May 5th was our last day in Oman and we started with a tour of the Grand Mosque. It was built not too long ago and it was the Sultan’s gift to the people. No on knows how much it cost to build or how many people worked on it. It can hold thousands and thousands of worshipers at a time, and is absolutely beautiful inside and very elegant outside.
After visit the mosque we headed off to the mountain oasis city of Nizwa. It is located on a former trade route and has an ancient fortress in the old city that is a main attraction. The giant round tower is different than what most people expect in a fortress.
After visiting the town, we were taken to a mountain-top camp to enjoy the views and the cooler breezes. This is one of the newer places being developed for people to stay one or two nights in a camp, enjoy the wilderness and get away from it all. After lunch we took the dirt road back down the mountain and headed back to Muscat for one last hotel inspection and dinner. The hotel we visited is called The Chedi and is a very nice place that I would not hesitate to recommend – it’s in the middle of the new part of Muscat, on the beach, is in a quiet, serene setting, closer to the airport, and has excellent food. Maybe next time I will get to stay there!
We had an early flight back the next morning to Dubai to catch our flights home. Yet again, the service on Emirates was impeccable. When we arrived a week earlier in the evening at Dubai airport, it was pretty quiet. Now, in the morning, the place was extremely busy. Every gate was full and the shops and restaurants in the departure hall were crowded. Make sure, if you are departing from Dubai airport, that you give yourself time to make it through security and through the huge terminal- the walk to your gate alone can take much longer than you might expect. They have moving walkways, but still it can be a long ways to your gate.
Also, a note about going into Oman. If you are traveling by land from the Emirates into Oman, the process is a bit different than arriving by air as I described in a previous post. Be sure to read back through Rita’s blog post as she went by land.
Caravan-Serai plans to have a group tour to Oman and the Emirates later this year so keep checking our website or sign up for our email alerts. We also can put together a private tour of these countries at any time for you, just give us a call!