photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
spoonbender | profile | all galleries >> The Sultanate of Oman tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

The Sultanate of Oman

Muscat was so much smaller than I thought it would be. It's like this big. It's like the size of your thumb. The old city is really small, jammed in between mountains the Arabian Sea. It's really amazingly beautiful. By my second day there I realized there was more to the city than the tiny little port towns of Muscat and Mutrah, where I stayed. I took a cab out to the new housing developments at al-Qurm, where there was a glitzy shopping mall with, you guessed it, a Starbucks. But I have no pictures of that nonsense. Just old Muscat. The city is divided in three: Muscat, Mustrah and Ruwi. My hotel was on the corniche in Mutrah, and, I hate to admit it, Lonely Planet was right: the corniche is, at least as far as I've seen, the loveliest in Arabia. And I guess I've only see three others: Dubai (sucks), Abu Dhabi (shrouded in construction), and Sharjah (really nice).

Mutrah is really cool. It's where the souq is and there's lots of old forts and ruins of forts and mountains and Portuguese architecture and old dhows in the harbor. It's quiet, small, crawling with Indians and Bangladeshis, so you know there's good food. I spent much of my time walking around the alleyways of the city behind the waterfront houses. Tiny little alleys, more stray cats than I've seen anywhere outside of Little India in Singapore, a mosque every 100 yards or so, and all those great Arab doors.


Muscat, the old town where Sultan Qaboos lives, is just three kilometers from the corniche in Mutrah, so you can stay in Mustrah, for about 20 USD a night in a decent place, and walk, or take the microbus for 1/10th of a rial, to Muscat. I wish I'd spent more time in Muscat. It's where the civic looking sorts of buildings are. And also where Sultan Qaboos has his palace. And, again, LP is right on when it says his palace is a great piece of architecture.
Sultan Qaboos' Palace
Sultan Qaboos' Palace
Mutrah corniche
Mutrah corniche
Big house on the corniche
Big house on the corniche
I just liked this sign
I just liked this sign
And the colors of the bus stops
And the colors of the bus stops
In the alleys of Mutrah
In the alleys of Mutrah
Kitsch
Kitsch
Roundabout statuary
Roundabout statuary
I'm not exagerating: Sultan Qaboos' pictures hangs on every single street post in the Sultanate of Oman
I'm not exagerating: Sultan Qaboos' pictures hangs on every single street post in the Sultanate of Oman
The road to Muscat
The road to Muscat
The corniche
The corniche
Another corniche shot
Another corniche shot
Behind the souq
Behind the souq
Pink Floyd graffitti In the Sultanate of Oman
Pink Floyd graffitti
In the Sultanate of Oman
Behind the souq
Behind the souq
Shoot the American
Shoot the American
Right next to the mosque
Right next to the mosque
Archways in Muscat. Mosaic of Mr. Qaboos
Archways in Muscat. Mosaic of Mr. Qaboos
These little girls had henna on the arms that was amazing
These little girls had henna on the arms that was amazing
Well, Caryn, what can you say? Even in the Sultanate
Well, Caryn, what can you say? Even in the Sultanate
Bored Muscatians
Bored Muscatians
The back of Sultan Qaboos' house
The back of Sultan Qaboos' house
The ugly American
The ugly American
Chez Qaboos
Chez Qaboos
Roundabout Statuary
Roundabout Statuary
The Good Sultan
The Good Sultan
Omanis are known for their compliance
Omanis are known for their compliance
The houses are nearly completely unadorned, but they paint their doors so beautifully
The houses are nearly completely unadorned, but they paint their doors so beautifully
See
See
This guy is dressed as a footballer: Ruwi, the neighborhood this was taken in, was about to play an important game
This guy is dressed as a footballer: Ruwi, the neighborhood this was taken in, was about to play an important game
You can see on the rial an upside down pic. of Mr. Qaboos
You can see on the rial an upside down pic. of Mr. Qaboos
Plaid
Plaid
Perhaps the commonest sight in the Perian Gulf: Indians lining up to use a phone
Perhaps the commonest sight in the Perian Gulf: Indians lining up to use a phone
This woman was bargaining hard
This woman was bargaining hard
Shia mosque
Shia mosque
Little dress
Little dress
Scowling infant
Scowling infant
As you can see, the scowl is a permanent feature of her face
As you can see, the scowl is a permanent feature of her face
Alleyway
Alleyway
This was supposedly an old part of town, very old. I went to go looking, but was told I was not allowed.
This was supposedly an old part of town, very old. I went to go looking, but was told I was not allowed.
u36%2fspoonbender%2fsmall%2f23675007.P1010322.jpg He  decorates these poles outside his house for the Imam Hussain, he told me.
He decorates these poles outside his house for the Imam Hussain, he told me.
Old Mutrah
Old Mutrah
Is it just me, or do these goats look scary?Note that there's one in the window
Is it just me, or do these goats look scary?
Note that there's one in the window
Cute little girl climbing on a rock
Cute little girl climbing on a rock
I had a such a blast wandering these alleys
I had a such a blast wandering these alleys
This guy had the greatest smile, and I begged him to show it, but having his picture taken was too serious an event
This guy had the greatest smile, and I begged him to show it, but having his picture taken was too serious an event
See the little girl?
See the little girl?
See her now?She was having a blast, screaming her head off. Then her mother and sister came home, and snuck up on her.
See her now?
She was having a blast, screaming her head off. Then her mother and sister came home, and snuck up on her.
Muscat Airport
Muscat Airport
Kitsch
Kitsch
The archway to Muscat
The archway to Muscat
The corniche. In the upper left you can see the giant incense burner statue
The corniche. In the upper left you can see the giant incense burner statue
The bay, an old dhow
The bay, an old dhow
Big old fort. I think it's a police station now
Big old fort. I think it's a police station now
The giant incense burner statue from its base
The giant incense burner statue from its base
The giant incense burner from the corniche
The giant incense burner from the corniche
Old Mutrah
Old Mutrah
Corniche porch
Corniche porch