Ah, Oman…I miss you already

The Burj Dubai standing tall outside my bedroom window

The Burj Dubai standing tall outside my bedroom window

Let’s just say that by the end of this summer I hope to be a bit more polished at this here wordpress…

Although home base for the next two months is Dubai, I was only on UAE soil for about 12 hours before I embarked on an Omani journey.

Wait.  Go back.  Duba?  UAE?  Omani?  Let’s stop here for a second.

So as not to be presumptuous about your knowledge of the Middle East and because I am on a constant journey to check my facts I will periodically break for a footcard (think of it as a combo flashcard and footnote), to explain a foreign word, map a location or provide some background on my summer jaunt.  So, here’s the first footcard…

dubai

middleeastmap

Back to the story at hand…  I landed in the burgeoning city of Dubai on Saturday night and by Sunday morning I was well on my way to the docile country of Oman.   Long stretches of pristine highway and a beautifully tan desert landscape reached as far as the eye could see and was only broken up by the UAE-Oman border and the bustling cities of Al Ain and Nizwa.

After a day spent watching the thermostat in the car reach 43˚C (that’s about 109˚F), the drop in temperature as our FJ Cruiser climbed the Jebel Akhdar mountains was a pleasant change.  As the sun set over the rocky hills, we sat down for a dinner at the Jabal Al Akhdhar Hotel consisting of deliciously authentic curries (the chef was Indian and suggested that we try his specialty, much to the dismay of my locavore-craving stomach).

Our cartel of Omani travelers consisted of five women in their 50s and me – the one 20-something lucky enough to be invited to tag along.  Chrissie, a New Zealand expat and resident of Dubai for the past 13 years put an ambitious itinerary together for us with a couple stellar highlights.

The next morning is when the real adventure began.  We started our trek through the mountain village of Al Aqur, continued through Al Ayn, and ended in Al Shirayjah.  Rather than bore you with descriptions, I’ll let you take a visual stroll through ancient history…

The terrace gardens of Al Shirayjah from Al Aqur

The terrace gardens of Al Shirayjah from the begining of our trek in Al Aqur

A chicken coop in Al Aqur

A chicken coop in Al Aqur

A doorway in Al Aqur

A doorway in Al Aqur...the village homes were simple pale stone and concrete structures which contrasted against the bright ornate metal doors

After hiking through the village of Al Aqur we reached the middle village of Al Ayn.

After hiking through the village of Al Aqur we reached the middle village of Al Ayn

Merchant in Al Ayn

Merchant in Al Shirayjah

An alley in the quiet village of Al Ayn.

An alley in the quiet village of Al Shirayjah

After returning to Al Aqur to pick up our second car we handed out some toys to the local kids

Before leaving the villages we handed out some toys to the local kids

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1 Comment

  1. Sergei B. said,

    May 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Very cool pictures. I hope you’re having a time of your life, Darla!


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