18
Feb 15

Oman 2014: Muscat bay viewpoints, Qurum beach, The Cave restaurant

Date: 26th October 2014

After the dolphin watching tour, our driver told us he would take us to a viewpoint beyond Marina Bandar Al Rowdha.

Muscat highway Oman

We drove along the highway

Consultative Assembly of Oman Muscat

Drove past the massive Consultative Assembly of Oman building

Uphill road Muscat Oman

We drove uphill

Road to resorts Muscat

And then downhill to a resort complex at the edge of the hill

Blue waters Muscat Oman

The waters are so blue (Took this on my phone)

Viewpoint Oman bay Muscat

We drove back and kept stopping at every nice looking viewpoint. Down below was a very small beach, which seemed only accessible by boat

Muscat open viewpoint Oman

This was another. We walked towards the edge.

Muscat mountains Oman panorama

Took a panorama

Majlis Oman from mountain top Muscat

Zoomed in on the majlis

Muscat rock mural road Oman

We then drove back to Muscat city

Dhow roundabout Muscat Oman

We were planning to visit the incense burner monument

Incense burner hill Muscat Oman

But when we got there

Gates locked incense burner monument Muscat

… gates were locked. Shucks!

PDO beach Muscat Oman

So we drove to a viewpoint near PDO beach

PDO is the Petroleum Development Oman, the nation’s primary petroleum company. And the above is the company’s private beach — for their employees and their families. And if a private beach wasn’t enough of a company perk…

Ras al Hamra golf club PDO Muscat Oman

… PDO owns a golf court too! Ahhh, oil money.

Palm tree shade picnic Oman

Besides that, this viewpoint is a popular picnic jaunt

Luxury houses by sea Muscat

A lot of luxury houses facing the sea

Qurum beach white sand Muscat Oman

Next, we drove down to Qurum beach

Qurum beach Muscat Oman

It’s near PDO beach but open to public

Qurum beach clear blue water Muscat

Very clear water

Al Shati beach road Muscat Oman

After that, it was off to the popular Al Shati beach road. A lot of coffee shops by the beach here.

Al Shati beach Muscat Oman

Al Shati beach in itself is okay

Crowne Plaza hotel Muscat Oman

The Crowne Plaza hotel is the big white building at the edge of the beach

Royal Opera house Muscat Oman

The next stop was the Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House Muscat sign

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much we could see of the Opera House

Inside Royal Opera house Muscat Oman

This was just a lobby, we couldn’t enter the main hall… but we were told it’s impressive! :-)

Royal Opera house ceiling

Impressive interiors

The Cave restaurant Muscat Oman

Done with the day tour, we went to The Cave for lunch. Looks like something from The Flintstones doesn’t it?

The Cave restaurant choices Muscat Oman

You have many choices for restaurants inside The Cave

Unfortunately when we entered, there was no reservation in our names. So we had to contact the travel agent to speak to the front desk and sort things out.

The Cave restaurant buffet Muscat Oman

We settled for the buffet

Pita bread cold cut starters The Cave buffet

What I started with

Rice spring roll The Cave Muscat

Had a bit of everything

Tiger prawns mussels The Cave Muscat

We had ordered some seafood as well

Desserts The Cave restaurant Muscat

Desserts — yeah, I love my sweets!

The Cave restaurant interiors Muscat

I can’t vouch for the menu but the food we had was pretty good and the interiors of The Cave are what really sells this place

After a sumptuous lunch, our driver decided to go for a smoke break and left before us. The rest of us washed up, took some photos of the restaurant and before making our way out. But when we tried to exit the restaurant, we were stopped by one of the staff. When we asked why, she said we have to “pay first”. Stunned, we were (again) perplexed by the lack of communication. We tried to convince her that this was an organized lunch courtesy of Oman Tourism but she called the manager instead. When the manager came, we told them this was being paid for by Oman Tourism and fortunately he knew deal and understood the situation. He then just asked one of us to sign the bill, which I did.

Inside The Cave Muscat Oman

Our driver finally came back to the surprise that we were still inside. That’s him talking to the lady who stopped us from leaving. She later apologized.

Anyway, once we were ‘set free,’ we walked back to our car.

Muscat village Oman

The Cave is situated atop a hill, and this was the view from parking lot

Lulu mall Muscat Oman

Post lunch, we were dropped off at Lulu Hypermarket

Baklavah Lulu supermarket Oman

I wasn’t planning on doing all my shopping now itself. So I just prepared a list of items I planned to buy, and their prices. Baklavah was one of those items!

Grand mall Muscat Oman

After Lulu, we hopped across to Grand Mall

Inside Grand Mall Muscat Oman

Which… wasn’t that impressive to be honest. Another reminder that Muscat cannot be compared to the likes of Bahrain and Dubai when it comes to malls and shopping..

Grand Mall did have a Carrefour and Daiso though. I made note of the prices at Carrefour as well, and realized Lulu Hypermarket was cheaper (in general), and then left after buying some stuff from Daiso. By sunset, we were picked up by the driver to be dropped back at the hotel.

Saravanaa Bhavan  Muscat Oman

Saravanaa Bhavan is in Muscat too!

Tiger prawns fries dinner Radisson Muscat

Dinner was at the Radisson Blu

This was our last night at the Radisson Blu. Tomorrow we would check out, visit the Grand Mosque and leave Muscat for Jebel Shams. Now I was really excited to see what more natural wonders and history Oman had to offer!

Previous post(s) in this series:

Oman 2014: Dolphin watching tour in Muscat

Oman 2014: Landing in Muscat; Al Alam Palace, Mutrah souq and more


01
Feb 15

Oman 2014: Dolphin watching tour in Muscat

Date: October 26, 2014

We all woke up early today as we had to be at Marina Bandar Al Rowdha by around 8am. First up, it was breakfast at the hotel.

Breads Radisson Blu breakfast buffet

This was just the breads section. Also had fresh pistachios, almonds, cashews, walnuts and a variety of bread spreads.

Ham cold cuts buffet Radisson Blu Muscat

The cold meats and fruits counter. On the other side, there were other traditional breakfast dishes, puri-bhaji, omlette counter, corn flakes and a whole variety of hot & cold drinks on offer. All in all, a huge breakfast buffet!

Croissants pastry breakfast Muscat

I started off with some croissants. Too bad we didn’t have enough time to sample everything in the buffet.

Muscat residential neighbourhood Oman

After breakfast, we were picked up by our driver.

Muscat City highway Oman

We were on our way to Muscat City again

Muscat marina in morning Oman

The marina looked lovely early in the morning

Muscat roundabout Oman

I missed roundabouts of the Gulf :)

Oman petrol price

We stopped at a petrol station to fill up and pick up some water bottles. Being in a GCC country, I just had to take a photo of how much petrol costs out here. Regular costs 0.114 riyals, which is Rs. 18 ($0.30/€0.25) per litre!

Muscat township Oman

It was a fairly long drive to Marina Bandar Al Rowdha

Continue reading “Oman 2014: Dolphin watching tour in Muscat” »


08
Jan 15

Oman 2014: Landing in Muscat; Al Alam Palace, Mutrah souq and more

Date: 25th October 2014

This past October, I won a chance to fly to Oman, courtesy of Oman Tourism. This wasn’t an invite per se, but a contest win. Indiblogger.in held a contest sponsored by Oman Tourism a few months back and my submission was chosen as one among the three best. Three bloggers won the chance to visit Oman on an all expenses paid guided tour of Oman.

The flight was, of course, by Oman Air.

Bangalore take off foggy skies

My flight was early morning and Bangalore was cold and foggy

Oman Air wing above clouds

But it was all sunny and fine above the clouds

Breakfast Oman Air inflight meal

Soon after take off, we were served breakfast.

Oman Air border sea flight

After a nap, I woke up to the sight of Oman

Oman coast from airplane

Two things Oman is famous for: clear blue seas & rocky landscapes

Oman mountains from airplane

Very mountainous country

Oman village mountains from sky

Can’t imagine life in the middle of all this… but there is

Muscat townships airplane landing

We were about to land at Muscat airport

Continue reading “Oman 2014: Landing in Muscat; Al Alam Palace, Mutrah souq and more” »

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