Oman – World Trip Diary Day 13 – 16


Day 13 – Exploring the Historic City Nizwa, Oman

Our journey into the heart of Oman commenced with a seamless entry – landing, immigration, withdrawing money, taking a taxi to the hotel, and checking in took just 50 minutes – proceeding incredibly smoothly.

The next day started early as we spontaneously found a bus heading to Nizwa. There, we planned to visit the famous Nizwa Fort, explore the market, and take in the city. The roundtrip bus fare was just €8 per person, an incredibly budget-friendly option. On the way to Nizwa, we passed various bus stops, and I noticed that the men here wear different attire than in Kuwait and the Emirates. Instead of headscarves (Ghutra), they wear various hats called Kuma, which you can see on the right.

During the inland drive, the landscape reminded me of a mix between Morocco and Fuerteventura. The houses, simpler in design, lacked the extravagant villas found in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Despite the simplicity, life here seems more straightforward. I appreciate the less ostentatious and futuristic construction compared to the UAE, although the locals here aren’t necessarily impoverished. 50% of the population consists of Omanis, with the rest being mostly Indian.

Upon arrival, we strolled through the Souq and had lunch. My boyfriend chose to eat a camel burger, while I chose a falafel wrap. With two juices, the total cost was €8 – a pleasant surprise compared to the prices in the UAE and Kuwait. Afterward, we visited the Nizwa Fort, a restored 17th-century castle. In the castle’s garden, we encountered various animals, including a camel that relished an extensive petting session with us.

Later, we took a walk along the historic district of Al Sawiq. There, an older Omani approached us, initially offering to drive us to a castle. Subsequently, he invited us to his home for tea and to see his garden. Generally, we felt warmly greeted everywhere on the street, children waved at us, and asked about our origins. Omanis struck us as incredibly friendly, in stark contrast to our experiences in the UAE and Kuwait.

After a day from 7 am to 9 pm on the go, we collapsed into bed.

traditional omani clothing, oman, nizwa souq
Traditional Omani Hat (Kuma)
camel 1
Our new furry friend – Mr. Camel

Day 14 – Day Trip to the Oases of Oman

The next morning began early again as we aimed to pick up the car from the airport at 7 am. From there, we headed straight to the oasis (Wadi Bani Khalid). Fog lingered over the mountains at sunrise, and the highways were empty (remaining quite deserted throughout the day). One striking observation was the placement of speed cameras precisely every 2 km.

After about 2 ½ hours of driving from Muscat, we arrived at the oasis at 10 am, which was still relatively quiet. We strolled along the canyon and noticed a few girls swimming in regular clothes. It’s crucial to respect the culture here; signs indicate that swimming in bikinis or trunks is discouraged. On the return from the canyon toward the pools, the place became crowded around 11:30 am with tourists and tour operators. After enjoying an (expensive) juice and the view of the oasis, we moved on to the next destination.

On the roads, we encountered many wild donkeys, goats, and even camels. One camel was spotted on the highway, and through the rearview mirror, we watched a local gently guide it back into the desert with his car. Sand dunes lined the highway, resembling scenes from a storybook – this was the Wahiba Desert.

Next, we drove to another oasis (Wadi Shab), where guided tours were available. A tour guide would take you by boat into the mountains, but unfortunately, this tour took longer, and we arrived too late to do it in daylight. From the drop-off point, you could either take a hike or bathe in the pools.

Afterward, we headed back toward Muscat. Originally planning to go to the beach, the weather was cloudy, and it cooled down (December is winter), so we returned after a 600 km drive in one day. Completely exhausted after the second eventful day, we collapsed into bed.

wadi bani khalid, desert, oasis, oman
Wadi Bani Khalid
wahiba desert, oman, oasis
Wahiba Desert

Day 15 – Visiting the Sultan Qaboos Mosque in Mascat

In the morning, again at 7 am, we headed to the airport to return the car. There, we met an Omani who complimented my friend’s hair. Upon learning we’re from Heidelberg (where we live), he mentioned working there and having family in the area. I then Googled how many Omanis live in Germany, and it’s just 350 – a humorous coincidence.

From the airport, we took the bus to Sultan Qaboos Mosque. Arriving at 8:30 am, we managed to admire the mosque without too many people around, as after 9 am, the place gets crowded with tour operators. This mosque officially tops my ranking as the most beautiful in the world, even surpassing the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

Afterward, we explored the area around the mosque, likely a wealthier district given the large driveways and numerous cars in front of the houses. The remainder of the day was spent at a café working, having Asian food for dinner (which unfortunately didn’t sit well with us), and lounging in bed for the rest of the evening.

mascat, sultan qaboos mosque, oman
Mosque from the outside
mascat, sultan qaboos mosque, oman
Sultan Qaboos Mosque, Mascat

Day 16 – Working & Travel Day in Oman

Today was dedicated to sleeping in, working, visiting the Grand Mall of Muscat, working for several hours from the hotel lobby, and then heading to the airport for the 4th time in 5 days. After attempting to collect our flight tickets without printed visas, scrambling to print them on the spot, and enduring a long exit control queue, we made it to the gate on time for boarding. However, the flight boarded 50 minutes later than scheduled – stress for nothing. Now, off to our next destination and my personal highlight – India!

Looking back, Oman pleasantly surprised us, and we definitely want to come back to explore more of the country, especially the south. I’d absolutely recommend traveling here to all of you, as this country is still a true hidden gem – not too expensive and not too packed.

As the pages turn, the adventure continues. If you want to see more pictures of Oman, click here. Stay connected for further chronicles of our travels, from the enchanting streets of UAE to the unexpected twists in Kuwait. Until the next chapter unfolds, keep the wanderlust alive!

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