Muscat, Oman

We arrived at the port of Muscat and picked up our Big Bus tickets we had reserved with the shore excursion desk. The Big Bus tour company has a number of locations in the Arabian Peninsula. In Muscat they only have one route and it takes about 2 hours to do the full loop. The busses run every 30 minutes so if you hop off and you only spend a couple of minutes you have a bit of a wait. We did the route twice.
Highlights of Muscat. Read captions of individual photos for details:

The Royal Palace (read captions of individual photos for details):

The first time we hopped off a couple of times to take photos and the next time we took the last departure from the ship that would return us in plenty of time to the ship prior to sailing. It was later in the day and the views and photographs were very different. 
2nd time around as evening set (read captions of individual photos for details):

Another very special thing that happened during the evening Big Bus ride was that many of the mosques were calling people to prayers.

that is incredible! 

What struck us first how clean, green and organized the country and the city of Muscat was. It’s good to have an abundance of oil and natural gas. 

The people are generally clean and appear to be honest and hard working. There’s no bums and we didn’t observe any housing that was severely run down or people that looked extremely poor. Omani law allows houses to be either white or beige and no taller than 8 stories. There are many nationalities and they seem to peacefully co-exist. Life in Oman for many is much much better than life in their countries. If foreign nationals have worked in Oman for 10 years they are entitled to receive Omani citizenship with all it’s benefits. The Sultan has created many projects for his people from health care, to education.

Tonight was the white night celebration. Everyone was to wear white (something I never have because I can’t keep it clean!) Tables were set up around the pool, there was music and much to celebrate. We were no longer running dark. All the exterior lights were on again and the ship was so beautiful. 

I’ll close this post with this photo I took from our verandah while waiting for the ship to depart. These dock workers laid a carpet and brought out food to eat together while they waiting to be instructed to cast off the ships lines. (note the Sultan’s yacht in the background) 

It’s really a pretty amazing place that took us by surprise. Would definitely recommend a visit to Muscat.