A weekend in the mountains of Oman

Joining in the celebrations for a wedding in the Jebel Akhdar Oman

 

Making the steep climb by car up to Jebel Akhdar I arrived in the late afternoon to join the celebrations for a friend’s wedding .

Wedding Arrival Oman
Wedding Arrival Oman

The formal betrothal had taken place last year and today would be the start of married life. Of course, it was a busy affair, as all Omani weddings are, with probably most households in the village joining in. Since this was a ‘town persons’ wedding we set off, in a queue of cars , to take the bride to the grooms home .

Date Tree in Omans Mountains
Date Tree in Omans Mountains

The next day I managed to have an early morning walk through the mountains before having a very enjoyable lunch at a simple reception to congratulate the groom.

Dates from Oman

in Bond Street London

I managed to get back and see the Hadrian exhibition at the British Museum. The reading room in which it is held is of course an appropriate venue as Hadrian’s Pantheon inspired its dome. Timed tickets should have been a warning – the space was probably full to its designed capacity and it was a struggle to move at my pace and see the exhibits.

Hadrian at the British Museum
Hadrian at the British Museum

For me the outstanding impact was the representation of Hadrian throughout his rule – each artist created a sculpture of a man whom the “vir in via” must have been able to recognize has they walked past him. It was wonderful that among the marble, the curators included a written plea for support, from a foreign civilian living in northern England, to the region’s governor.

Bateel Bond St London
Bateel Bond St London

Perhaps the same man had touched a large amphora, found near Hadrian’s Wall, which was displayed along with an image of a shard mountain of 26million amphora. Later, walking along Bond Street, I was surprised to see a familiar shop name. ‘Bateel’ a shop selling Dates and Date products has a branch in Muscat. Amazingly they had set up close to where a company I was general manager with 25 years ago had a shop. My surprise was not really in seeing Bateel but, with a rental of probably GBP300,000+ per year, the extraordinary volume of dates they must sell to cover costs – probably Arab Embassies are ideal clients.

Oman’s date harvest

For several weeks, the skies above Muscat have been a pale brown as we have been sitting under a dust haze. At times the entire country has been affected – on a drive of 1000 kilometres to Salalah a few weeks ago the tone of the sky hardly changed throughout the journey.

Nasa Dust June 2008
Nasa Dust June 2008

NASA (where I obtained the image from) has up-loaded the cause of Oman’s latest dust arrival Continue reading “Oman’s date harvest”