Day 1

 

After a brief disruption to the start of my first night in Oman,  I finally managed to fall asleep around 3am local time only to be woken up by the morning prayer sung by the Imam (the priest). He calls to prayer when the sun rises, which at this time of the year is roughly 4.15am.

I’m going to blame the disruption and not being lazy, but I was finally woken for the day at 11am by my sister with a cup of tea. The air con gave me a false sense of confidence amind I strolled onto the balcony.. To be welcomed by the sudden heat of 45 degrees and a blinding brightness!

Louise drove us around where she lives; al seeb. We went along the sea Cornish, which offered stunning views of the sea front and the crystal blue water. Also visiting a small shopping mall in ‘the wave’ which is apparently the westernised section of Oman, where English women can stroll around without the need to cover up.

We then visited Muscat City Centre. Much to my surprise it seemed extremely westernised, with every possible shop there! Unfortunately, the exchange rate is currently 0.54, so I’m basically doubling the prices in rials, which makes shopping slight pricey!!

Following this, we needed to head to a supermarket. Discovering the equivalent of a larger tesco extra, we ventured round the huge aisles and discovered food that is bought in such huge quantities.

The highlight for me being a date fanatic was visiting the date stall within the supermarket, I’ve attached a picture, but this is just fuelling my addiction. Will definitely be taking a lot home with me!

We relaxed by the pool in the afternoon, reading and still struggling in the now much reduced heat of the day, before having supper on the veranda.

10pm: exhausted and ready to snore!

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Travelling to Oman

Planning to travel to Oman has been stressful to say the least, but it’s safe to say I’ve arrived with only a few hiccups along the way.

Stress 1:

Deciding to attend We R festival in Upminster the day before my flight, made planning my descent to the airport very confusing. Two weeks before, I left my car with my best friend in Kent (with my bag packed for Oman). Not remembering what I packed before, I packed a small backpack with my iPhone and iPad, and my passport… The idea of carrying such valuables to a festival was horrifying!

On arriving in Kent, I looked through my large bag to discover I had forgotten ankle socks, toothbrush, underwear and any form of long sleeved tops to cover my shoulders on arrival.

With my flight being at 10am on Bank Holiday Monday, and releasing this large mishap at 11pm the night before.. There was no option than to have an expensive start to this trip in Gatwick, visiting Victoria secret and Zara.. So much for budget travelling!!

Stress 2:

Arriving at the check in desk, to a concerned air hostess mentioning that the flight is fully booked, but that she’ll sort something… Anyway, I’m checked in… I don’t care.

Turning up at my gate to scan my boarding pass to be clearly rejected with a few red lights and beeping noises..

“Let me just to check the names match.. Oh yes, you have been upgraded to business class”

What an experience!

  • the comfiest reclining chairs
  • so much leg room/space
  • Gin & tonics on tap
  • Smoked salmon, chicken breast with chickpeas, cheese board, fruit platter

Stress 3:

Finally arriving in Muscat, where I needed to purchase a 10 day visa, which should of costed about £15. Me of course worked out I need a 12 day visa, not considering that I’m in the air for a day each way. So I purchased a 30 day travel visa which was the next option.. Costing roughly £45… Rookie traveller right here!

Whilet queueing to get the visa I just paid for I can’t find my boarding pass.. So a quick look at my passport & boarding pass & visa turned into a lengthy analysis of my reasons for visiting, online confirmation of flights, all with a very difficult language barrier!

I could of not of been more relieved to see my older sister waiting for me, I’d made it!