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Muscat, Oman

We based our trip out of the Shangri-la resort, about 30 minutes outside of Muscat. it was an easy drive into town to see the opera house and the Mutrah Souq. We went back into town two days later to see the Grand Mosque on our way to the airport.


Morning at resort, Lazy river.
There are two schools of thought for tubing: On & In

Shangri-La Resort, Muscat

 Beach. Waves.
Ideal temp (~26C or hi 70s, lo 80s)
lunch at resort before we drove into town around noon. Stark landscape, beautifully rugged.
Satellite photo to dispel sand desert image.

  Yellowed rocks and blue skies. Low buildings (4-5 stories), mostly white or cream, nestled in around the rocky Hills. Kind of reminded us of our trip to the diver's paradise of Sharm el Shekh, Egypt (LINK)

Royal Opera House Oman
Saw opera house, it was quite grand, with carved Burmese wood. King's box. Very nice, even had translation screen in seat for English, Arabic, and performance language.

 Adjacent to a high end boutique mall. Could have picked up a Big Bus here.

A true Opera gown
 Stopped at Starbucks to sit and gaze out over the sea of oman.

Oil refinery area looked like it had a steel gray "oil mosque" look to it from the smokestacks and storage tanks.

fish market/portport was closed for construction. Lots of tourists (link to cruises?). Parking was a bit challenging, so we went down an alley.

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Mutrah Souq
Mrabat souq, - old, dim, yet lots of shiny stuff. Felt like going back in time to when Muscat trade route (coffee sets from Turkey, silks from kashmir, etc). Got a hand carved silver camel for 19 Riyal (photo), jewelry, brass pocket sundial. Cobble Stone floor. Kinda like (links) grand bazaar turkey (no spices like Egyptian market). There were antiques, textiles (mens hats, womens scarves, lamps, jewelry)
 Dinner right next to souq. cheese Pizza, chicken nuggets, chicken kebab, hummus and bread. lime water and apple pulp juice. Dark alley walk  to car still felt safe. Could have caught big bus here, too.

other stuff: fortress on Hill, misc sign. In the darkness, the Ridgeline of the distant mountains appear like dark clouds. Old Muscat was pretty, though not many things to do on our list though.

We spent Friday at Wadi Shab about an hour south of Muscat on the coast.Friday-<<link to wadi shab>>. (Photo w/ link)

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Grand Mosque
On saturday, we played at resort, checked out around noon, didn't get on our way until 1:30. Could have stopped at a recreation of an Omani village, missed the turn off, didn't feel like going back (link to bedouin night?).

Drove by grand mosque (kids under 10 not allowed, women had to cover, told no photos past a certain point (might not have been right entrance, mosqued out.)

FYI,  big bus wouldn't get you here, it's a 15 min cab ride from opera.

gassed up on way to airport, no rush getting checked in/ boarding. Couldn't help noticing how many men were wearing the Omani headgear on Saudia as if to say "I'm not saudi".

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Over all, Oman has been one of the best places in the region that we've visited and we highly recommend visiting here if you can.

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