Traveling is Awesome!!!

I am back from my trip to SULTANATE OF OMAN and it has been a soulful treat.  I was there when the cyclone Nilofar was deciding on its directions and was zeroing in Oman too, however later it decided to change its course. The adventure did not die down because on the last day of our trip (29th October), the deserts were lashed by heavy rainfall while we traced the roads from Wahiba Sands to Sur to Muscat. It was all so surreal.

My senses have come back rejuvenated and a happy chapter has been added in my travel experiences. The 5 day all-expenses paid trip came through a blogging contest win and it was absolutely well planned.  The visa was hassle free, flying experience through Oman Air was comfortable and once I landed at Muscat International Airport, I was well looked after by Ministry of Tourism, Oman.

OMAN

Oman, the land of spectacular landscape on the Arabian peninsula is impressive. Its blended uniquely with nature at its best. It not just boasts of rugged mountains, soft sand beaches, blue-green coastline, wild dolphins, ornate Mosques, fascinating forts, deep canyons, traditional Bedouins, limestone caves, Omani falaj, Frankincense, Jabel Shams, ancient forts, vibrating Souqs, Eastern Hajar Mountains, Wahiba Sands , Museums, Royal Opera House but they were all part of my itinerary. 

With no second thoughts, I would say Oman is exotic and beautiful and I had a time of my life in exploring its deserts, mountains, peaks , gorges, wadis and seaside.

Jewel of Arabia

If you have a view of the gulf countries and Dubai seemed all man made glitter to you on your last holiday, Oman’s beauty isn’t in competition. It falls in a completely different league. I was both surprised and amazed with his awesome combination of browns, greens and blue.  I loved the spectacular desert mountains that followed me everywhere I went. The emerald blue water appeared so relaxing and soothing to the eyes that I wanted to dive in deep.

Oman’s amazing diversity of landscape adds to the traveler’s delight . The forts, citadels and watchtowers are in plenty to tell you much about Oman’s heritage and culture. The golden sand dunes stand huge and unmoving.  The Wadi bashing using a 4×4 called for adrenalin rush and ultimate fun. The Desert Night camp experience was one of its kinds.

My impression of Muscat was that it is a blend of both, modern and traditional. The souqs are liberating and the Grand Mosque is gorgeous. Our search for dolphins in the sea at the Marina Bander was met with lovely scenic views and hundreds of dolphins playing around our speed boat. We were told it was one of the days when we were absolutely lucky to spot so many of them together.  Our upwards drive to the heights of  Al Hajar mountain region was no less than breath taking. A night spent each in Jebel Shams and Wahiba Sands were both humbling and adventurous experience for me.

 

 Apart from the Dolphins in the Marina Bander, these rock solid formations too greet you generously amidst the blue and beautiful waters.

To many the one in the picture above looks like a man’s face.

 

 The beautiful sunset captured at the Jebel Shams Resort

Jabal Shams Heights Resort is located on Al Hajar mountain region in Northeastern Oman, located 240 km from Muscat.

 Tourists and their love to go for the picturesque swim in Sink holes.  It makes for tourist attraction and holiday postcards.

I had never seen a sink hole before I saw this stunning Bimmah sinkhole with green and clear waters.

 

The grandeur of nature impresses you when you hit on the roads to go exploring in OMAN

The road trips were the highlight of my adventurous Omani experience.  Honestly, I loved the endless drives in Prada Landcruiser.

 

The entrance of Arabian Oryx camp stands all lighted amidst the vast expanse of Wahiba deserts.

We stayed here for desert camping and barbeque under the star lit sky.

 

The fascinating green colored door in the Al Hamra Village, a pretty village with stone and mud houses.

Bollywood must explore these location for their exotic shootings.

 

The beautiful chandelier in the inside of the magnificent ‘The Sultan Qaboos Mosque’

The Mosque is a must visit place in Muscat. It grand and intricate architecture, largest carpet is stunning and soaks you in pleasure.

 

 The villages of Saiq, Wadi Bani Habib (the village of the old houses) nestled between the beautiful landscape.

The layers of lush green , the mud houses, the rugged mountains and the blue sky together make for photographers delight.

 

Desert camping tents in the Sharqiyah Sands  (also called Wahiba Sands) 

In the deserts, sunset and sunrise are beautiful.  The picture was taken just before the sunset when I sat atop one of the sand dunes.

 

One of the colorful and inviting shop of the famous Muttrah Souq opposite the seaport in Muscat.

Muttrah houses all from the exotic Oriental spices, perfumes, frankincense to the richly handcrafted artifacts.

The forts in OMAN are symbol of national heritage and storehouse of Historic treasures.

 The culture, history, religion, Art of OMAN in books, captured at Nizwa Fort

The forts, citadels are huge and in plenty around the vast expanse of this land.

(Above)  The water storing pottery at the Jabrin Fort reminding us of the atmosphere and times of medieval Oman.

The traditional Omani caps showcased in one of the Malls in Muscat.

The local women can be seen in Abaya and men love to don their Dishdasha.

 

One must not forget to sample aromatic, authentic Arabic cuisine!!!

Foodies can dig in delicious platefuls of meat, sea food, rice, hummus, Omani breads in OMAN

Enjoyed soaking my feet in the sands of the desert, Wahiba Sands.

We three bloggers ( Aseem, Mithun and I ) and Dency Mathew from Oman Tourism had great fun together!!! My trip to OMAN came as a blogging prize in a contest organized by Ministry of Tourism, Oman & Indiblogger

I was in Oman from 25th October to 30th October 2014. Stay tuned for my next post in the OMAN series.

Happy Traveling!!!

Written by

Manjulika Pramod

An engineer who loves to be called a blogger more!
Traveler, short-story writer, voracious reader, foodie is the better me!
Reading, eating, traveling, exploring, observing and blogging are the beautiful highs of my life.