My Pre-Blog Travels: Part II – Muscat, Oman

I began to travel years before I had a blog, and in retrospect wish I could have shared those early, formative journeys online. I’ve recently found that looking at my old travel photos re-kindles not just memories but, at least somewhat, feelings. My digital photos only date back to the mid 2000′s, but there are enough that I decided to start a new series called My Pre-Blog Travels. The first installment was about Muscat, Oman, where I took my first journey into the Arab world in 2009. In this post I’m continuing on with the amazing yet little-explored city of Muscat.

Every single thing in Muscat was new and shiny in my eyes in 2009, as I’d never before traveled to an Arab country. From the shapes and colors of the buildings to the sights along the roadways, to the clothing people wore to the language they spoke, I drank in everything. Because I didn’t have a travel blog back then, my photos aren’t of the caliber they are today, unfortunately. For example, I walked around for a while in the Muttrah souk, or marketplace, looking at the local wares, clothing and jewelry for sale along with its fascinating array of locals. Yet I took only four photos, the best of which is thorougly pitiful.

Very poor photo of the Muttrah Souk in Muscat, Oman

Very poor photo of the Muttrah Souq

Near the Muttrah Souq in the same area of the city, was the corniche, or boardwalk, along the Gulf of Oman. Along the corniche was a sight very common in the Middle East. Although there were one or two hundred people relaxing along the corniche this particular evening, every single one of them was male. Indeed, most public places you go in this part of the world are loaded with males with nary a female in sight. Where are all the women?!

Many men sitting on a wall along the Muttrah Corniche in Muscat, Oman

Some of the most popular sights to see in Muscat, I’d read before I departed for my journey, are the many 16th Century Portuguese forts that once protected the city from invaders. Due to the language difficulties I had with the taxi drivers who were taking me from sight to sight, it took quite a while to communicate that I wanted to see a fort, but once we finally arrived at one, it was pretty impressive. Unfortunately, due to our tangled tongues, I don’t know which one it was.

A Portuguese fort in the city of Muscat, Oman

Out of all the simply awesome sights of Muscat, the most incredible was the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

Exterior of the Sultan Qaboos bin al Said Mosque in Muscat

The white outside walkways were made of a type of marble so shiny that it appeared wet. I had to get used to the idea that I didn’t have to take little mincing steps across it to keep from slipping.

The exterior of the Grand Mosque in Muscat

I’ve now visited several more Middle Eastern mosques, including the unbelievable Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, yet even that masterpiece wasn’t as impressive, in my eyes, as the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

The Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman

Arched walkway at the Grand Mosque in Muscat

I haven’t been back yet, but when I do travel to Muscat again, I’m going to learn what forts I’m looking at as well as spend more time not slipping on the shiny marble walkways of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Andrea says:

    Wow – looks beautiful! I, too, wish we’d started a blog much sooner

  2. Sabina says:

    Hi, Andrea :) Muscat’s an awesome place.

  3. awesome

    some countries just have a way of making life seem totally different – without you even being able to experience it.

    while the actual differences are not that big, the impression is one of a whole new world…

    so i can relate to the four pictures on your first visit.

    the most amazing ones are those in your memory.

    happy travels

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