After leaving Dubai, we arrived the next morning in Muscat, Oman. Muscat is about 300 miles east of Dubai, and pretty much the most easterly point in the Persian Gulf. Here’s a quick refresher map:
We didn’t have either a run or a bike scheduled for the day, and with hard run workouts on either side of this day, we set out simply to enjoy the town and surrounding areas.
We spent a bit of time checking out the main market (Souk), but after that decided to go for a bit of a walk. We weren’t terribly sure how long we could walk for along the waters edge, but we figured we might find some interesting stuff along the way.
While walking we were next to a coastal road, but a road which the country clearly has spent a lot of time beautifying. In fact, that’d be the case everywhere we went. Everything was spotless. There were crews out and about at all times cleaning up every last bit of trash or stray dust particle on anything.
Having been to Singapore a number of times – a city which I’ve also found spotless – this took cleanliness to a whole new level, easily making it the most clean city/town I’ve been to anywhere in the world.
While our walk was going nicely, we found things…very…very…hot. So we decided we’d try and get a cab and head a bit away from town (in a faster fashion than walking) towards a coastal town. In the process we found an awesome cab driver that agreed to a flat-rate for the day, and to take us all over the place. He spoke perfect English, and knew an astounding amount about just about everything.
We started off with the King’s palace and surrounding areas, seen below. We got to see both the front, as well as the back which has its own private sea port. The king here though is well liked, and has been in power some 40 years.
We then climbed up into the mountains a bit. In fact, everything around us was sharp, jagged mountains and dry desert. It reminded me quite a bit of Jordan once you got away from Amman.
We made stops along the way – once again noting just how incredibly clean and perfectly manicured everything was. Below a rest stop with a view, but one you could also have your own little roadside (or view side) picnics.
We headed towards what was supposed to be a small coastal village from our map, but in reality ended up being just a giant sandy parking lot:
However, it was a giant sandy parking lot that afforded quite the view:
So we spent a bit of time here at the beach, just laying on a mostly empty beach and enjoying virtually nobody around us. Plus, the waters were incredibly warm.
Behind us near the vast parking lot were the ruins of some old buildings. Made for an interesting photo.
After our time at the beach, we went back into the car and exploring a bit more. We ended up at a massive (but incredibly fancy) new hotel/residential complex. The complex has some new views from inside looking out – so he took us around a bit.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent driving around the countryside by car and getting out and checking out little things here and there. Pretty much exactly what we wanted.
No big bus tour or anything, just a simple wandering around taking it all in. A perfect way to spend a day in Muscat…even if we couldn’t fit in a run.
Next up on our vacation – Kochi, India. And yup, our vacation explains why posting is a little slow this week. Thanks for reading all!