The younger players of Arabesque’s sponsored team, Al Taawn , had a friendly competition during Ramadhan .
Plenty of passion but really just a league between the neighbourhood. Of course medals wouldn’t go amiss so some nice Gold and Silver ones were purchased with a very clever glass inlay and two cups for display.
Setting off from Australia , the Dawn Princess arrived in Muscat today, during its World Cruise .
Its possibly the first World Cruise to start in Australia so, naturally, the majority of the passengers came from Australia and New Zealand. Muscat was cooler than it has been which was good for the people taking shore excursions.
I arrived at Aiyun around Sunset. The mountains were cracking as they cooled down after the day’s intense heat and, in answer, birds called .
Wilfred Thesiger first arrived here in the Autumn of 1946, descending through the same pass as I had taken. The place hasn’t changed since his visit. The beds of Reed still flourish and the water in which, he was told, a monster serpent lived and would sometimes seize a goat when it came to drink, is still deep and suitably mysterious & dark.
The next morning I took a few photos – of a magical place, serpent or not.
Returning to Muscat I took in the Aeolianite Coast – the fossilized sand dunes of Oman that underlay both desert and sea bed . Here they form cliffs which crumble into the sea, probably retreating meters every year.
I enjoy watching turtles on the Beaches of Oman so much that, last year, decided to ‘adopt’ one. The Turtle chosen ‘Havda’ was tracked as she swam up up to the Straights of Hormuz. Unfortunately the transmitter has stopped its signal – so we will miss her future travels
Oman’s Ministry of Tourism invited Tour operators in Oman for an overview of the promotions that Oman’s Tourism Representative Offices have been doing over the past 12 months in countries from Australia to Britain .
There was considerable variation in their marketing approach – from extensive use of printed media – through to social functions. This variation continued in their style of presentation – with some emphasizing facts – others attitudes.
Ramadhan is a time of fasting of course. But in modern Oman it’s also a period of new clothes purchasing . Men’s Turbans’ are a key purchase, usually done to go with the new DishDash (traditional gown) and Sandals.
I must say that, accompanying a friend, I felt the shop keeper needed the ‘patience of Job’ our neighbour buried in Salalah . Colour, Pattern, Quality and, of course price, are key elements in making a decision and with hundreds of Turbans to choose from, in each shop, it’s a task that is not for the faint hearted.
a bit disappointing – though good to have in Muscat
The Rembrandt Exhibition of etchings in Muscat is about half way through its life. Walking through a replica of his rebuilt home in Amsterdam the prints are displayed around the Ballroom wall of the Grand Hyatt .While the entrance adds a touch of drama to a visit – the Ballroom is so large, and the prints so small; that they loose the intimacy that they probably deserve.
The National Museum’s work is now under way in Muscat. Jasper Jacob, the designer, has been working on this for many years and has been a great companion with me on journeys through Oman so he can get inspiration for the building.
The overall design is in keeping with the new mall down to the Palace – and will feature halls on regions of Oman and hopefully a Coffee Shop and Gift Shop.
Closing shortly is my favourite (and probably many others) beach in Muscat; Bandar Jissah. 23 years of swimming in the bay – around the Island, up and down the peninsulas means that its really been a question of is ‘life a beach ‘ . It’s changed during that time – from a dirt track road access, to tarmac, with small snack bar, toilets etc . Gradually more families made use of it – till at weekends it was overflowing with people relaxing . But its biggest change is now unfolding – into one of Muscat’s innumerable private beach front developments Saraya Al Jissah .
If any one can suggest an alternative swimming beach – please let me know.
The Ferries which Oman had delivered seem to have become part of a growing trend in the Arab world . The Red Sea is also now home to Ferries built by the same Australian company who built the couple that are already in service in Muscat .It does make it very tempting to drive from Oman through Egypt / Morocco to England