This is Bahariah reporting on my visit to Oman.
I was lucky enough to be invited by Oman Tourism, on their national Mega Famil flying with Etihad.
The Grand Mosque in Muscat is one of the most beautiful ‘modern’ mosques I have ever seen! The carpet inside the prayer room is the 2nd largest single piece of carpet in the world, and the Swarovski chandelier that hangs above is 14 metres tall and weighs 80 tons!
Outside Muscat we crossed the Hajjar Mountain Range, through one of the most majestic canyons – Wadi Bani Awf. The ever-changing landscape was breathtaking. We saw several Wadis during our visit, The Wadi Tiwi is perhaps the most picturesque, with ancient walls around well established gardens and homes. I was in awe of the variety of fruit trees growing in the gardens – papaya, bananas, guavas, oranges, lemons and mangoes interspersed with date palms. Not far from the Wadi is the Bimmah Sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with clear blue green water, beautiful to swim in. The journey took us through some of the most amazing land-forms, so dramatic and spectacular that they rival the Grand Canyon.
We visited Nizwa Fort, the former capital of Oman. Right outside the Fort is a Souk with fantastic shopping. Later we visited Jabreen Castle, the finest of all the ancient castles in Oman.
We drove to the Ash Sharqiya Sands (formerly known as the Wahiba Sands) passing numerous Bedouin camps with their corrals of camels and herds of goats. The area stretches for about 200 kilometres north to south, 100 kilometres east to west and the dunes rise to about 150 metres- very spectacular! Great 4WD dune rides, if you have the stomach for it!
We travelled along the coast to Ras Al Hadd past beautiful homes with great intricate doors and gates. Nearby, at Ras Al Jinz, we visited the turtle centre. Five kinds of turtles frequent the area – the Green, Olive Ridley, Loggerhead, Hawksbill and Leatherback . We were lucky to be able to see two Green turtles at different stages of nesting. We also saw some hatched baby turtles making their way into the sea. The area is a very important conservation site for the turtles providing ideal conditions for them to lay their eggs. Dolphin watching was also on the agenda, never have I seen so many dolphins before in one spot, 32 altogether!
Transport was quick and easy if one need to do some shopping, the metered taxis were numerous, efficient and quite cheap.
Oman is a fantastic and fascinating destination with beautiful unique scenery and warm hospitable people. Everywhere we went we were welcomed with Omani coffee, dates and halva .
The selection of food and wine in all the hotels was so bounteous. Oman will suit those who love culture and history as well as those who love adventure. It is the most peaceful country in the Arabian Gulf and its people originating from various ethnicities display such warmth and welcome making one feel at ease immediately upon arrival.
If you do want to know more please contact me,I’d only be too pleased to tell you more about it and show more pictures. Believe me you will not regret your decision if you decide to spend a few days in Oman!!!!