At the Southeastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula
03/05/2010 - 03/05/2010
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We approached Muscat at dawn, eager to visit the Sultanate of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. One of his seven palaces is here at the shoreline.
Above the tiny walled city of Muscat are the remains of two late 16th Century Portuguese forts. Oman occupies a strategic location – the northern part is on the Gulf of Oman and the southern part borders the Persian Gulf.
This was our official entry permit. No free souvenirs- we had to give them back.
The Zawawi Mosque is Oman’s largest mosque. I am posing here with Paul, our Nigerian guide. Oman is like a “Magic Kingdom” – it is very clean and modern, with a picturesque blend of Arab, Indian, African and European architecture.
This is the Muttrah Souk (marketplace) – where you can buy just about anything. This man is one of many selling incense, especially frankincense. Oman’s Dhofar region is one of three major frankincense growing areas of southern Arabia and eastern Africa.
A salesman plopped this hat on Ed, trying to make a sale- it didn’t work.
A view down to the walled city of Muscat and the Royal Palace.
The Sultan’s Palace gate. Omani people do not pay taxes and school and healthcare are free. The oil supply which pays for all of this is projected to last another 20 years. Beyond that, perhaps tourism will replace the oil revenues.
The Sultan’s yacht is moored in the interior harbor (his yacht is the white boat not the small wooden one!).
We sailed away from the city, past this oddly-shaped symbol of the port, which is in the shape of an incense burner.