Weekend Trip To Oman
You guys know I did a tiny weekend trip to Oman last weekend with Nabeel (of course) and our best friends, Faraz and Shehla. We planned on leaving early Friday morning , and we did, but we ended up doing such random crap all day (you wouldn't believe the nonsense we pulled) we only reached Muscat around 8 pm. The road trip itself had been such fun this far, we didn't care and decided to start exploring the next day.
DAY 1: So, on Saturday, we had a leisurely paratha, chai breakfast and left for Nizwa around 11 am. Nizwa's about an hour and a half's drive from Muscat and the road is really great going in between mountains.
First Stop: Nizwa Souq
We got to Nizwa Souq which is within Nizwa Fort. Shehla isn't interested in forts and the rest of us have seen a couple of forts in Oman already so we skipped everything and went right into the souq. The boys pretended to enjoy the stuff while Shehla and I shortlisted what we wanted to get. The souq has a mix of things like pottery, planters, fort-shaped candle holders, chimes, baskets, loads of silver Omani jewelery, caps, shawls, MANY things.
We picked up a few small things, hung out in the breeze for a bit, took pictures and left for our next stop: Misfat Al Abriyeen.
Second Stop: Misfat Al Abriyeen
Misfat Al Abriyeen is a mountain village with stone and mud houses that are a few hundred years old and this was about an hour's drive from Nizwa Souq. To reach the village, you have to go up the mountains through a winding road, which interestingly isn't nauseating at all and the drive isn't that long.
The drive is pretty scenic because you drive through really beautiful fruit plantations and those are one of my favorite things, just a casual FYI. Then there comes the mountain drive, which is also great with the grand mountains all around. The upward mountain climb is roughly about 10-15 minutes only.
The village itself is entirely made of winding pathways and and narrow alleys. I'm the kind of person who loves exploring such places so I was on an all-time high.
The people living in Misfat have super humble homes. One of the residents invited us in to show us his space and he had the fewest belongings imaginable. He proudly told us though that he has water, electricity and a television connection *insert smile*.
It was my personal mission to take a picture with every possible door. I hope you can see that.
While going through the village, we suddenly came across this hidden oasis for which we climbed down a few steep steps (nothing too dramatic but an elderly person might need help).
There was an entire plantation down there with SUCH lush green, I honestly could've camped there forever.
What was remarkable was that these were entirely hand harvested, no machine intervention. I loved this spot the MOSTESTEST.
We didn't have time so we didn't go all the way down but it stretched out and I'd totally recommend exploring this for a good half hour if you have the time and love such places.
While driving down the mountain on our drive back, we caught the sunset. There are a few viewing spots along the road so you can park anywhere for a bit if you're there around that time. The wind was incredible here and we practically did nothing except just hang out there for a bit but it was AWESOME.
Afterwards we headed back to our hotel to get cleaned up a bit and get dinner and shisha. The ride back was about a couple of hours so basically half the time was spent in our car driving to different spots but if you're a fan of road trips, the car part is almost just as fun as the exploring part.
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DAY 2: We had to head back to Dubai on Day 2 but we decided to do two simple things before getting back on the road.
First Stop: Shatti Al Qurum Beach
I've always loved the Oman ocean, it's such a beautiful blue AND it actually feels like an ocean (Dubai has too much construction happening everywhere). We decided to get breakfast at Crepe Café at the beach (thank you to the person who specifically recommended this branch, it was awesome!). The weather was so brilliant, we sat outside and had crepes and coffee and then followed it up with a walk on the beach and some ridiculous pictures which I'm currently undecided if I want to show you guys, lulz.
Second stop: Sultan Qaboos grand Mosque
I have a thing for praying in mosques in different cities (no reason, randomly) so despite wanting to get back to Dubai early, we decided to take out an hour and stop at the mosque. It was such a great decision because the mosque is a beauty. Very understated and quiet with unexpected elements (for a mosque) like stained glass windows. We prayed, took a few pictures, Shehla hid Faraz's shoes and then all of us got back into our car to head home.
These stunning chandeliers were in the men's section though but I accidentally went there (umm) and got a sneak peek before running away like a mad chicken because I think someone was coming to scold me.
It was SUCH a fun trip. This was my fourth time in Oman and I think this is when I had the best time. All of us have really relaxed temperaments so we spent so much of our time just fooling around and not having any hangups about missing things we wanted to see. We could have fit a couple more things in but everything felt so perfect it would've been criminal to mess with that.
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WHERE WE STAYED
Oman Palm Hotel Suites
We didn't book our hotel until we got to Muscat and found a 50% off deal on Agoda for this hotel. We got a two bedroom apartment for about AED 400 per night (split two ways, AED 200). The apartment was very nice, the rooms were clean, so was the bathroom (with Loccitane toiletries!) and the most magical shower. There was a living room and kitchen too, which we didn't really use. Here's the hotel on Tripadvisor.
WHERE WE ATE
Muscat: Chicken Biryani at Begum's (was okay good), Chai Paratha at a random dhaba, Turkish Food at Istanbuly (okay good), Moroccan tea and Shisha at Kargeens (I loved the tea, the boys didn't like their shisha, wasn't strong enough for them, Shehla liked hers), Breakfast at Crepe Café (loved everything we had).
OTHER SPOTS YOU CAN SEE
- Al Hoota Cave is on the way to Misfat from the Souq but because we had started the day late, we couldn't fit this in but if you start your day around 9 am you should be easily able to do this in the same day too.
- If you don't want to do Nizwa, you could go further east from Muscat and check out Wadi Shab for a day trip which is stunning (I went a couple of years ago).
- You could also do Salalah but that's definitely not a two day road trip. I've gone twice and both times I've flown there. It's best to go in monsoon season because the beauty is literally chopped by half if you go off season, yus.
The Oman-Hatta road was closed this year for expats (we only discovered this) which added a couple of hours to our drive to Muscat. We were pretty loose on our schedule so we didn't care but if you have limited time, make sure you don't take this road. The Sharjah-Kalba is what you have to take and avoid any last minute issues, thanks.
You can also see the snapshots I did on Insta of all of us in the oasis, all of us and our Omani topis, and Nabeel and I in the mosque.
And before you go, here's my very first travelogue from our tiny trip. Please show some love on YouTube too? Don't forget to switch to HD! If you want to go to YouTube to view it (should be better), go here.
Background song by Mooroo called Ronay Laga, link here.
Background song by Mooroo called Ronay Laga, link here.
Until next time.