Blogs from Muttrah, Muscat, Oman, Middle East


Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah June 21st 2019

We’re tired, in the wrong time zone, and the weather app says the temperature “feels like” 43, so we decide to spend most of the day relaxing by the pool and on the beach. As I make my way out of the sea up onto the sand, it’s a bit hard not to notice a crab the size of a small dog. I suspect it wouldn’t have too much trouble chomping off one of my feet with a single snap of one of its gigantic claws, so I decide that maybe that’s enough swimming in the sea for today. I take the opportunity to read up on the history of Muscat. The ever reliable Wikipedia tells us that there’s evidence of a settlement here from as early as 6,000 BC, and it seems that the town ... read more
Foyer of The Chedi Muscat hotel
The Chedi Muscat Hotel
The Chedi Muscat Hotel

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah April 3rd 2019

today the arcadia is leaving the gulf of aden and heading into the red sea. for the past few nights we have been traveling at top speeds of 21 knots making sure to outrun pirate ships. these pirates are not like jack sparrow, they are from somalia. we all had to partake in an anti-piracy drill. everyone with outside cabins had to go into their corridor and sit on the floor away from their cabin door. and if you had an inside cabin they were to stay inside with the door locked. it was a chance to see who all of your neighbours are. we have had armed guards on board and are being escorted by the royal navy. at dusk the promenade deck is closed until dawn with the guards keeping watch. they have rigged ... read more
en route to mumbai

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah April 3rd 2019

i forgot to add these photos to today's blog. if anyone knows what they are please let me know! susan :)... read more

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah November 30th 2017

Notre visite de Muscat continue par le vieux port et le quartier de Mutrah. Nous admirons aussi le Palais du Sultan entouré par ses deux forts portugais datant du 16èm siècle, Al Jalili et Al Mirani. La visite du National Museum était prévue mais pour ne pas nous bourrer le crane, notre guide nous propose plutôt un tour de ville... Le musée peut être envisagé au retour de notre périple dans le pays... C'est ainsi que nous nous promenons dans le souk de Mutrah, que nous passons par de multiples rond-points sympas... que nous découvrons la marina et que l'ambiance de la ville nous attire car samedi 18 novembre ce sera l'anniversaire du Sultan, donc fête nationale.... Il y a des drapeaux partout... en rue, sur les maisons, sur les commerces... des photos du Sultan aussi ... read more

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah January 26th 2016

Day 4 - Friday 22nd January 2016 Well after our disturbed sleep due to the fire in our hotel, we were both shattered when we got up in the morning. We had planned on sleeping till 5.15 but we were up before 5 as we couldn’t get back to sleep. Packed in record time checked out and got a taxi down to the bus stop by 6, when we only needed to be there by 6.30…talk about being the Griswalds. The only advantage of getting there early of course is that we could choose our seats, but other than that, we just had a longer time on our arse. The bus filled and we were under way by 7. Our driver today must have been Fangio’s grandson, and he appeared to be on a ... read more

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah January 14th 2016

Wednesday 12 January: Muttrah Port Muscat: after breakfast we got off the ship around 10.30am and left the port for a look around Muttrah Souq which was entertaining and then a quick look for the building that had housed the branch of Eastern Bank that I’d opened in August 1970: amazingly still there though the Bank is long gone. We took a taxi to “Old” Muscat to see what had happened to the Bank building there – where it stood is now the car park of a grandiose Government building. It seems as though most of the original town of Muscat (the area inside the walls) has been demolished and rebuilt as Government offices and ministries. We took an interesting tour around an old house that has been restored as a museum: had a look at ... read more
Port Qaboos Muscat
Port Qaboos
Muttrah Souq

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah May 21st 2015

The Middle East provides cities that straight away evoke thoughts of mystique, labyrinth esque alleys and exotic markets. Cairo, Damascus, and for me Muscat are such cities and I couldn't wait to contrast a modern city of the region like Dubai with the more traditional. Arriving on the flight from Khasab, what immediately struck me was how flat and desert like the region had become again, although this changed completely by the time we got to Muttrah, about 25kms from the airport. On arrival we drove through the new part of Muscat on a modern highway dotted with shopping malls and McDonalds. Almost completely flat until we arrived at the old port for the city of Muscat, Muttrah which is hemmed in by mountains which many years gone by would have made the city easier to ... read more
One of the many forts overlooking the Corniche
A park along the way...
Gateway to the Old city of Muscat

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah April 2nd 2014

Temp: 94F 32C Distance travelled: 498 nautical miles We are still a few days away from pirate/bandit country. The badlands lie around the horn of Africa along the Somalian, Eritrean and Djibouti coastline. We followed a small tanker out of the Khor al Fakkan port. I noticed that the tanker had rolls of barbed wire coiled around the hull of the vessel. This seemed to be for no other reason than a deterrent to would be hijackers. Ships will go to any length no matter how basic to slow down a potential attack just to allow enough time for the security services patrolling the area to come to assistance. As soon as we cleared the coast of Khor Fakkan and entered the Gulf of Oman, we counted 22 ships of varying sizes all trying to go ... read more
The water fountain of the Grand Mosque, Muscat
The cloisters of the Grand Mosque, Muscat
Court yard, Grand Mosque, Muscat

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah May 14th 2013

After all the glitz of the United Arab Emirates it is such a contrast to arrive in the sleepy Sultanate of Oman. This fairytale kingdom is ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said who has done a good job of preserving the unique essence of the country while slowly moving it into the 21stCentury. Oman was a closed country until the mid-1990s. Now education is encouraged and Oman has one of the few Arabian female ministers in its government. The Sultan maintains good relations with both the United States and Great Britain. Omanis are in a dither though because their 72 year old monarch has no heirs to the throne. So it is uncertain who will carry on the Said dynasty. We arrived on Friday which is a holy day for Moslems so we had to make ... read more

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah December 12th 2012

RUBBISH A friend of mine who has spent a deal of time in this region described the Omani people to me as "the hippies of the gulf". I didn't notice any peace sign neck chains, dreadlocks or groups of locals sitting around eating bird seed and smoking numbers whilst discussing the kaleidoscope of colours on the domes of mosques. I do however see some merit in the simile with the general kick back nature of the populace. There's no wild antics, animated gesticulating or hints of aggressive behaviour, as if they have been inhaling a few of those less than licit substances. There's even a semblance of sanity in the traffic. Good news is no news. That's why you have probably never seen Oman occupying the headlines of international media. Flying under the radar is a ... read more
Mutrah souk
Wadi Tiwi
The Corniche Mutrah

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