Muscat day tour

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

In 2020 the Sultan Qaboos bin Said passed away. He had ruled from 1970 and oversaw the country in a great transformation. He made sure the people were well taken care of, built infrastructure and most importantly brought peace and safety to the region. In 2001 he dedicated a great mosque to the country, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It is a large and very nice mosque that we were able to visit. This is the only place in Oman where I really felt the need to cover up – Cover body and hair completely.

Opera house

We next stop at the Opera house but we don’t pay to go inside. I am not sure why, perhaps because of time. It is a very nice building.

Fish market

Fisheries are very important to the Oman economy. We visit the local fish market in Muscat. We see where fish salesmen sell their daily catch. It surprisingly doesn’t smell too bad in the market. The people who run the market do a very good job at cleaning. A cat or two wanders around waiting for pieces of fish guts to drop on the ground. They might have better luck at another market.

Back to souq

We return back to the Mutrah Souq. A few of us visited yesterday but the rest of the group did not. I am not in the mood to shop so I spend the time reading and walking around the market and surrounding areas.

Palace and forts and old town

We drive by some old forts and stop in front of the palace for a short stroll. This palace is the palace that is used for official visits. It is not a place of residence for the Sultan.

Meal with Sidab women’s group

Part of what makes Intrepid tours so great is that they carve out portions of the trip where you are able to meet with locals. Today we have lunch with a women’s group that helps support other woman and uses sewing and other skills to sell things to make money. One of their efforts is to sew interesting shopping bags to replace the disposable plastic bags used in the country. It is an uphill battle because people love their plastic bags.

We also learn about frankincense. Oman is said to have the best frankincense in the world. Now I know what those small rocks at the souq were.

Many stop at the museum but I head back to the hotel to rest for afternoon because still jet lagged. Some are meeting for dinner again at a nearby restaurant but I am still full from lunch so I skip the evening dinner.

Tomorrow we head down the coast to Ras Al Jinz.

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