Written by Bradt Travel Guides
To celebrate the launch of our new Oman guide, author Tony Walsh took over our Instagram to share some of his photos and stories from his time there.
Hi everyone! #Oman author @tonywalsh.me here taking over @bradtguides account for the day to share my stories from researching the new guide (which is out this month!). Where better to start the takeover than in the capital? Pictured here, the Al Alam Palace is one of #Muscat’s prettiest buildings — bedecked with petunias, it flies the Royal Standard whenever the Sultan Qaboos is in the governorate. #bradt #taketheroadlesstravelled
We trekked along the upper walk of #Oman’s very own #GrandCanyon to the village of As Sab. The walk down to the village is relatively easy — it’s the return uphill that’s difficult! I much prefer going to the small village of A’Nakhr that can be seen from the base of the wadi. Its location is spectacular — and better still, it has a family specialising in weaving beautiful Omani rugs. #bradt #taketheroadlesstravelled
Frankincense, rose water and clay pots are just some of the many handicrafts produced by local masters in #Oman. Rose water is particularly special — top right, you see Abdul Karim Al Saqri with his basket of rose petals, ready to be placed in the oven for distilling. He collected the petals from the damask rose bushes of his local village (#Sayq) and bottled the water in Vimto cordial bottles. It’s almost as if Vimto and rose water are made for each other! #bradt #taketheroadlesstravelled
Friday afternoons on the Al Batinah coast mean only one thing — bull fights. Unlike in Spain, in #Oman the sport is bloodless and between two evenly matched animals. There is no prize for the winner — only pride and honour, something that would render is unworkable as an activity in neighbouring Dubai. In Oman, however, traditions are still valued for their own sake, thereby making #bullfighting a natural spectacle refreshingly void of commercialisation. #bradt #taketheroadlesstravelled
Socially and economically, the date is the most important fruit crop in #Oman. Midsummer, with 45+ degree heat, is not the best time to climb dozens of high date trees – but sadly it’s the only time, as dates ripen in the heat. I tried once, much to the amusement of a family engaged in the date harvest; and only got a couple of metres above the ground before I jumped back down to let the more experienced men resume the task! #bradt #taketheroadlesstravelled
Think #Oman is all desert? Think again. In the south of the country, Wadi Darbat is overlooked by the seasonal cloud forest in the Qara Mountains of #Dhofar, and during the summer monsoon, locally known as the khareef, a torrent of water discharges through the valley creating lush, green meadows. #bradt #taketheroadlesstravelled
What a spectacular view to sign off with – the track descending to Khawr A’Najd on the Musandam Peninsula. This vast inlet from the Sea of Oman offers mirror-calm waters for #snorkelers and scuba divers. Whatever you area of interest – #history and architecture, nature and wildlife, people and #culture, or simply soaking in your surroundings – you won’t be disappointed in #Oman. I hope my photos have sparked your curiosity in this #MiddleEastern wonder! #bradt #taketheroadlesstravelled
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