Saturday, 17 March 2012

A Short Trip to old Musqat

We are just back from a lovely middle of the day jaunt down to old Musqat with Dan and Nooshin (and their British visitors).  I should have really finished my blogging backlog before writing about today, but what the hell.

After a lazy morning of not very much at all, Dan and Noosha arrive we took off down towards Mutrah to visit a certain iconic souk.  Oh my, oh my.  We had thought the souk was closing at 1:30pm (it being Friday and all), but we were a little bit wrong, it closed at 12:00.  What time did we get there?  11:30.  These photographs look washed out.  We forgot both our cameras and I was taking photos with my phone.  It was 35 degrees and I think the level of sun and white was a little too much for it.

Outside the Mutrah Souk
They are very fond of leaping dolphins and hill forts
Even mostly closed it was amazing...oh the shopping.  Lilya, if you are reading this, you and Bran really must start saving for a trip over .  So many fabrics, trims and braids, jewellery, well, let's just say STUFF lots of STUFF.

More than one umbrella with glass panels
Inside it's really a big umbrella - NOT

After not managing to even think about buying anything at the Souk (don't worry, it's only 10 or 15 minutes away, I'll be back) we drove down to look at the Sultan's palace in Old Musqat.  The road down was fascinating.  The rocks came right to the edge of the road in many places. In others, highly stylised and carefully maintained greenery sat between the stone and the road.

Very, very close to the road

Topiaried trees right next to the rock of the mountain.
As surreal as you're likely to get.

Palm trees at the foot of the rock

Just to make sure that we were well aware of the power of just one man, we went to visit Al Bustan Palace Hotel.  It is a massive luxury hotel build on the grounds of the town of  El Bustan.  Apparently all those who lived there were moved by the Sultan so that the hotel could be built.  The Sultan built a new town (which nestles between hills in the next bay) for the the people of El Bustan and guaranteed them all employment at the hotel.  It seems to be a very successful way of employing your populations.  Apparently another town is in the process of doing just the same thing.

The road leading to the hotel
The road swings to the left just before hitting the rock.

The chandeliers drip from the dome
From a distance, the walls appear gilded.
They are actually carved in deep relief

The central fountain
The hotel is astonishing.  It is grand in a palatial style, combining the aesthetics of both East and West and has the air of a cathedral.. All helped, I'm sure, by the lingering scent of frankincense and the sounds of Mozart and Beethoven flowing through the halls. 

The grounds are manicured and watered.
Some rooms have access directly to the pools.
You can just see the new town of Al Bustan in the distance

1 comment:

  1. Wow Katrina. The place looks amazing. You are going to have so much fun!