tropical fish , a few sea eels. The sunsets and sunrises are unlike anything I've ever seen before, as for getting sunburnt over here - it just doesn't happen with the haze in the air (from dust and sand) still very warm (32-35 degress C). ... read more
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Middle East » Oman » Muscat April 29th 2008

Oman is the land of Forts. Many forts adorn the whole country. We visited a handful ourselves. My favorite: Nakhl Fort. Built into the side of the mountain...the building's elevation rises and falls with the topography of the mountain. Great design skill.... read more
Burka Fort Lookout
Soldiers on the lookout - Mr. P and Mr. Green
The famous white walls of Sohar Fort

Middle East » Oman » Dakhliya » Nizwa April 29th 2008

Nizwa - the interior city. Nizwa (Arabic: نزوى‎) is the largest city in the Ad Dakhiliyah Region in Oman and was the capital of Oman proper. Nizwa is about 140 km (1.5 hours) from Muscat. The population is estimated at around 70,000 people. Set amid a verdant spread of date palms, it is strategically located at the crossroads of routes linking the interior with Muscat. Nizwa is a center for date growing. Dates from Nizwa (including Khalas and are known to be the best dates in the world). The main tourist attractions in the city are Nizwa Fort and the traditional Souq. The main bulk of the fort, built in the 1650's took about 12 years to complete and was built above an underground stream. The main part of the fort is its enormous drum-like tower ... read more
Nizwa: View of the dome of Sultan Qaboos magnificent cobalt blue and gold dome from Nizwa Fort

Middle East » Oman » Dakhliya » Nizwa April 28th 2008

Wadi Shab 'Wadi' means 'dry river bed' (Wadi Shab is actually a wet river bed, a beautiful emerald green oasis in the desert). Wadi Shab is wadi in Oman and located between the capital Muscat and the town Sur, Oman. It has at least seven pools of emerald green water and is studded with boulders. One of the pools is in a cave where light streams in dramatically from above and there are fantastic echoes heard when one swims in it. Eventhough all guidebooks say you need a 4WD to get there...you can easily reach it in a regular car...thanks to the backbreaking road-construction (courtesy of practically free labor from India/Pakistan/Afghanistan). These workers situation is so bad, and the government does not do anything to alleviate the situation. Most of these workers flock from the subcontinent ... read more
Ahh...an oasis - Wadi Shab
Troll over board! - Emerald pools of wadi shab
Oh no...Key can't swim. (Mr. P to the rescue)

Middle East » Oman » Muscat April 28th 2008

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque The Mosque is built from 300,000 tonnes of Indian sandstone. The total capacity of the mosque (interior and courtyard) is up to 20,000 worshippers. What to do with too much money? You hire indentured (modern-day slave) labor from India and flaunt the wealth by building a monument to God....ahem. And the monument happens to have a couple of record breakers (Largest Handwoven carpet and Largest chandelier in the world): The world's largest hand-woven carpet: A major feature of the design of the interior is the prayer carpet which covers the floor of the prayer hall. It contains, 1,700 million knots, weighs 21 tonnes and took four years to produce. It is the largest single piece carpet in the world. It covers the entire floor of the main praying hall of the Sultan ... read more
Worlds larget woven carpet
Afternoon nap on the world's largest carpet...aaaah.
Contemplating the world's largest chandelier

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Middle East » Oman » Muscat April 26th 2008

So have almost been at sea a week, completed a number of trawls , a huge range of exciting marine life to sample and sort, as we get closer to the Yemem boarder, more and more unlit fishing boats appear on the radar - so far no fishing boats have thrown rocks at us or opened fire on us - the closest has been a bunch shaking there fists and screening some arabic at the top of there lungs. The crew are all great to work with - nothings a problem, all the routines on the trawl deck , foredeck go like clockwork, which makes life so much easier, it's a little cooler at sea, a mild 29 degress most nights and on the clear days upto 38 degrees , quite cloudy today, but can see ... read more

Middle East » Oman April 22nd 2008

I am now in Tashkent, Uzbekistan waiting for my flight to St Petersburg and have some “free” time (I know this could sound horrible to some) and finally found, after a long while, a viable internet connection. Oman Having traveled for a month in the Middle East, I arrived in Oman and was immediately struck by two things: (i) Oman is very clean (the country has won the prize of “Cleanest Country in the Middle East” ever since such a competition was first organized a couple of years ago) and (ii) there is almost no hassling/bargaining which was a (very) welcomed change. I hadn’t really prepared my stay in Oman and didn’t know what to expect - Oman is very beautiful with its coastline extending over several hundreds of kilometers and spectacular mountainous interior with some ... read more
Muscat - City gate
Mutrah
Forts and some more forts

Middle East » Oman » Muscat April 19th 2008

Had a fantastic couple of days in Dubai, visited many places, the skidubai centre rocked - kind of trippy that it's in the middle of a shopping mall!!! checked out the rest of the City - everything is on the largest scale you can imagine, an amazing place, I could and now have the option to live there, being able to Dive or Ski any day of the year is quite appealing!!! did a dunes safari which took me close the the Dubai Oman Boarder, had a fantastic time around the Dunes, quite entertaining - had to tow the other truck out a few times - I don't think the other driver had done any 4 wheel driving in Sand ever before!!! (he stuff the power steering - so had to head to the Garage halfway ... read more

Middle East » Oman » Muscat April 19th 2008

Some Photos of things I've seen.... read more
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Middle East » Oman » Dakhliya » Nizwa April 8th 2008

Driving tips for Oman: 1) Beware the rotaries. Arabs love rotaries. I don't think I saw a single stop light in Oman outside of Muscat. The only rule in a rotary is if you are in it, you have right-of-way. But you can change lanes in a rotary at a moment's whim and you can exit from any lane, which gets really interesting in a 3 and 4 lane rotary. 2) Beware the goats and camels. Goats seem to think that "pavement" means stop and look for the best grass for a while. Camels are deaf to honking. Goats occasionally will respond. 3) All stop signs point at 90 degrees to the intended stop lane. Therefore they must be ignored. 4) Don't rent a small car. The bigger your car, the more you can ignore the ... read more
Wahibah desert
Leaving with a new goat
Goat market




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