travel tales :: Oman ohhhsomeness
UAE’s right next door neighbour Oman is quite different – and then similar, too, and I must say: the people and the places are awesome 😀 and here is why …
Some of you might know I chose New Zealand to be my home country although I was actually born in Germany. And some of the things I so loved about kiwiland I also see in Oman and that’s why I like Oman so much.
The smallness (below 4 mil. people life in Oman) and with it a humble and friendly character of people shines through when buying food, visiting forts or ancient burial sites, going through road check points and just meeting people. They all are friendly. That just is lovely to be around – literally.
The country is really diverse – just like New Zealand – but different. And we haven’t even travelled half of the Sultanate of Oman. So you guessed right: there will be more volumes to this travel tale.
Let’s start with Musandam: The peninsula actually surrounded by UAE and on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Check out a map here so you can look like a pro in your next Middle Eastern Conversation! I highly recommend doing a dhow cruise through the Norwegian Fjords of the Middle East. More about that trip here. Just NICE. But then you can of course also drive around on the Peninsula. Most of the really cool views you kinda get on the dirt roads that have a bit of a wash out happening specially after rain. So make sure you have a 4WD and never go out in the Wadis and remote places when rain comes. Apparently flash floods are not really fun to get stuck in.
Then there is also rest of Oman (see the map link earlier). So we thought – to start somewhere – we check out the highest mountain in Oman and the area round it. Oh how cool! Jebel Shams is 3028m high and part of the Hajjar Mountains. Read here for more info from Oman Tourism. We also used The Lonely Planet travel guide and Explorer (others and the Off Road Guides)! Great tips.
And then you also have the Grand Canyon of the Middle East (Wadi Ghul) with about 1000m high cliffs. Just like the Grand Canyon in the USA it’s really hard to photograph cause it’s so BIG! So one of those again: Go there yourself and experience it. Have your breath taken away, then breathe in mountain air, and enjoy the stillness all around you.
Just around the corner from Jebel Shams you have a village where part of it are the Yemeni mud house style buildings – abandon but still beautiful and so sad to see falling apart. The beauty about it you see how they were made: the walls, roof, doors… with mud, straw, wooden beams – interesting!
and a bit further another typical Omani sight: bare mountains and then you go around the corner and the green just hits you. Reminds me even of New Zealand again how lush it all can look.
and then you also have this century old heritage of forts on hills with grand views and ancient burial sites – like I am talking old: 2000-3000 BC! This means they have been around like 4000-5000 years. Impressive.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of my travel tales. Maybe you see some similarities to New Zealand, too, and how diverse this bit of Oman already is. Please come back, share, leave a note below or follow me on Facebook. 🙂
Keep filling up your passports!
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