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Pictures of our trip 2013 to Oman – part 2
- with our vehicle in February 2013:
Sohar - Muscat - Rustaq - Nizwa
 
 
Oman 1999 - from mid-March to mid-April 1999
Oman 2013 – Part 1 - February 2013: Musandam Peninsula
Oman 2013 – Part 3 - March 2013: Sur - East Coast - Island of Masirah - Dhofar
Oman 2013 – Part 4 - March 2013: Salalah & Surroundings (Dhofar) - Nizwa
Oman 2013 – Part 5 - March 2013: Western Hajar Mountains
(Oman 2013 Part 6) - April 2013: Omani Madha Exclave in the UAE
 
 
 
Oman Map
 
   
 
         Middle East Map

                                         

 
latest picture: February 24, 2013
  • click a picture to see details

 
 
 
 
 
 
061  When night is falling, changing
lights and colors enchant the
Corniche of Muttrah
062  The oriental charm is present
also at the covered benches along
the Corniche of Muttrah
063  The white incense burner – called
Riyam Monument – sitting on a hill at
Muttrah’s Corniche is a prominent
landmark. Frankincense has been
traded on the Arabian Peninsula
for more than 5’000 years
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
064  Muttrah Fort: It guards the
harbor from a rocky outcrop at
Muttrah’s Corniche
065  Muttrah is still alive with its
beautiful colonial architecture,
dominated by the Al Lawatiya
mosque, which remembers
us somehow at Isfahan in Iran
066  Although Oman was never
really colonized, the whitewashed
beautiful merchants houses with its
elaborated balconies along Muttrah’s
Corniche originate from those times
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
067  Muscat is expanding more and more
into the valleys between the rugged mountain
ranges. In the foreground the suburb of Wadi
al Kabir followed by Ruwi in the background
068  Adapted to the Arabian charm:
The water reservoirs on the rooftops,
but the satellite dishes seem
to be inevitable
069  Free space is becoming increasingly
smaller around Muscat: Houses squeeze
already in every somewhat flat mountain spot
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
070  Smoking a “hookah” (water pipe)
containing shisha with friends is an
old Arab tradition
071  An Omani is carrying the silver
“khanjar” (ceremonial dagger) in his
belt. Nowadays it is seen only at
ceremonial occasions
072  Liliana is relaxing in a typically
Arabian ambiance (at the
Green Oasis Hotel, Sohar)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
073  The Sultan’s Al Alam Palace in
Old Muscat shows little pomp. Only the
golden and blue pillars give it a touch
of “royal” uniqueness. It’s mostly used
for ceremonial occasions
074  The portrait of Sultan Qaboos
Bin Said al Said, the Ruler of Oman,
born 11/18/1940 in Salalah
075  Capturing a precious moment with
our Swiss friends Ursula and Marco in
front of the Sultan’s Palace in Muscat.
It was a reunion after 15 years
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
076  Each shady corner at the lively
Muttrah Souk is suitable for earning
a few Rials
077  With our Swiss friends Ursula and
Marco we are visiting the Muttrah Souk.
Interesting are the many busy gold shops.
Gold is a kind of old-age provision
for the Omani ladies
078  Here sweet potatoes,
lemons and jujube (Ziziphus
mauritiana) are on sale
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
079  Muttrah’s Souk: A shop filled to
bursting with a mind blowing display
of gold, silver and decorative ribbons.
In the orient they are part of the
beautiful women’s dresses
080  In 1994, during our first visit to
Oman, most of the sellers at Muttrah’s
Souk were sitting cross-legged among
their goods in their small boxes. Today,
this shop is the only nostalgic one we saw
081  Liliana admires the incredible
richness of modern jewelry
in the Muttrah Souk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
082  Roundabouts in Oman are always
built with traditional motifs. Tea pots
and tea cups are popular; this one at
the Al Bustan – Qantab intersection
083  The white-washed sea of houses
of Muscat (Bayt al-Falaj – Ruwi) is
contrasting beautifully with the
dark mountain scenery
084  The Muttrah Roundabout with
its splashing water is a bird’s paradise
in the heat and dryness
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
085  The gold plated dome and the minarets
of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque come
into sight. It was one of the biggest mosques
in the world until it was taken over by the
Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan
Mosque in Abu Dhabi/UAE (Pic #197)
086  We capture the moment with
Ursula, Liliana and Marco in front
of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
087  Lovely flower beds adorn the alley
to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
088  The richness in motifs and craftsmanship
in the main prayer hall of the Sultan Qaboos
Mosque is just breathtaking. Alone the
Persian carpet weaved by 600 women
during four years, measures 230 by 197 ft.
(45’208 sq.ft.). The biggest (60’601 sq.ft.) is again in the Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan Mosque in Abu Dhabi/UAE (Pic #204)
089  The ceiling with the chandelier
is another masterpiece of craftsmanship.
It is 46 ft. tall and therefore 3ft. smaller
than the one at the Sheik Zayed bin Sultan
al Nahyan Mosque in Abu Dhabi/UAE
090  The chandelier, photographed
from below. Diameter 26 ft.; weight
8 metric tons (Sheik Zayed bin Sultan
al Nahyan Mosque in Abu Dhabi/UAE:
Diameter 32 ft.; weight 9 metric tons)
(Pic #203)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
091  Our first picnic at the sea shore
with view to the famous Al Bustan
Palace Hotel, which belongs to
the Ritz-Carlton chain
092  Emil is enjoying his birthday
meal on February 24, 2013, at the
Qurum Beach in Muscat together
with our friends Ursula and Marco
093  A moment of tranquility:
Liliana at the Qurum Beach in Muscat
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
094  A Palestine Sunbird (Cinnyris oseus)
is feeding on a crimson bottlebrush flower
(Callistemon citrinus) in the garden of our
Swiss hosts Lara, Jonas and Hendrik in “The
Wave“ compound near Seeb west of Muscat
095  Our hosts Lara, Jonas and Hendrik
in front of their villa in “The Wave“
compound near Seeb west of Muscat,
where we had a wonderful relaxed time …..
096  ..... and often enjoyed the visiting
birds in their garden: two yellow-vented
bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
097  Can we trust this electrical workshop
with the repair of our lighting system? We
are lucky! After an hour all the lights work
somehow again – at least temporarily. Cost
US$5! But one day the switch assembly
at the steering wheel has to be replaced
098  A group of students is enjoying
themselves over lunch time
at the Qurum Beach
099  The red fireball of the setting
sun is disappearing spectacularly behind
an acacia tree in the Batinah region
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
100  The scenery unfolding below us is
just stunning: The village of Qantab,
huddling picturesquely against the foot
of an impressive mountain scenery …..
101  ..... and stretching further
to the Gulf of Oman .....
102  ..... where each day at dawn fishing
boats still sail for their daily catch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
103  The Nakhal Fort, sitting on a hill,
is one of the most impressive fortresses
in Oman. It was built in 1834 on the
foundation of a pre-Islamic structure
104  Ursula, Marco and Liliana enjoy
the view from Nakhal Fort that lies
about 70 miles from Muscat on the
northern side of the western Hajar
range, in all directions …..
105  ..... especially over the Hajar
Mountains and the lush oasis of date
palms. A date palm can reach up to
200 years of age and deliver 150-180
pounds of fruits, often even 330 pounds
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
106  Life within the cool walls and
towers at Nakhal Fort seemed to have
been quite comfortable. We visit also
the living and sleeping quarters, split
up for female and male residents .....
107  ….. the three-legged structure in
the female’s quarter has a special purpose:
Women would stand with their floor-length
dresses over it so that the smoke of the
burning frankincense bowl underneath
is trapped under the dress …..
108  ..... Ursula is looking at the
women’s quarter with its many
comfortable cushions. It is easy to
imagine how social life was taking place
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
109  Rustaq: Side by side: Decaying
old relicts and the present
110  A typical Omani sight: A small date
palm oases, surrounded by high mountains:
Date palms are the livelihood for the people,
like here in Sibaykha in Wadi Abyad …..
111  ..... fed by Oman’s sophisticated
water channel system, called “Falaj”.
The channeled water is first used for
drinking, then for washing and at last
it is diverted to irrigate the plantations
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
112  Since decades unchanged is the live-
stock market in Nizwa. Goats, cows and
other animals are traded. It is hard bargaining,
but it is also a welcome event for gossiping .....
113  ….. bearded men in their white
impeccable “dishdashas” dominate
the scene …..
114  ….. if no deal is reached, the
animals will be brought to the market
again one week later
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
115  Lifestock market in Nizwa: Is he
thinking about an accomplished deal or
merely watching the market life?
116  Bedouin women have a saying too
when it comes to the price. Wearing
the “burka”, the traditional face mask,
is still very popular among them
117  Male date palm branches are a trade
item. A small branch is put manually into
the female flower on the top of the palm
tree. “Artificial” fertilization guarantees
a higher harvest
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
118  The muezzin has called for the
important Friday prayer. The Mosque
adjacent to the Nizwa Fort is jam-
packet. Men line up with their praying
mats also in the front court …..
119  …. they even perform their
religious rituals at a nearby shady
arcade, where all businesses
have shut down .....
120  ..... and at the end each one
finds and picks his shoes again
from the untidy heap
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
121  Traditional pottery making is an
old and continuing tradition in the
Sultanate. In front of the modern Nizwa
Souk they pile up for the tourists
that arrive in great numbers …..
122  ..... and from the height of
the fortress they look
like precious miniatures
123  From the roofs of the Nizwa Fort
with its famous 130 ft. tall round tower,
we enjoy a sweeping view. Nizwa is a
city of history and often also called
“Pearl of Islam”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
124  The ornamented dome and the
minaret of a mosque dominate this
view over Nizwa from its Fort
125  The crumbling adobe village of
the old Birkat al Mawz oases snuggles
at a mountain slope and blends perfectly
into its natural surrounding …..
126  ..... from the watchtower the view
opens to the other side of the valley with
lush date palm plantations and the foot-
hills of the Hajar Mountains, from
where the 500 miles of flat desert
begins through to the region of Dhofar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
127  The Oman Dive Center has chosen
one of the most beautiful bays and reduced
its charm completely: Bandar Jissah
128  In 1999 this bay was still beautifully
untouched. We were alone and enjoyed
our camping life. It hurts to see how profit
making is taking over more and more –
currently all the way down to As Sifah Beach
129  Now also luxury resorts have
spread along the more than 30 miles long
coast southeast of Muscat , like the
Shangri-La’s Barr Al-Jissah Resort & Spa.
It is no place anymore for nature lovers
 
 
More websites from Oman:
Oman 1999 - from mid-March to mid-April 1999
Oman 2013 – Part 1 - February 2013: Musandam Peninsula
Oman 2013 – Part 3 - March 2013: Sur - East Coast - Island of Masirah - Dhofar
Oman 2013 – Part 4 - March 2013: Salalah & Surroundings (Dhofar) - Nizwa
Oman 2013 – Part 5 - March 2013: Western Hajar Mountains
(Oman 2013 Part 6) - April 2013: Omani Madha Exclave in the UAE
 
More websites from the Middle East:
Fairytale Wedding in Dubai - United Arab Emirates - with our car from February 7th, to May 20th, 1999
Sharjah + Dubai: United Arab Emirates - without our vehicle from February 19th, to 27th, 2011
Sharjah/Dubai/1st Traveler's Festival/Emirates National Auto Museum - UAE with car Nov. 2012 to Jan. 2013 - part 1
Liwa - United Arab Emirates with our car in February 2013 - part 2
Al Ain, Eastcoast & Ras al Khaima - United Arab Emirates with our car in April 2013 - part 3
Welcome to Kuwait on March 3rd, 1996
Yemen car trip (from Oman to Saudi Arabia) - from May 16th, to June 15th, 1996
Sandstorm in Saudi Arabia on February 4th, 1999
Trip to Dubai in January and February 1999
Iran 2013 – Part 1: Ferry Port Bandar Abbas-Shiraz-Persepolis-Pasargad (between Persepolis and Yazd)
Iran 2013 – Part 2: Pasargad (excl.)-Yazd-Esfahan May 2013
Iran 2013 – Part 3: Esfahan (excl.)-Chelgerd-Hamadan-Sanandaj-Orumiyeh May 2013
Turkey 2013 Eastern Anatatolia - June 2013
Socotra - without our car from February 9th, to 19th, 2011:
Part 1: Socotra trip in Yemen (East) Hadibo - Dihamri - Arher Beach
Part 2: Socotra trip in Yemen (South) Homhil - Aomak Beach - Wadi Daerhu - Dicksam Plateau
Part 3: Socotra trip in Yemen (West) Qalansiya - Shouab Beach - Qadama Beach - Momi Plateau - Wadi Ayhaft