Posted by: Gary Guertin | March 28, 2017

28. World Cruise–Muscat, Oman–Mar. 22, 2017

I’m posting several in the same day, so start with Singapore 2 – 2nd Day below.

Hi All, (Written Mar. 23, 2017)

A new port for Susy and me, since Muscat was the capital of Oman and was laid out on the port in front of the ship, we decided to just take the shuttle into the center of the city (on the Arabian Sea) and walk around for the day.

First a short history of Oman.  The country and its major city/port, Muscat, being near the Straits of Hormuz on the Arabian Sea, has made it a pivotal trading and military strategic point going back thousands of years. Persians invaded long before the area became Islamic in the seventh century.  The Portuguese took control for over a century until the Al Bu Said dynasty prevailed over them in the eighteenth century and have ruled ever since.  The Sultan Qaboos bin Said has ruled since 1970 and has encouraged tourism in addition to its petroleum wealth.  Oman has a population of 3.4 million people and is 119,499 sq. miles in size.  Muscat is a modern Arab sultanate in an Islamic nation.

On to our day in Muscat.  First the Port, apply named "Port Sultan Qaboos":

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As you leave the gates you will not be short of taxi’s:

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A part of the cities’ promenade around the port:

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and one of many sidewalk Café’s:

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When we talk about shopping, we have everything from what is known as the upscale mall to the street market.  Many Arab states such as Qatar and Dubai have gone to the upscale mall and Muscat is no exception.  However, if you want to enjoy your shopping and want to haggle for everything you purchase there is nothing like the street market.  Here in Muscat, they have one of the largest street markets Susy and I have ever visited (and one of the cleanest).  It reminded us of Istanbul’s Grand Bazar.  In Muscat the market is referred to as the souq. Officially it’s called the "Muttrah Souq".  Here are a few photos to give you a feel for this market:

The entrance from the port:

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Susy in front of one of the wall murals:

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It seemed that this market went on for miles.  Here’s some of the stalls, side streets, and big intersections were the market goes off in many directions:

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I took over 120 photos today and over half where in this market.  I could go on with many more, but I’ll just leave it here and tell you Susy was like in a candy store.  She had a ball and it was hard for me to get her out of there.  You would be interested to know that one of the reasons Susy enjoyed it was that the vendors were courteous and it was a pleasure to bargain with them, as opposed to many markets in other countries where the vendors would follow you down the street, beg you to buy, etc..  We did finally leave, and here’s a picture or two out on the port:

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No that is not a cruise ship in the harbor, but the Sultan of Said’s main yacht, with a little smaller one off to the side as his backup.

Finally let’s look at the port and some of the forts from our ship:

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Muscat is a beautiful port and we were sorry we didn’t have more time to explore it.

So it’s on to five days at sea and our next port, Aqaba (Petra), Jordon, Tue. and Wed., Mar. 28th & 29th. 

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)

P.S. Ships Port Sign:

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