Today’s adventures took us to the coastal town of Mutrah, this is renowned as the old town of Muscat. The gates to Muscat used to be closed at last light and opened at first light. If you weren’t able to get through the gates in time, you would have been locked in the desert for the night with nothing. This is before Sultan Qaboos came into power.
The first thing I learned in Oman, is how much they value their leader; Sultan Qaboos. In 1970, he started to revolutionise the country, through changing his father’s attitude to leadership. He has been educated in a private school in England and trained in Sandhurst. And rather than holding onto their wealth, he has invested everything into the coutcry, by modernising the infrastructure. When he took over Oman, it had 3 primary schools, 10k of paved roads and 2 health centres. Today Oman is peaceful and prosperous, whilst also preserving much of the character and heritage of the country, making Oman so unique.
Anyway, as I said we visited Mutrah, where we went to the traditional souk (market). Which sells Omani and Indian artefacts, antiques, traditional textiles, hardware and jewellery. Navigating around the souk was a challenging maize of avenues, we are so lucky to have Louise who has visited many times and knew what she was doing.
As three whytes on tour, we were constantly haggling for the best deal. This may of resulted in Louise encountering a man being over friendly and Sophie accidentally revealing slightly too much. The reaction was hilarious, safe to say we got a cracking deal on that one!
The highlight of today: definitely when we were heading to the car after the souk and whilst being dramatic over how hot the car was… We found this adorable lady who gave Louise her child’s ice cream. Then runs into the shop to get us all an ice cream to cool down. Whilst chatting, I said how much I loved her dressing that she wears such beautiful colour rather than just black. Well… Being Omani and Muslim she literally offered us the shirt off her back, in the form of her dress!! The Omanis are incredibly generous, being English I assume they’re taking the mick.
Tomorrow will be the least cultural with us heading to an incredibly fancy hotel to get smashed; Grand Hyatt. Might make a post?!