A Travellerspoint blog

Oman

19th December

Finding our feet

We had an excellent, direct flight to Muscat with BA. Apart from too many small children, and taking off late because one of the passengers was too ill to fly, so his luggage had to be off-loaded with him, we couldn't fault the flight.

We didn't have a lot of time for sleep between supper being served around 10pm and breakfast at 2am (which was 6am local time). It didn't take long to get our luggage and then find the hire car agent. We have a Suzuki saloon, which is big enough for all our luggage, and small enough to park easily.

A 25 minute drive along an almost empty freeway brought us to the outskirts of Muscat. Here the traffic was much heavier, and everyone drives pretty fast. We found our hotel quite easily, right next to the freeway, and, although only 9 am, we were able to move into our apartment. A very luxurious 2 bedroom affair, with a large lounge and a neat little kitchen.

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We unpacked and went straight to bed. At lunchtime we walked around a few nearby malls looking for a place to eat, but found nothing at all apart from a KFC which was right beside the entrance to the hotel. As that sort of food goes, it was quite good, especially the coleslaw.

Then a walk along the expressway to the nearby Carrefour, where we bought everything we need to make breakfasts. We also looked, without success, for some beer. No chance! It will have to be the hotel bar. We have booked supper on the roof top terrace by the pool. It is promised to be a barbeque, it is also likely to rain, so we shall see.

It did rain, torrentially. The dining area was covered by canvas sails, and the rain found its way onto us through the gaps. We kept shifting our table so that we could keep as dry as possible. The buffet was impressive, and the barbequed meat, excellent. However, we learnt to our dismay that our hotel is dry! Our waiter assured us that the lemon and mint mojitos were so good, that we wouldn't notice that they were non alcohol. Well, they were excellent, but....

December 20th Friday

We got up at 8.30 am (4.30 UK time), it really felt like getting up in the middle of the night! As it was Friday, and everything would be closed, we thought it would be a good idea to visit the port area and the old town. It was still raining, and there were some enormous puddles / flooding to negotiate. We found parking on the corniche and walked along it until the rain got heavier. The beautiful beach was almost deserted, hardly surprising in the rain!

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Then Janey navigated us into the port, where we walked some more. By now it had stopped raining, but the souk was closed as was pretty well everything else. There were two small cruise ships moored in the harbour, both painted a curious cream colour, we guess they may be the King's royal yachts. A couple of dhows moored as well, otherwise all rather empty.

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We then drove to the old town, parked on the outskirts and walked down to the sea. It was very disappointing; the dominating feature was a modern fort, all painted white and stretching for maybe 500 metres. We were hoping for some restaurants, narrow streets and pretty houses! We were hungry, and rather sad that this place was closed!

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However, shortly afterwards we found this little restaurant, where we had an excellent lunch. Overseen by the king.

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After lunch we continued on our drive south, along the coast. We stopped a couple of times and walked down to the beach. The mountains come right down to the coast, and are very rugged.

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For supper we walked a few hundred metres to an enormous shopping complex, where we had spotted earlier a Wagamama. I had never heard of the chain, but Janey had eaten in one in England and enjoyed it. We had a very nice Japanese style meal sitting outside, where it was warmer than the over air-conditioned inside. We had been warned that Oman would be very expensive, but, eating with the locals we find it very reasonable.

Posted by AnnieBusch 10:30 Archived in Oman Comments (2)

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