“Just say Oman and you start relaxing.” (That should be their motto.)

11 Feb

I just got back from Muscat, Oman. This isn’t a diary so I won’t go on about details of the trip. The main thing is:  go.  It’s beautiful there. You are on an ancient fishing and seafaring coast. The Indian Ocean is placid and warm. Spices and beautiful fish continue to flow in from the sea, as they have for centuries. The country was legendary for the production of frankincense–frankincense!–and the smell of it still pervades the place.  (That globular white structure near the point in the photo above is a monumental incense burner.) And Muscat’s got geologically recent–rough, jagged–mountains all around it, framing the coast.  I mean, look!

The capital city of Muscat has a layered history:  early to embrace Islam, conquered in 1507 by Portuguese seeing a chance to control the eastern trade routes, ruled by Muslim dynasties since the 17th century, and for the last 30 years plus under the remarkably enlightened rulership of Sultan Qaboos. Plus the people are really friendly and relaxed.  Especially the pedestrians…

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