Oh man, Oman!

Ok, so this is a special edition of Fortnutly due to my fab trip this past weekend to Oman!

Last week when I got back from leave there was an email that had circulated amongst the Supper club group, asking anyone if they would be interested in a quick trip across to Oman for the weekend…. well, me being the little traveller that I am, I replied and said that I would be.
Then all of a sudden plans were being made, tickets booked, and VIOLA! A weekend break was confirmed with 4 girls – Me, Diane, Rebecca and Jodie.

We sorted ourselves out in our 2 bedroom apartment and got a good night’s sleep.

The next morning was up for breakfast and we then set out trying to find something to keep us occupied until 14h30 when we had our first “trip” booked.
We set off for the shops, but being a Muslim country we found out that they are all closed on a Friday (unlike Dubai) and so we had a few hours to kill…
We found a lovely little park where we walked around (in the insane heat) and spent some time just relaxing on the grass, enjoying the sounds of birds – something that doesn’t happen often in Dubai 🙂

A lovebird we saw in the tree!

Below are some random wooden structures that were in the park:

After that we went back to a little “centre” near our hotel where we had some lunch and tried to kill some time INSIDE, away from the heat…
We were then picked up from our hotel at 14h30 and taken on a drive through the mountains to the beach. It is really amazing to see the city disappear as you drive further into the mountains, and then all of a sudden to come out on the beach, with MOUNTAINS (no greenery) in the background!

The sun setting over the mountains on our way back to the city

The next morning was an early start as we were being picked up at 08h30 for our City Tour. This was absolutely worth every cent spent – the guide was super friendly and very informative, and we were in a private car – just the 4 of us and him! So, all questions were answered and he even did a small detour for us to the Aquarium which is not normally on the itinerary for the tour!

Our first stop was the Grand Mosque, and boy oh boy is it Grand!!!
3000 men can attend inside, a further 7000 people can stand outside, and 700 ladies can attend inside their dedicated room.

We had to dress according to their tradition – head (and hair), arms, and ankles all covered – and in 40 degree weather it is NOT fun!

But it was very much worth it to go inside!!!

The outside:

Inside the men’s-only room:

Inside the ladies-only room – this is not as grand as the men’s because the ladies attend Mosque more while travelling abroad and not so much at home in Oman.

The gardens:

From there we went to visit a FISH market – hhhmmm… you know me and fish smells! But I just went in there, walked through as fast as I could and got out the other end in one piece 🙂

Mini mangoes at the fruit market!!!!

From there we went to the Bait Al Zubeir mueseum but we weren’t allowed to take any photos inside 😦
Our next stop then was the Sultan’s Royal Palace – WOW!

A view of the fort and harbour outside the Sultan’s Palace:

This was then the end of our tour, however as I said earlier the guide was super friendly and we had asked if the museum was open, and he ended up taking us there. It’s free entry and not much to see (in fact just about nothing to see, but it was good to go anyway)

So, that was basically the end of our stay in Muscat, Oman… the rest of the afternoon we tried to spend time walking around their “Shopping centres” which took us all of about 1 hour. But we made the most of it, went and had some tea at a little coffee shop, and then decided to go for dinner at an Omani restaurant so that we could experience their food and culture.
We had to sit in the “Family area” because the rest of the restaurant is for men only…

This is how the food was served to us.

We then got picked up from our hotel at 9pm and went to the airport to catch a 23h40 flight… and eventually got to bed around 3am just enough time to get a bit of sleep and off to work on Sunday morning.
It was a hugely enjoyable trip and I got to enjoy being a tourist, buying lots of touristy things and of course taking LOADS of pictures!

Hope you enjoyed this special edition – and watch out for the normal one next week… there’s plenty interesting stuff coming up!

Love Hazy

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