Greetings from back in the middle east. After the lush beauty of Sri Lanka, it was a little challenging to come back to the desert (you forget how much you miss green), although this desert was a bit different. Oman has a true rugged beauty.
One day we went to the Grand Mosque in Muscat. That was quite simply breath taking. It is open to visitors most mornings and they really couldn’t have been more welcoming. After touring the mosque, we were invited to the visitors center where we had coffee and dates and they talked to us about Islam. It was interesting. No converts in our group, but still very interesting.
One day we went to the Museum of Illusions (#ArrestedDevelopment). Don’t bother going. Overpriced and small. It was, however, an entertaining 30 minutes.
One day we visited the National Museum, which was interesting because it really focussed on the history and culture of Oman. Oman has a very rich and interesting history that is also very tied to Europe. In fact one day, I went to the Omani French Museum. That museum focussed on the relationship between Oman and France over the last 400 years. Perhaps the best museum I visited, however, was the Bait Al Zubair Museum, full of Omani culture. I loved it, but no photos allowed.
One day we went on a hike up a small mountain…and down a small mountain into a dry river bed. It was very rugged. The stones were slippery with lots of loose rocks, but strangely I didn’t see one sign that said, “hike at your own risk’ or any guard rails. Guess it’s understood that if you fall, too bad. It was beautiful landscape with amazing views.
Amazing views from our hike
Goats sharing a meal by the side of the road, because, you know, goats.
The best thing we did in Muscat was hike the Wadi Shab. That was amazing. It was 1.5 hour drive from Muscat. You take a little boat across a river (30 meters or so) and then have a 45 minute hike inland. That hike is simply beautiful. Once we got to the Wadi (wadi is Arabic for valley), you can hike/swim (sometimes the water is too deep to walk and sometimes it is too shallow to swim) for 20 minutes through the water. Then you can swim into a cave through a very narrow opening. Once inside, there is a beautiful waterfall. It’s is simply breath taking. There are no words. So, because we swam, we didn’t have our camera with us, so I’m stealing some internet pictures, because I want to share the beauty with you.
I think this looks exactly like what it looked like coming into the cave
Here are a few pics we took from the Wadi.
I would definitely visit Oman again. It’s a wonderful country to visit if you like to hike and are into natural rugged beauty. It was very different from Sri Lanka, but equally interesting. It was quite simply, Omazing!