QE2 - QM2 to Salalah

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March 30th 2019
Published: March 30th 2019
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Queen Mary 2 and cruising to Salalah

Great transfer to QM2 and looking forward to 3 days at sea before berthing in Salalah.

QM2 has been remastered since our last cruise on her in 2015.

So what has changed, exploring shows not a lot.

To me she is still imbalanced with the Queens room are the rear of the ship and access is still up and down.

They’ve created a lovely Carinthia lounge which used to be the Winter Gardens, a very underused space but now a more airy area!!!

So apart from extra cabins on and extra kennels, nothing much has changed, general decor and titivation!!

Salalah is a southern city in the Sultanate of Oman, the capital of the Dhofar region

I worked here in 1977, more in Muscat but there was a dairy farm located here which produced milk not just for the local population but there was a special milk run from Salalah to Muscat which took milk to the Palace for Qaboos bin Said, the Sultan.

In 1977 we flew out 43 cattle to Muscat to the research station that lay North of Muscat and as I remember there were only a couple of hotels in the capital at the time.

The city lies along the narrow coastal plain, in a region of lush vegetation, no wonder the agriculture flourishes

Unless you were on an organised trip, the shuttle took you to the port gates where it was going to cost 40 dollars each way to get into the city some 10 miles away.

Tourism is tightly controlled and is quite a recent development and the Omanis are seeking a more selective market (don’t know we’re here then!!!).

The cities markets are great places to wanders around, but there is little else to see, the Al Husn Palace (not open to the public) and the Salalah Museum are the main attractions.

The Palace is the summer residence of the Sultan Qaboos.

Further afield there are places like Jobs Tomb, a shrine with a small dome sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians (19 miles from the city), Mughsail is a sandy beach (17 miles west of the city) known for it’s blowholes and there is the old fort at Taqah (22 miles east), the fort has been restored and is open to the public.

Taqah is a small fishing port and the Sultans mother is in the cemetery near the fort.

Further east is the town of Mirbat a town with a fort and once the capital of the Dhofar region.It is believed that the ruins of the Queen of Sheba’s palace lie in this region as this was once a major port area. Finally, a bit closer to Salalah, the site of the ancient city of Al Balid is being excavated. The mosque, a palace, old walls and various houses have so far been discovered.

Only a few hours here, all aboard was 3.30pm so not much time!!!!

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