Day 31 Oman Muscat

Our first day on land after 5 days at sea was certainly welcomed by all despite the heat. Mina Qaboos, our port here in Muscat is in the heart of the city with towering rocky mountains in the background and protected harbours. It is an extremely clean city and quite wealthy as oil is the main source of income.

With very strict dress codes enforced in the city and the expectation that not much would be open due to Ramadan the children stayed on board while Luke & Louise hired a local cab driver to escort them around the city.

First stop was the Sultan’s Palace which of course is magnificent wit massive gold gilded entry gates. An earlier Sultan had the great Blue Mosque of the city built and gave it to the people as a gift. The main chandelier in the men’ prayer area has 20 tonnes of Swarovski Crystal in it with 2 either side each with 10 tonnes of the same crystal.

Chris, Elisabeth, Simone & Marloejse had also made their way to the mosque and were waiting to go inside when security people pulled Simone & Marloejse aside and told them they were inappropriately dressed. Simone had some of ankles barely visible and apparently Marloesjes’ shawl see through. After some quick rearranging and borrowing of socks they were allowed through.

Just for interest Luke & Louise walked into the foyer of the $1000 per night Intercontinental Hotel and could quickly see why it cost so much.

After seeing most of the major sights Luke & Louise headed down to the local fishing coop where nets were being emptied of the days catch. The fisherman explained that since the tsunami a few years ago the catches have declined dramatically, especially of the larger fish species such as Tuna.

Oman has a population of just over 2 million and the entire power supply is from huge diesel generators. They run 5 simultaneously for 24 hours then switch over to another 5 while these are serviced.

The laws during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan are extremely strict which meant that not even water could be consumed in public. After hours in the heat it was good to get back to the ship to cool down with a swim and a cold drink.

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