Tag Archives: Muttrah

Muttrah Fort along the Corniche

 

Muttrah Fort is along the Muttrah Corniche, a short walk from Muttrah Souq.

This fort was constructed by the Portuguese in the 17th century and the Omanis captured it around 1654 AD.

With such a steep rock face I never dared to even think of climbing up to the fort until my last trip to Muttrah when I noticed…

stairs leading up to the fort!  I smell “ADVENTURE“!

These pics don’t really tell the whole tale! It is a steep and tiring climb. (or it may very well be that I’m just plain out of shape!)

The boards just below the fort didn’t look that stable at all but hey, I came this far; not about to quit now!

This was as far as I could go.  Was quite impressed to turn around and take in this view!

If you ever make it to this area and decide to give this climb a try, I really wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with any health problems as it really is quite taxing on the body.  The climb down was made even harder by cramps in my legs. (Boy I sound like an old granddaddy here!)

Ah, Muttrah!

Muttrah Aglow with Pride during National Day Celebrations!

Muttrah – Souq, Sites and Seafront!!!

  All along the Mutrah Corniche, there are these artistic plaques with different cultural scenes or places of interest in Oman.   This one is “Mutrah Seafront“.  “Traditional Souq  It’s not even “just a little prohibited”-It’s “TOTALLY prohibited”, ha!ha!  :-)  By the way, how does one “demonstrate a fish“?! This sign is directly in front of the Mutrah Fish Souq.  “Bahla Fort  This is the entrance to the “Lawati quarter” just next to the Lawati Mosque along Al Bahri Road in Muttrah.  The main entrance to Muttrah Souq on Al Bahri Road  A great place to get some gold before the economies of the world crash!  The fish roundabout in front of the Mutrah fish souq is always a popular backdrop to many tourist snapshots!  The road between the fish souq and the main souq is one of my favorite strolls in all of Oman!  :-)

Muttrah (with Port Sultan Qaboos): A Sailor’s Town!

“My soul yearned for travel and traffic”. (Tales of “Sinbad the Sailor“)                                              (An old naval recruitment poster for the US in WWI)

I went down to Mutrah last week to see a good friend of mine from South Korea whose ship happened to be in Mutrah Port.  As I walked around Mutrah, I was amazed by how many sailors were in town at that particular time.  I realized that it makes sense as Sultan Qaboos Port is right there but it was my first time seeing all the teenage boys walking around Mutrah talking pics of one another and buying souvenirs from the souq.  This is the front gate of the port.  If you ever meet a friend here who is in the navy, you can’t go too far beyond the gate (there’s a waiting area there) and photography is obviously prohibited past the gate.  Is it just me or are some of those prices astronomical?!  The funniest to me is that the sign says 5 Omani rials to get to Mutrah Souq which is a 10 minute walk – the same price they charge to get to the International Airport. (?!)  This is my good friend, Bruce, from South Korea.  He only has about a month left on ship and 6 months left in the navy!  It was great listening to his stories about his adventures on ship and the challenges of life at sea.  We talked about the tragedy aboard another Korean vessel about a month ago and reflected on how it’s only by the grace of God that something similar hasn’t happened to him.  The sailors that come in off ships from every corner of the globe make for good business at Mutrah Souq!  If you’re ever in Mutrah during the day, there are sure to be plenty of sailors walking around.  I learned that most of them are not there at night (the usual time I experience Mutrah) due to a normal curfew of 7pm which ensures that the men are back on ship for safety reasons. 

Some lines from The Sailor’s Prayer:                                                                                                                                                       (1st stanza)                                                                                                                                                This dirty town has been my home since last time I was sailing
But I’ll not stay another day; I’d sooner be out whaling.
Chorus:
Oh Lord above; send down a dove,
With beak as sharp as razors
To cut the throat of them there blokes
Who sells bad beer to sailors.
”                                                                                               (last stanza…Notice the change in heart from the 1st stanza!)                                     “So for one last trip from port I’ll ship but next time back I’m swearing
I’ll settle down in my hometown and go no more seafaring.”

6am on Al Bahri Street along the Muttrah Corniche

  The Muttrah corniche runs along the harbor for about 3 kms.  It’s always a treat to see not only Omanis but people of all nationalities walking, chatting, sitting, taking pictures and jogging along this popular promenade!  There are quite a few picturesque statues such as this one along the walkway.  Muttrah really is a great place to start the day in Oman!  As the sun slowly begins to rise, the sprinklers add to the scene, sending forth a dream-like mist.  There are also quite a few Indian streetcleaners dressed in orange overalls picking up trash from the sides of the roads.  This welcoming (or not so welcoming…) sign is posted on the top of the stairs at the entrance to the Lawatiya Mosque near the merchant houses.  As far as I know, the Sultan Qaboos Mosque in Azaiba is the only mosque which allows non-Muslims to visit (and only during a short specific period in the morning).  One of the rest areas along Al Bahri Street just before they turned the lights off  The landmark “giant incense burner” at Al-Riyam Park and a nearby watchtower all lit up  If you ever find yourself in Oman and you happen to be an early morning person, try to make it to Muttrah between 5:30 and 6am.  It really is an awesome way to start the day!  :-)