Exploring the Rub al Khali in northern Oman

we climbed to look out over the UAE from the Rub al Khali in Oman

After a long drive we managed to make it to the Rub al Khali border with the UAE in time for sun-set. Not as dramatic as southern Oman’s Rub Al Khali nor with the interest of the Wahiba Sands but this section still has the power to make a human feel insignificant.

Sunset in the Rub Al Khali
Sunset in the Rub Al Khali

It was from this dune that I heard the ‘singing of the sands’ – wonderful.

Shadows on the Slope
Shadows on the Slope

When camping in the Wahiba a few days ago the sunset wind was strong , here fortunately is was little more than a gentle breeze.

 

Oman’s water resources

An unbelievably small flow of water allows a village to survive up in Oman’s mountains

In the upper reaches of Oman’s Jebel Akhdar mountains I came across this tiny cascade of water. The groove running left to right is a small man made channel a few centimetres wide in which the trickle is collected in .

A small flow of water for agriculture in Oman
A small flow of water for agriculture in Oman

Then in a small fountain/waterfall (bottom right of the image) it drops into a collecting pool which feeds into a Falaj. For some 200 people in a small hamlet this is their agricultural water supply. Its drinking water is another similar sized source – topped up with occasional deliveries from the valley 1500ft below.

Professor David Ford in Oman

A well attended talk in the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Oman

Dr David Ford, The Regius (Royal) Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University was in Oman to give talks about the wisdom of the Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths today.

David Ford, right, talks to an audience in Muscat
David Ford, right, talks to an audience in Muscat

I was able to make it to his evening talk at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque where he mainly illustrated Christian wisdom .

Golden Sands and Golden Honey in Oman

We survived a desert storm to enjoy Omani Coffee and Honey

Arriving in one of Oman’s Deserts the golden dunes of the Wahiba Sands to set up camp we were faced with flying sand and strong winds; a normal sunset event as the weather heats up. We couldn’t really do anything till the wind had died down – and today it really didn’t want to . Eventually having stretched the time of our move into plan B – a departure to a permanent camp – we were relieved that the wind did die down – and up the tents went in the darkness. Steaks cooked and baked potatoes unwrapped and the meal was good to eat. Continue reading “Golden Sands and Golden Honey in Oman”

New Born Kittens in Oman

A real surprise and a happy ending

What a surprise I had at the Car Wash today – In the engine compartment – 5 wet kittens.

Home for 5 new born kittens in Oman
Home for 5 new born kittens in Oman

They must have been born during the night and perhaps a warm engine compartment seemed ideal.

So – in a box they went, to dry in the sun . Then, after my car was sorted out – a quick drive home to try and re-unite cat and kittens. Fortunately, a likely candidate was fighting with a tom-cat. When she ran off under a car I placed the box near her.

Mother & Kittens
Mother & Kittens

Amazingly, it was the right mother. She grabbed 1 kitten and took it around a corner to a relatively secluded place – and I put the box and others next to her chosen place.

After a few hours she hadnt noticed them – I tipped them near her. Then a few hours later all were feeding – how sweet.

The Klimt exhibition opens in Muscat

Sayyid Ali, the Minister of the Diwan, opened the Klimt exhibition on Sunday

 The “Golden Age of Austrian Art” was opened today by H.E. Sayyid Ali bin Hamoud Al BuSaidi, Minister of the Diwan. Included in the display is the Gustav Klimt study sketch for the painting of “Adele Bloch-Bauer” ( the painting that was sold to the Lauder Museum) and includes other works by Kokoschka, Schiele and Fronius .

Sayyid Ali and Bernhard Böhler
Sayyid Ali and Bernhard Böhler

Bernhard Böhler the Director of the Dommuseum Museum, which provided the sketches for the exhibition, gave Sayyid Ali an overview of highlights. This is the first in a series of art exhibitions featuring international artists – the planned list is of similar calibre. Austria and Oman have a co-operative relationship in culture going back well over a decade – and this is a wonderful example.

Setting the tone for the evening the opening was followed by the “Trish Trash” Polka and later other Austrian music – performed by members from the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra .

Gustav Klimt comes to Oman

Bait al Baranda Museum in Muscat organises a exhibition of Gustav Klimt sketches

Dropping into Bait al Baranda Museum I met Malik Al Hinai, the Director, making a few finishing touches to the Gustav Klimt exhibition that will be inaugurated this evening, for a public opening on April 13th.

Malik was finalizing the Gustav Klimt exhibition
Malik was finalizing the Gustav Klimt exhibition

This is the first of a series of prestigious international exhibitions that he will be organizing in the Museum .

Since the art on show are sketches they do not include the most valuable painting ever sold Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer” but its nice to see the sketch.