Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The enormous round watchtower

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:07 PM
I like our hotel in Nizwa. The Al Diyar had beautiful paintings on the walls that depicted the country's historical places and way of life. It had 3 wings, 2 of which flanked the pool area where we sat in the evenings and relaxed. The rooms were spacious, each with a private balcony. However, the location was in the industrial area, far from center of town. L and O and I went for a short walk after dinner and all we saw was gas stations, car dealers and appliance stores. We had wanted to go to a grocery store but went the wrong way and never found it. At dinner we saw the hamour fish on the menu, so almost everyone ordered the fish that night.

The Nizwa souk was a shopping heaven! It's in an old building with big beautifully carved wooden doors at the gates, and it sold spices (I bought some saffron from Iran), souvenirs (got a Tshirt with the Omani insignia - a curved dagger in the center of 2 swords in an X position), ceramics and potteries, the Halwa sweets shop, meat market, dates syrup, and all kinds of fresh fish and produce.

When we came out from the back of the Souk, we were hit by this enormous imposing round tower, the Nizwa Fort. I couldnt take my eyes off it. This fort was beyond words could describe. Up on top of the round tower, you could see the entire town, the palm trees and the barren mountains. It had windows with canyons pointing at every direction, which made fantastic photo opportunities. You walked out on the top of the fort and you were greeted by the gorgeous beige dome and the matching minaret. Even its museum was impressive. This was the most gorgeous fort I've even seen.

After this wonder of a fort, the rest of the day was a blur. We went into the Hajar mountains and drove through several remote villages with traditional fruit trees and terrace plantations. I've noticed each house had a round water tank in the shape of a watchtower on the roof . They were very picturesque and I thought it was a grand idea to do this, a piece of their history on every roof. The mountain scenery was spectacular.

See Nizwa Fort photos

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