I have to admit that I was not looking forward to visiting Muscat after how ridiculous my previous entry & exit experiences had been with passport control in Salalah, Oman. I was expecting a lot of grief and delays.
The guy at passport control was clearly preoccupied with a text message conversation he was having, stamped my passport without delay, and I was off. Shocker.
I went to the baggage office to inquire about my suitcase I’d asked be sent there. “Well, it WAS here, but…” Excuse me? Apparently, Jeddah had sent it there and then immediately demanded it be returned, so it was in Muscat for all of about 30 seconds the day prior. I was in disbelief. I demanded to walk through the suitcase holding room, and they were right: my bag wasn’t there.
They tried calling the Jeddah office, which of course didn’t answer. I provided a new location to send it to but gave up hope.
I caught a taxi to the Hilton Garden Inn I’d booked on points and checked in, then it was time for shopping. I no longer had clean clothes, since I’d been shopping just a bit at a time.
The nearby mall I walked to was massively massive. I actually got lost before finally finding something that was like a Wal-Mart so I got some t-shirts, underwear & socks.
From there, I walked down to Saravana Bhavan vegetarian Indian restaurant. It was really delicious and super busy, so clearly I’m not the only one who thought it was good.
From here, I got a taxi across town to the National Opera House, because it looked amazing in pictures. When I arrived, the place was crawling with people. There was some kind of international military band festival happening.
Since I didn’t have a ticket, I couldn’t get in, but I had the same idea a few other people had: go to the parking garage’s roof and try to peer down.
Some soldiers arrived and made us back up, so we lost most of our view, but it was still a great show.
I saw a band from Scotland with drums, trumpets & bagpipes, and they were quite good.
Next was some mixed group that was kind of boring and probably one of those “put together people from every group at the last minute” groups. I was going to leave, thinking the quality had peaked.
They announced the next group was from Mexico, and I just knew it would be good. It was great!
Their all-white mariachi uniforms and giant sombreros for the guys were awesome. The women’s dresses were fantastic and colorful. They even had dancers do the Mexican hat dance. It was fantastic.
I stayed until this group was finished and then caught a taxi back to the hotel. It was almost 11pm at that point, and I was exhausted.
The next morning, I caught a taxi to the airport happy that Muscat had been a good experience and greatly exceeded expectations.
Off to Kurdistan.This entry was posted in asia, Middle East, Muscat, Oman