Muscat, Oman

As in Salalah, the images of Oman's ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Sa‘id are ubiquitous. He is on banknotes, on walls and on photographs in shops

Our day trip took us along the Batinah Coast to the centuries-old Nakhl Fort and Spring. Lunch, which was surprisingly good, at the Grand Hyatt - a particularly grand and ornate hotel,which appeared a bit ashamed to receive groups such as ours. The over officious doormen would not let the coach stop at the front door, and instead we were dropped underneath the building so that we could enter via the tradesman's entrance unseen by real guests

On the way back to the ship, a photo stop at the Zawawi Mosque, Oman's most ornate mosque. And on to Muscat's Old Town for a photo stop at the Al Alam Palace. Also a stop at Bait Al Zubair, a private museum housing collections of traditional Omani items that include weaponry, jewelry, clothing, household items, books, photographs, paintings, and maps. And finally the promenade and souq in the Old Town. Not really a town for tourists, but interesting none the less.

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Nakhl Springs, a tranquil and picturesque framed by mountains, or jebels, and a dense green oasis. The paucity of water in Muscat makes an actual spring a thing of wonder. Nakhl Fort perched on a 200-foot high hilltop with spectacular views. ladies' sitting room, walis, barzas, majlis, the prison, and split-level terraces and courtyards.
Nakhl is located at the foot of Jebel al Akhdar in the Western Hajar Mountain on a 200m high craggy outcrop. The fort has been extended over the centuries and in 1990, was restored by Sultan Qaboos. It looks down over thousands of date palms
Portraits of Sultan Qaboos bin Sa‘id tend to be ubiquitous In their own words Grand Hyatt Muscat is perfect for both business and leisure pursuits, and is one of the largest and most opulent luxury hotels Muscat has to offer, with 280 stylishly appointed hotel rooms & suites, with a remarkable Arabian style interior design.
The Al Alam Palace has a history of over 200 years, built by Imam Sultan bin Ahmed the 7th direct grandfather of the current Sultan.The existing palace, which has a facade of gold and blue, was rebuilt as a royal residence in 1972.Visitors are not allowed inside the palace, despite the fact that His Majesty normally lives elsewhere in Oman. Al Alam Palace is surrounded by the Mirani and Jalali Forts built in the 16th century by the Portuguese. Zawawi Mosque, Oman's most ornate mosque. The dome is shaped like an inverted lotus and is made of pink marble covered in 22-carat gold leaf.
Bait Al Zubair is a private museum totally funded by the Zubair family and displays the family’s collection of Omani artifacts, including an outdoor exhibit that shows a typical irrigation system. And finally to Muscat Old Town, and a wander along Muscat's promenade. That is the Sultan's yacht on the left - he has a number of them.
Including the Muttrah Souq, where a multitude of shops offer locals the necessities of life, and tourists the normal tourist tat like Omani daggers, Omani costumes, antiques, traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts made from copper, camel bone, wood and leather.

Our Holiday from Cairo to India on SS Voyager