Oman is located on the Arabian Peninsula at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. There are nearly 5 million people in Oman, most of which are in Muscat. The Portuguese occupied Oman for 143 years, from 1507 to 1650. At the peak of its influence, Oman controlled land in modern day Iran, Pakistan, and as far south as Zanzibar. In the 20th century, it came under the influence of the United Kingdom. It later gained independence. Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said led the country from 1970 to early 2020 when he died. His cousin has since become the ruler.
Muscat is the capital city of Oman and lies along the Gulf of Oman. The corniche is a beautiful waterfront promenade with many shops lining the perimeter. We visited the Mutrah Souq along the corniche, but due to it being a Friday, many of the shops were closed.
We climbed to the top of Mutrah Fort, which was built by the Portuguese in the 1580’s. We also saw the Al Jalali and Mirani Forts.
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque can hold up to 20,000 people. It is a magnificent structure made of Indian sandstone.
The Royal Opera House was completed in 2011 and was built with immaculate white marble.
The colorful Al Alam Palace is located in Old Muscat and is one of six sultanic residences of the monarch.
We also stopped in a small fishing village to get a feel for the Oman of the olden days.
We had many masala chai teas along the way, given that it was a five hour journey each way!