Taking Etihad from Heathrow to Muscat I was lucky to have a brand new plane, an Airbus 340 . It was a flying advert for the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix later this year.
As is often the case in The Gulf the flight attendants were from all over the world, mostly Far East, and I’m not certain if there were any Emiratis.
The meal was frankly poor – with rubber like Pasta – made worse by being served a couple of hours into the late evening flight. I found the entertainment selection extraordinary – 70films, 100 TV entertainment programs, no idea how many news Channels and presumably as many Audio choices. For a new plane it was a shock to have an aborted landing – with good recovery, thank you Mr Pilot– because a wheel door apparently would not open. Our second attempt succeeded and it was comforting to see the fire tenders moving back into their sheds.
Arriving for transfer at Abu Dhabi into the new Terminal the Muscat flight was waiting in the old terminal – very nice because it’s distinctive. Flashing up on the TV – BBC breaking news Michael Jackson died. I can remember where I was the night Elvis (Presley) died and now will be able to add Michael Jackson to my life’s time line, through this flight.
The Jackson 5 and later Michael were not my favorites but his Music from ‘Off the Wall’ to ‘Thriller’ was so good. What a shock to his family and fans . He visited Oman a couple of years ago and I must say in Oman Michael Jackson was sooo popular that many people here will miss him.
Oman’s Transport & Communications Ministry has confirmed that it will build two ferry terminals in Khasab and Shinas .
These will take the Ferries, enabling cars to be taken on board. Certainly Musandam is not the easiest of places to drive to – it involves 4 border posts each way and a dreadful drive through Ras al Khaimah .
I presume Mina Sultan Qaboos’s quays are good to unload and offload vehicles.
Walking into the Shah ‘Abbas exhibition in the British Museum’s Reading Room was almost a sense of ‘déjà vu’ as the very English Sir Robert Sherley & wife Teresia gaze down as they did in the Tate’s ‘Lure of the East’ exhibition last year .
This time they were not included because of the gorgeous costumes but for Robert Sherley’s role as Persian Ambassador from Shah ‘Abbas to various European Courts .
In 2007 President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque which of course has a very Persian flavour to it with the style of Shah Abbas’s dynasty throughout the interior of the building.
As Sultan Qaboos seems to like Persian art he will enjoy his visit to Iran this month. Perhaps the visit by the Omani Minister of Tourism in May to Homs and other Iranian cities was a build up to this visit – one trusts that the current political uncertainty will not affect His Majesty’s visit.
A Royal Decree finalizes Nawras’s fixed line permits. They appear to have permission for a full range of services . Their 3G internet has been my fall back when OmanTel’s internet connection is not working . Will they have number transfer for the fixed line ?
The Oman Ministry of Tourism looks as if it will replace the Train in Hoota Cave. A tender has been issued for supply of a new train with the documents being opened end of July . I must admit that I preferred the walk from the ticket office to the cave as it’s a relatively short one and looks over a nice vista.
I chased the sun through Oman along the Tropic of Cancer
On my search for the Tropic of Cancer Oman I almost literally crawled up the slopes of Jebel Misht and then made a very tired stumble back into the car – saw sunset in the Rub Al Khali and had a puncture on the way out.