Date: 29th October, 2014
After having lunch from Sur, we were now driving back to Muscat.
It was awesome cruising along the coast line, but it was hard to capture the feeling when you are travelling at 100+ kms/hr.
Here’s a brief video I took on my phone:
We went back up as it was time to leave.
It’s funny, on the day we arrived, I wasn’t very excited seeing Muscat city. It all felt similar, but compared to Manama and Dubai, Muscat felt a bit dull in comparison. It got better on the second day, when we went dolphin watching, and a visit to Sultan Qaboos mosque just before leaving Muscat. But where Oman’s beauty really shines is once you get out of Muscat. The wadis, the desert sands, the remote villages, Jebel Shams — they really do make you go “Wow!”. Oman is far from boring, but you need to get out of Muscat to realize that.
What really stood out for me from this tour was realizing just how nice and laid back Omanis were. Growing up in Bahrain, I’ve seen my share of Arabs who will do their best to leave a poor impression about them (especially the Saudis that frequented Bahrain). But Omanis are not like the rest. Much calmer, less shout-y, they seem to smile a lot more and far less materialistic compared to their Emirati and Saudi neighbours. Omanis are probably the friendliest Arabs I have ever encountered!
I guess some appreciation must be given to the rulers too. After all, they decided against turning Muscat into Dubai or Doha of the past decade. The rat race is far less visible here. No skyscrapers allowed in Muscat apparently, because the sultan didn’t want to cover the mountains, which he felt was Oman’s true beauty. And he is right! Unlike the other Gulf states, Oman’s natural beauty is what makes it so special!
Anyway, once back in Muscat, we still had a few hours left until we had to all leave for the airport. Majjid dropped us off at the Haffa House Hotel before ending his day. Poor guy hadn’t slept the previous night.
With a carton fulls of Chips Oman and other stuff, I returned to the hotel and re-packed my bags. After bath, I went downstairs to have dinner.
The present airport is nothing fancy. It’s quite old actually, but they are building a newer and much bigger one.
I’d love to return to Oman when the new airport opens. Aside from that, there was much more I didn’t get to see. Salalah was on my wish-list but given how far it is, there was no way we were driving there. The waters of Musandam still remain untouched for me. Then there’s turtle watching, but that’s a seasonal event. I’m sure there’s much more to see and do in Oman. You can find all the details on the Oman Tourism website.
For now, I was just happy that I got to be one of the lucky few to be selected for this tour. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and as always, I hope my readers enjoyed it too!
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