We also went on two other excursions while staying in Muscat. One morning we went on a 2 hour snorkeling trip and in the late afternoon we went to the famous Mutrah Souq.
The Mutrah Souq is one of the oldest marketplaces in the Arab world. Muscat has the world’s largest natural harbor and in the era of sailing ships was strategically located as a stop on the trade routes between the east and the west. The local name for the souq is Al Dhalam which means darkness in Arabic, this is because the crowded stalls and narrow lanes do not allow sunlight to enter. It has become a tourist destination but is still actively supported by the Omanis and becomes very crowded during the holiday seasons when people from all over the country come to buy garments and jewelry. There are many interesting side streets and alleyways to explore. You will find a maze of very tiny shops selling frankincense, perfume oils, fresh jasmine and spices the further you go into the souq.
Diving and snorkeling are very popular around Oman, the waters are nutrient-rich and attract an array of marine life from tiny micro-organism to whales. There are also many coral gardens to explore located just off the shore and tucked away in the rocky coastal coves. M.E. and I went on a morning snorkeling trip, I do not have an underwater camera so no pictures but we did see lots of wonderful fish and some large sea turtles. I did take many pictures of the beautiful coastal rocky shore line please them check out.
FUN FACT – These nutrient-rich waters in the lower Arabian Gulf around Oman has attracted a number of large marine animals including dolphins, sea turtles and whales. There is a fairly large population of a particular species of humpback whales off the waters of Oman. They are distinct in that they do not migrate like most whale populations, these tend to breed and remain in the same area.
Next up Ramadan!