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Pictures of our trip 2013 to Oman – part 5
- with our vehicle in March 2013:
Western Hajar Mountains (Omani Madha exclave in the Emirates see Oman part 6 or UAE part 3)
Oman 1999 - from mid-March to mid-April 1999
Oman 2013 – Part 1 - February 2013: Musandam Peninsula
Oman 2013 – Part 2 - February 2013: Sohar - Muscat - Rustaq - Nizwa
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 6) - April 2013: Omani Madha Exclave in the UAE
Oman Map
         Middle East Map


latest picture: March 23, 2013
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269  Birkat al-Mawz with its imposing
Bait al-Radidah Fort is the starting point
for the drive to the Saiq Plateau
of Jebel Akhdar
270  At the foot of the ascent to
the 6’500 ft. high Saiq Plateau of
Jebel Akhdar lies westerly of it – just
before the checkpoint – the Wadi
al-Muaydin with its green palm belt .....
271  ..... in the village at the end of
the wadi, there are still hidden rock
dwellings to be seen
272  The sun is setting behind the
mountains, when we set camp in the
acacia desert near Birkat al-Mawz
273  Lonely and beautifully quiet:
Our camp in the acacia desert
near Birkat al-Mawz
274  A car leaves a cloud of dust
on a dirt road, very annoying if –
in our case – we have to drive
with open windows (no aircon)
275  Set above the narrow valley
of Wadi Halfayn lies the village of
Al-Manakhir – one of around 30
picture book villages on the Saiq
Plateau of Jebel Akhdar .....
276  ..... Close-up view of the
compact mountain village
of Al-Manakhir
277  The lovely village of Ash-Shirayjah
is perched on a slope. In their terraced
gardens vegetables and fruits are grown
278  Al-Qasha
279  Al-Ayn
280  Sallut
“Diana`s viewpoint”, named after the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who visited in 1990 the beautiful place by helicopter,
is the most breathtaking of all lookouts. It reveals three of the scenic picture book villages at once
281  A maze of tracks and paths to
lonely villages crosses the spectacular
mountain scenery of Jebel Akhdar. Down
in the background Masirat ar- Ruwajih
282  The abandoned old village of
Bani Habib with its houses of mud
bricks sits in a picturesque setting
283  Simply admirable: Terraced
fields near Al-Ayn with fruit trees
cut into steepest rocky slopes
284  The Sahab-Hotel is perched on
the edge of the Saiq Plateau. Le lobby
reflects impressing Omani tradition.
The cheapest double room costs
OMR 83 = US$ 255 (March 2013)
285  Our LandCruiser attracts
onlookers again and again. Here
a family from Saudi Arabia
that is visiting Oman
286  In remote regions the public water
supply is still carried out by tank lorries.
Here at Safa as-Sahra on the Saiq
Plateau, the water container
of the village is refilled
287  The Jabrin Fort south of Bahla – along
the road from Nizwa to Al Ain in the UAE –
rises lonely from the plain, which starts here
and continues about 600 miles until Salalah.
Built in 1675 and restored, it is famous
especially for its beautiful painted ceilings
288  The Jabrin palace is one of
the few designed fortresses that served
once as a residence. It was built by
Bil`arab bin Sultan, an Iman of the
Ya`aruba dynasty
289  From the thick walls of the
fort, the view opens as far as to the
mountain ranges that lead to the
Western Hajar Mountains
290  The courtyard with its fine
latticed windows is the
center of Jabrin Fort
291  Techniques to defend the fortress
were: Firing to invaders from a hole
and pouring boiling palm
oil from a slit above
292  Pillars and lovely ceiling paintings are
the attraction of this living quarter. Due to
the pleasant temperatures we conclude that
behind the cool walls life was comfortable
293  A characteristic of the Islam
is the decor of this arched ceiling
294  Detail of a magnificently decorated
wooden ceiling with flower
patterns in warm colors
295  An Omani family enters
Fort Jabrin the moment
when Liliana leaves it
296  Just charming: A mosque in the
countryside in the Wadi Damm valley
with the backdrop of the colored hills
near the Beehive Tombs of Al Ayn
297  A stony river bed and a part of
Jebel Misht, also called "Comb Mountain",
is the scenery on our night camp near the
Beehive Tombs of Al Ayn
298  Jebel Misht – its sheer cliff about
3’300 ft. high and which is called also
"Comb Mountain" because of its jagged
ridges – is the most coveted peak on the
Arabian Peninsula among rock climbers
299  The Beehive Tombs of Al Ayn are
said to date between 2000 and 3000 B.C.
and to contain the bones of 200 people
each. There are more of these tombs
near the settlement of Bat, about
17 miles northwest of Al Ayn
300  Our LandCruiser is waiting
at the road side next to the
"Beehive Tombs" of Al Ayn –
a UNESCO World Heritage Site –
while we explore them from close
301  Not much is known about these
ancient "Beehive Tombs" in Al Ayn.
They may originate from the time when
old caravan trade routes passed nearby
302  Oman is shaped by rugged
mountain scenery – here in Wadi Damm.
But exactly these different rock formations
bare of any vegetation form a part of
the charm of the Sultanate
303  A typical Omani scene: A watch
tower, date palms and a harsh mountain
backdrop (in Wadi Damm)
304  Similar strange geological landscape
as in the left picture, but on the side
road from Barut to Sint and Sant
Luxury villas looking sometimes like small castles – one lovelier than the other – bear the exotic imprints of the Arabian architecture
308  Golden shining high tufts of grass and
shrubby green trees dominate the vegetation
at Wadi Damm. It lies about 8 miles east of
Al Ayn and is still in the Dhahirah region
309  Wadi Damm is famous and popular
for its many pools. Once a miniature
waterfall is burbling into a tiny basin .....
310  ..... and another time an emerald
green pool is inviting for a swim
311  A red dragonfly rests on a stone.
The small biotops at Wadi Damm
are home of red and blue dragonflies
312  Green fern frames this beautiful
waterfall at Wadi Damm
313  The blue dragonfly is tired of
chasing the red one and needs a rest
314  Emil descends by means of a rope
from the upper part of Wadi Damm.
He is appalled by all the rubbish
he has seen further up
315  The way back to the off-road
parking of Wadi Damm follows the
water channel, the traditional Arab
irrigation system, called Falaj
316  Golden glowing tussock dots
the barren Wadi Damm and adds to
the stony ground some spots of color
317  "Drifting" is a popular amusement
in Arabia – the tire wear on the public
roads are the best proof
318  The Bahla Fort at the south foot
of the Hajar Mountains is surrounded by
a 7 mile long adobe wall. It is the third
largest in the world. It belongs also to the
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
319  It is a really windy day.
A landspout has formed and
towers towards the sky
320  This is what remains of old Tanuf
that was bombed during the Jabal War
of 1954 and 1955
321  Emil is standing on the highest
point of the ruins of Tanuf .....
322  ..... depending on the point of
view they reveal always new details
Our LandCruiser snakes its way through the spectacular narrow Wadi Tanuf with its steep mountain walls on both sides.
After 4 miles – actually then called Wadi Qashah – it becomes a footpath only
326  These curious observers
are never far away
327  A small hamlet along the track from
Ar Rawdah to Qiyut in a godforsaken
area of the Hajar Mountains
328  Enjoying breakfast between
acacia trees near Al-Hoota Caves
329  Al Hamra at the foot of the
Hajar Mountains is one of the
oldest villages in Oman
330  Above Al Hamra sits the lovely re-
stored mountain village of Misfat embedded
in date palm trees and terraced fields .....
331  ..... Liliana studies the way
the stone houses are built
332  A pack mule is being loaded. In
difficult mountainous terrain, these pack
animals are still a common mean of transport
333  Sweeping view from the mountain
village of Misfat over the barren land
334  An acacia spreads its dry branches.
Its thorns are not holding back the
camels from nibbling
335  From the ridge “Sharaf al-Alamayn” of
the Hajar Mountains, at 6’570 ft., we see the
off-road track through Wadi Bani Awf, one
of the most spectacular valleys in Oman
336  Wedged into the wild mountains
of Wadi Bani Awf lies the remote
date palm oasis of Hat
337  The remote villages in
Wadi Bani Awf (here it’s Hat) are
reachable only by 4x4. The residents
are mostly driving a Toyota pickup
Steep, stony stretches and bull dust passages lead us through the breathtakingly beautiful mountain scenery of the “upper” Wadi Bani Awf
341  Is our overloaded LandCruiser
able to cope with the next climb? Wadi
Bani Awf is a matter of challenging driving
342  Perhaps the only change: A
local is sitting on a boulder gazing
at the mountains scenery .....
343  ..... and at the wonderful patchwork
of fields of the village of Hat, framed
by date palms
344  Sometimes striking mountain
peaks are popping up in front of us .....
345  ..... sometimes a single palm
tree growing in a narrow side
canyon is captivating us .....
346  ..... sometimes we marvel
about the spectacular way the route
is cut through rocky Wadi Bani Awf
Deep in the Hajar Mountains at the base of a 3’600 ft. high cliff nestles the picturesque village of Balad Sayt,
a jewel of Oman, with its stone and mud dwellings, gardens and date palms
350  The first rays of the sun catch
the mountain walls at our breakfast outside
of Balad Sayt. We are camping on a hill
overlooking the village .....
351  ..... Liliana admires the
scenic beauty around her .....
352  ..... and is proud of our LandCruiser
that overcame all the hurdles carrying
us to this beautiful place
Balad Sayt reflects the traditional charm of a quiet village life
353  Clothes are hanging on washing
lines on the flat adobe roofs .....
354  ..... a sleepy donkey is tied
to a pole in front of a stone dwelling .....
355  ..... even the fine elaborated door-
lock adds to the old village character
356  The villagers of Balad Sayt are
(almost) self-supporters: A woman pours
out grain from a bag to dry in the sun
357  In the arid landscape of the
Hajar Mountains a blossoming
tree is feast for the eye
358  Wadi Bani Awf: From Balad Sayt
the 4x4 track snakes to the Rustaq-Nakhal
loop. The lower (northern) part is
massively expanded
359  Az-Zammah: Date palms and
cultivated fields are common colorful
dots in the barren mountain scenery
360  Our Wadi Bani Awf adventure
ends at Wadi As-Sahtan junction.
The set of road signs direct to other
4x4 destinations – the whole region is
(still) a real four-wheel paradise
361  The Al-Awabi Fort along the
Rustaq-Nakhal-Highway #13. Forts
are Oman’s most striking cultural
landmarks. They were built to
protect the land from invaders
More websites from Oman:
Oman 1999 - from mid-March to mid-April 1999
Oman 2013 – Part 1 - February 2013: Musandam Peninsula
Oman 2013 – Part 2 - February 2013: Sohar - Muscat - Rustaq - Nizwa
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 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