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Old Posted Jun 16, 2020, 6:04 AM
hkskyline's Avatar
hkskyline hkskyline is offline
Hong Kong
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,503
hkskyline's Oman Road Trip - Nizwa

Oman is a vast country although the typical tourist itinerary for a week encompasses a small circular route in the north and eastern part of the country. Wheels are essential here as public transport is very limited. The entire car rental process was fairly seamless as international rental agencies are plenty at the brand new international airport in Muscat. Roads are generally traffic-free, well-paved, well-lit, albeit laden with speeding cameras. Gas prices are rock-bottom and there are plenty of places to fill-up en route.

My first venture outside Muscat is Nizwa, a historic town of over 110,000 people that was the capital in the 6th and 7th centuries. This oasis with a mountain background is prosperous and a must-stop on the typical road trip itinerary.

Tourists flock to the souq on Friday mornings to see the animal market in action. Goat and cattle are exchanged here by auction, while neighbouring modern buildings offer all sorts of different wares and delicious souvenirs.

Dates are plentiful in this country, and there are many kinds. Even my hotel had offered them as a snack to go along with a strong local coffee. The two must be enjoyed together.

The fancier packages that even supermarkets sell include additional ingredients to the date, such as a pistachio or other nuts.

Halwa is Oman's dessert, and plenty of shops offer a taste test of this very sweet dish. The saffron one was especially unique, and the merchants are very friendly to give you an explanation and not a bitry of their products. It doesn't need to be refridgerated, making transport fairly easy even on long-haul flights.

A short drive away to the north, Falaj Daris Park is a good picnic and swimming spot to observe these groundwater channels that are used for irrigation.

Nizwa is a good base to explore the region's attractions. A short drive out of town, Bahla was Oman's capital for almost 500 years, so it is no surprise its fort was impressive. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the fort was restored recently and you are free to roam the many buildings and rooms leading from random staircases and passages.

More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/oman.htm
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