Dates, Forts and Sand: Stopover in Oman

Nizwa Fort, Oman
Nizwa Fort, Oman

The Middle East is the last area Heike and I had not travelled to that much. We've been to Egypt long time back but in light of the current situation there aren't that many places you can still travel safely and get a glimpse of some traditional aspects of life and culture. This year we finally made it to one of the countries on our list, Oman. South of Dubai, bordering Saudi Arabia and Yemen it's probably one of the lesser travelled places - at least we thought. Well, you find your fair amount of tourists these days fully dressed in outdoor gear and trying to find the world of Sindbad (who actually hails from Oman) and the old merchants who ruled the Oman and Zanzibar of old. 

There is no shortage of forts and ancient ruins on each mountain top but the the cities have evolved into a modern world. Expect shopping malls and illuminated motorways, Wifi and virtually everyone speaking English. It is easy to travel in Oman and next time we probably just get a car. This time we opted for a guided tour and I think we have done right judging by some of the secret places our great guide Rubi showed us. Not to mention the food in roadside bars!

We startet in Muscat which is actually a combination of multiple smaller cities and explored the Harbourfront (Corniche), the splendid palace and museums in Old Muscat and the charming Souk (without much hassle and pressure to buy) before we went on a road trip to Nizwa and the Green Mountains. We stayed in a desert camp in our luxurious tent for a few more days enjoying the tranquillity of the desert, sunsets, sunrises, star filled night skies and an introduction into Oman's National Sport: Driving 4WDs up sanddunes!

After our desert expedition Rubi took us along the coast to some sleepy villages and cool and refreshing Wadis (river gorges) before we reached Muscat again. And with the charming Souk still open, a long shopping spree with some gentle haggling over prices! Enjoy the photos.