A Weekend in Oman
Last July I spent a weekend in Oman. This was a sort of last minute holiday that I agreed to go on with a friend of mine that likes to go scuba diving. It wasn’t somewhere that I knew a lot about, nor was it somewhere I’d ever thought about visiting. Actually, when Craig suggested the holiday to me, I had to Google Oman to see where the place was. I’m sure you’re much more clued up than me, and that you know exactly where it is. But, if you haven’t been, I’m betting you probably don’t know it like me. I want to tell you about my weekend in Oman; you never know, you might fancy popping over on your next holiday. I hope you do. I also apologise in advance, because neither myself nor Craig are much for cameras, so I don’t have any photos. Hopefully I can paint you a vivid picture with my words.
Thursday Night –‘ The Kebab’
Thursday afternoon had been a sweaty, sleep-addled nightmare on the plane journey over from London Gatwick. So mine and Craig’s first night was always going to be a slightly slower affair than the rest of the holiday. The first thing that struck me when we got off the plane was the heat. It’s pretty extreme, but a lot more comfortable than the humid heat I experienced when I was in Mexico. We were starving – so we went to the first restaurant we found (which I’ve forgotten the name of, I’m sorry) and didn’t even look at the menu at the door. It turned out to be a Turkish restaurant and I had the best kebab I’ve ever had. I wish I’d remembered the name of the place, because I’d love to go back. But we’d went there at the start, before I knew what we were doing, so I can’t really remember how we found it. We went for a short walk around the incredibly picturesque city centre, before heading back to the hotel for the night.
Friday – Life Aquatic…
Scuba diving was the main reason why Craig wanted to go to Oman. He’s been all over the world snorkelling and scuba diving, and he’d been to Qatar last year and had heard that Oman had some of the most beautiful dives out there. We spent the morning on a sort of training thing in a swimming pool and the whole afternoon was spent either on a boat, skirting about the little islands around the coast, or in the deep blue, marvelling at all the weird and wonderful things. I really enjoyed it, but I’d only sort of scuba dived once before, so I don’t really have much to compare it to. Craig said it was brilliant, and that it was different to anywhere he’d dived. He didn’t say it was the best place he’d dived, but I think he liked it a lot. You can read a bit of information about scuba diving in Oman on Surfacewatch.
Saturday – Aimless Wandering at its Finest…with a bit of culture
Craig had another day of diving set up for himself, but, being a beginner, I was left to explore Muscat and get a feel for the place. In the morning, I just lazed around the hotel as I was knackered from all the swimming the day before. Then, as hunger struck I ventured out to a restaurant called D’Arcy’s Kitchen that the hotel concierge recommended to me. The food was lovely, but it’ll never beat ‘The Kebab’ I had on Thursday. Then I visited the Omani Heritage Gallery, which was right beside the restaurant. I was running low of money, but luckily Travelex came to the rescue. They really are everywhere. You can have a look at the exchange rates for the Omani Riyal to see how the pound, dollar or euro is doing. Wallet filled, I pottered about the beautiful city and bought a few souvenirs before meeting up with Craig back at the hotel for 5. This was our last night, so we decided to take a big walk around Muscat and really get a feel for the place. We were starting to know our way around, and my wanderings earlier had made me the tour guide. We found another random Turkish place with an inferior kebab and we went back to the hotel. Our flight was early in the morning.
I loved my time in Oman, and it sticks in my mind as this strange little place unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. If you like scuba diving, then it’s definitely worth a visit. I suspect it might get a little boring if you were there for 2 weeks, but I definitely could have stayed a day or two longer and seen a bit more of it.
The Harbour at Muscat, courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oman_Muscat_Muttrah.jpg