Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jabreen Castle

Posted by Hippo Bean at 10:06 PM
My heart was heavy with reluctance as we drove out of the Wahiba Sands. The soft warm red sand and the pitchblack starry sky will remain with me always. After visiting a totally touristy and uninteresting bedouin camp, we drove up to a promontory to admire the view of the town of Bahla from above. In the distance the Bahla castle stood majestically and the town had low houses surrounded by palm trees, nestled among low rolling jagged mountains. Beautiful view indeed. Then we returned to the valley to visit the Jabreen Castle, my first Omani castle. Built in the 17th century, the plastered castle walls were gigantic. The rooms had painted wooden ceilings with arabic inscriptions, and if you like ceramics like the Hippo, there were many big beautifully decorated water vases on display. One thing I'd noticed since being in Oman, was the bedouin huge copper coffee pots. I've made a mental note to purchase a replicate as a souvenir.

Heading into the Hajar mountains, we stopped for a photo opportunity of the deserted village of Al Hamra. The setting was magnificent. Mud houses with the mountain as backdrop and a field of palm trees in front. We will return and walk through the village in a couple of days.

Jebel Shams, 'the grand canyon of Oman', was on the highest point in Oman. Up there was actually cold. Here our local guide wanted to know if their grand canyon was more beautiful than the one in the US. I looked down it and wasnt impressed. Besides it was impossible to get a good photo in the late afternoon. The shadows were everywhere. Perhaps the Omani grand canyon should be better viewed in full sunlight?

See Jabreen Castle and Bahla photos

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