Blogs from Muscat, Oman, Middle East


Middle East » Oman » Muscat January 30th 2016

Thursday, Jan. 28. Muscat, Oman. Sunny, clear skies. 22C Jane - Went right (when facing harbour). Wonderful walk along the corniche (harbour front). Beautiful public gardens and walks. Ended up at the huge frankincense burner. There is an amusement park just below it, but it was not open. Walked back to turrety thing, missed the fountains. Wandered through Souk. OMG! So much fiddle faddle. There were a couple of things...a vase made of camel bone...too expensive, did not even try to bargain; and lovely hand woven 3D hangings with semi-precious stones. Unfortunately, there was not one that I wanted to take home, wrong size, wrong colour, so did not even ask the price. The chests were interesting, but all from India and we are going there. Alas, nothing to remember Oman by. Stopped for refreshment and ... 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 December 26th 2015

It is time again. A year is over already and it is Christmas again. Like every year. To be serious I didn't realize it until the 24th of December. Ok just to give you a little insight into a Christmas gala at a cruise ship, it is emotional. I really am not a person to cry at every little bit, but when the captain did his speech (and he did really good) tears started to roll down my face. And believe me, the tissue the woman was handing me only made it worse....But Christmas is not only about crying. Yes I was crying and I think, if I am honest, the last Christmases I always had a reason to cry, sometimes because I was happy sometimes because I was sad. So it kind of belongs to ... read more

Middle East » Oman » Muscat December 19th 2015

December 8 2015 continued navigation along the coast of Oman all day the Sultamate in an Asian State located in the south oriental portion of the Arabic penninsula, bordering with the United Arabic Emirates (NW) and Saudi Arabia (in the west) and Yemen in the (SW) passing the Island of Masira and moving into the Arabic Sea. Late in the Day we passed the city of Al Hadd, we centered the Gulf of Oman in the mast oriental port of the Arabic penninsula, where there is a natural canal that connects the Arabic sea to the strait of Harmuz and he Persian Gulf. Now heading North to arrive at Muscat by sun up to arrive muscat tomorrow, December 9 2015 Took a jeep adventure heading out through the city of Muscat 1.8 million of the 3 ... read more

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Seeb May 29th 2015

The drive down from Nizwa took all of the afternoon and we arrived into Seeb quite late but fortunately the whole of the next day to explore the towns and surrounds. The day started with a quick visit to our final fort of the trip at Nakhal. More interesting though was the nearby Ath-Thowra hot springs, not that a place bathing in 40 degree heat requires hot springs! Back in Seeb, we had a short wander around the town. No tourists sights as such, Seeb is a coastal town that thrives on fishing and has an interesting souq and a wonderful corniche. We strolled down the corniche watching fish dry out on the sands and take in the wonderful sea views. It was early evening before we knew it and I sat and watched a 25-a-side ... read more
Nakhal Fort
Ath-Thowra Hot Springs
Fishermans boats on the beach at Seeb

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 January 20th 2015

This morning we woke to watch the sunrise over Jebel Shams, a mountain range 3000 meters above sea level in the Western Hajar mountains, the peace and serenity is to die for! We have had a trendous time in Oman and being our last blog, we have decided to include various highlights from our trip here. We returned to the Sultan's Palace and did a wonderful day trip to Al Seifa, a seaside village and tourist spot with my Uncle. With a friend, my Aunty and I visited the Grand Mosque in Muscat, but we were deemed inappropriately dressed, as my sleeves were too short and Aunty Bern's white trousers too see through! Hmmm! This being the case we had to hire abajas and of course it is always necessary to wear a scarf when you ... read more
Sultan's Palace
The Grand Mosque
Dressing up with Aunty Bern

Middle East » Oman » Muscat December 21st 2014

We momentarily left UAE and headed to Oman. We are in Muscat, a gulf city on the coast, enjoying beautiful weather, gorgeous architecture, fantastic food and more shopping than you can shake a camel stick at! Our visit to the Old Souq at Mutrah turned into a day long excursion that included people watching, strolling along the corniche and lots and lots of shopping. The wares consisted of the usual suspects: jewels, pashminas, tacky souvenirs and "handmade antique one-of-a kind" items that seem to be in every shop. Omani currency is the Rial, and 1 Rial is the equivalent of about $2.60. Prices were reasonable and food seemed somewhat cheaper than in the Midwest. Despite the reasonable prices, cash turned out to be a barrier in Oman. We had money, but it was almost impossible to ... read more
Too Many Choices
Arabic Coffee Pots
Pottery Among the Bedouin Carpets

Middle East » Oman » Muscat December 21st 2014

Muscat Started with a visit to the magnificent Grand Mosque. It’s quite new and has a stunning main prayer hall with massive chandelier, beautiful tiles and the world’s second largest Persian carpet that was also beautiful. The outside is vast, many shady courtyards and big lawns, a peaceful place. Mutrahis the heart of the traditional area with its corniche that goes between the souq and Old Muscat. Had lunch at an old watchtower on the corniche, (later to discover that these are absolutely everywhere in Oman). Walked along the waterfront into Old Muscat, not at all lively, government buildings and a big palace. On the rocks that create the harbor for the palace there’s writing dating back centuries from ships visiting the harbour, clearly some British HMS … Apparently this is called the “Sultan’s Visitor’s Book”. ... read more
View from watchtower
Muscat from hike int he hills

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