Sultanate of Oman 9 January – 12 January 2006

The difference between Oman and Kuwait’s other Gulf neighbours is more than geographic, although that aspect can’t be overlooked.  The difference is also cultural.  DAI Friends went to see for themselves and came back “enamoured with the country or at least the parts we saw”.

The trip started in Muscat, the capital city.  The Grand Mosque, a modern architectural marvel, and the two 16th century Portuguese forts provided a perfect example of how the past and the present successfully merge in Oman. The mosque, which holds 20,000 worshippers, is the dominant visual in Muscat, and the Mirani Fort at night conjured up visions of fairytales, with handsome princes and sleeping beauties.

The group left Muscat for Nizwa, the ancient inland capital, after a couple of days.  As usual, the trip was just as interesting as the destination.  Driving through arid lands, wadis and oasis villages, Nizwa was the seat of learning and the birthplace of Islam in Oman and home to one of the country’s most striking castles, Jabreen.

Finally, no visit to Oman would be complete without a visit to Wadi Nakhr and Jebel Shams in the Western Hajjar Mountians.  Both sites proved magnificent, especially for travelers coming from the flat, desert of Kuwait.