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.
We drove along the highway
Drove past the massive Consultative Assembly of Oman building
We drove uphill
And then downhill to a resort complex at the edge of the hill
The waters are so blue (Took this on my phone)
We drove back and kept stopping at every nice looking viewpoint. Down below was a very small beach, which seemed only accessible by boat
This was another. We walked towards the edge.
Took a panorama
Zoomed in on the majlis
We then drove back to Muscat city
We were planning to visit the incense burner monument
But when we got there
… gates were locked. Shucks!
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…
… PDO owns a golf court too! Ahhh, oil money.
Besides that, this viewpoint is a popular picnic jaunt
A lot of luxury houses facing the sea
Next, we drove down to Qurum beach
It’s near PDO beach but open to public
Very clear water
After that, it was off to the popular Al Shati beach road. A lot of coffee shops by the beach here.
Al Shati beach in itself is okay
The Crowne Plaza hotel is the big white building at the edge of the beach
The next stop was the Royal Opera House
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much we could see of the Opera House
This was just a lobby, we couldn’t enter the main hall… but we were told it’s impressive! :-)
Done with the day tour, we went to The Cave for lunch. Looks like something from The Flintstones doesn’t it?
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.
We settled for the buffet
What I started with
Had a bit of everything
We had ordered some seafood as well
Desserts — yeah, I love my sweets!
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.
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.
The Cave is situated atop a hill, and this was the view from parking lot
Post lunch, we were dropped off at Lulu Hypermarket
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!
After Lulu, we hopped across to Grand Mall
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 is in Muscat too!
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