Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Beth's Big Adventure Day 5: Oh Man, Oman

You know all those people who told me Oman was beautiful? Well they lied. Oman is breathtaking. I didn't see much of it when I arrived late last night but I saw plenty of it today.

video
As the hotel pool was wedged in an unattractive corner I decided to go for a quick walk on the beach before brekkie, but when I got there and saw how beautiful it was I dropped the whole silly notion of brekkie altogether. I finally paddled in the Gulf, then legged it back to the hotel to grab a banana before dashing to the office.

I had an early start & late finish today which gave me the luxury of a 2 hour lunchbreak and yes, I spent the first part of it on the beach, but then I joined some colleagues to sample some of Muscat's finest fish in the form of sushi, freshly prepared before our eyes. Over lunch the team kindly helped me make arrangements for this evenings activities - they got hold of a driver for me who'd show me the sights & give me chance to browse the souk before my (very) late flight home.
Moon over Muscat

First stop was the Sultan's palace and the driver was fabulous giving me loads of history. After the massive sky scrapers and frenetic pace of the previous 3 cities Oman is a blissful contrast; very few buildings are over 3 stories and Muscat has a much more relaxed air to it - apart from the Souk.

I've been to the souk in Dubai before but this is a 'proper' souk with tiny passageways winding away in every direction crammed with tiny shops guarded by shopkeepers eager to encourage you to buy their wares. I settled on a pendant and a rather lovely embroidered woollen scarf - I haggled admirably and was quite pleased with the result.

After that I was whisked off to Muscat airport for the first hop to Abu Dhabi where I'm now dashing this off before I board the final plane home.

The Souk
Enjoy the pics & I shall be back in Blighty by dawn!

Muscat Harbour