Just when you think it can’t possibly get any hotter, you’re proven wrong. At least I was. We arrived in Muscat, Oman this morning and the temperature by late morning was 102 degrees Fahrenheit or 93 degrees Celsius. The humidity was unbearable with this temperature. I thought that Oman would be dry but that wasn’t the case. I went up on deck this morning at 6am to take pictures but my camera lens wouldn’t clear up even after 30 minutes.
So where are we? It’s a very interesting geographical location when you look at the surrounding countries.
Here are some photos of the coastline of Muscat and the rocky shorelines. The city itself is relatively small compared to cities we’ve already visited but the cleanliness and newness of all the buildings and structures are impressive.
Oman is ruled by a sultan, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, and his influence is visible everywhere. His yacht was in the harbor and I was able to get a fairly good shot of it. The smaller yacht to its side is also his but is only utilized to support the larger yacht at sea.
Our first visit was to the Grand Mosque which is about 30 minutes from the harbor. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque was completed in 2001 and is beautiful – both from the outside architecture to the interior. The dress code is very conservative. Women must cover their heads with shawls and have no skin exposed. Men must wear long sleeved shirts and long pants – no shorts. It was interesting to hear that women must enter through a separate entrance from the men but then can join everyone on the inside. Here are some photos of the exterior.
And here are the three of us (Marc, Caroline, Rich) prepared to enter the Grand Mosque. Of course, shoes are removed.
The interior of the Grand Mosque is gorgeous and pictures really can’t capture the beauty.
Our tour guide, Joseph, was excellent and explained so many aspects of both Oman life and the practices of Islam. Before entering the Grand Mosque, he demonstrated how worshippers typically cleanse themselves before entering. He also read and sang some short verses from the Quran.
Our last visit was to the Sultan’s Palace. Although he doesn’t live there, it is used for official purposes such as heads of state visits. We weren’t able to go inside.
That’s all from Oman. It was truly an incredible and visually stimulating day. I had identified Muscat before the cruise as one of my most anticipated ports and we were not disappointed.
We’re now on our way to Dubai and plan to get there by early afternoon. Thanks again for following.