April 24, 2023 – Day 100!
Yesterday was the second concert called “Sing Out Loud” by a group of 70 passengers who have been rehearsing on sea days. After the first concert, Norm joined the group. They sang 8 songs and sounded just terrific!
We have been to Muscat twice before. I alway look on my previous blog posts to see what we have explored and we try to do something different unless we really loved something and want to do it again.
Muscat is the capital and most populated city in Oman and it is the seat of the Governorate of Muscat. The total population is about 1.4 million. As early as the the first centuury AD it was an important trading port between the west and the east. Since the ascension of Qaboos bin Said as Sultan of Oman in 1970, Muscat has experienced rapid infrastructural development that has led to the growth of a vibrant economy and a multi-ethnic society.
We were planning to go to the Mutrah Souq to shop and when we got off the ship, the hop-on hop-off bus was right at the port, so we went on it for the two hour round trip and ended at the Souq where we did some shopping.
The city’s landscape consists of mostly low-lying white buildings which seem to be built right onto the rock cliffs. I was amazed at the amount of work it must have taken to build here.
Ramadan was over on Friday but there are 3 days of celebration that follow the fasting days so we weren’t sure what might be closed for the holiday. The shop right at the pier was closed but almost all of the Souq shops were open.
Here is the scene as we sailed in.
The city is clean and beautifully landscaped. There are all of the American fast food places and car dealerships alongside of local shops and businesses. The fort that is in the previous picture is the Mutrah fort that was built in the 17th century.
We didn’t get off the bus until the end of the trip. We saw most of the important sites and some of the ones we had visited before. It seems like there are mosques on every corner of the city. The nation is Islamic but there are also some Catholics and Protestants here. The country is very peaceful.
This lookout tower we saw when we sailed in is the Mabkhara which symbolizes Oman’s generated wealth from crude oil decades ago. The economy is still dominated by trade in petroleum, liquified natural gas and porting.
We passed the Al Alam Palace in Old Muscat which is the ceremonial palace of Sultan Qaboos.
And the large yacht is his – the small one is his old one!
The Royal Opera House is the leading arts and culture organization in the Sultanate of Oman.
There are beautiful sculptures all along the route and along the corniche, which is the walkway along the sea.
The original city was surrounded by walls, some of which still remain. Here are some of the gates into and out of the city.
We visited the Souq and bought some nuts. Ray tried to locate his favorite shop and we walked all around to find it. We found out from one of the other vendors that it closed when the owner died. It didn’t seem as crowded as on our previous visit, probably due to the holiday.
Here are some other pictures of the sights.
It was a hot but fun day and gave us a good overview of the current city and we didn’t have to do too much walking in the heat. Next we spend two days in Dubai, tomorrow is a special Around the World event and on Wednesday we will spend time in the Dubai Mall.
Wow. What a beautiful city. Great pictures!
Wow what a difference from your recently visited towns and countries. Very clean and modern feeling. Enjoy your time.
love all the pictures