Whenever I get the chance, Oman is my destination. Because of the long driving distances, a weekend is too short; but the terrain is so spectacular and the people so friendly that a trip to the Nizwa area is well worth cashing in on a couple of vacation days.
Where else in modern Arabian Gulf countries can you find old sellers hawking their wares like they used to when they were kids?
And the Nizwa souq is alive and well nowadays; in fact, thriving!
The entrance door is solid, but the welcome is warm.
The Nizwa souq is in town, next to the fort.
You might find men with rifles at the entrances, but they are not guarding – they collect and trade in the old weapons.
There are numerous interesting things to buy, including traditional Omani knives and swords, often with silver decorated scabbards.
Pottery pre-dates plastic as containers for food and water.
And all sorts of herbs and spices from the region and from the Omani mountains are collected and sold. It is not a “show” souq for tourists, so get in there and bargain!
The Omanis we’ve met, and confirmed each trip we make to this lovely country, are the friendliest people ever!
Nizwa city itself is a bustling network of alleyways and shops.
Around Nizwa there are spectacular mountains and cultivated oases.
And a drive around is well worth your time – especially if at the wheel of a fabulous Audi!
Download the KML file for your GPS by clicking here. Once downloaded, you can import the file into your GPS device and take it on the road, or double-click that file and it will open automatically in Google Earth if you have that installed (all adventurers should! Google Earth).
View Nizwa in a larger map
View a pdf file of the original article, as published in The National.
My disclaimer is here.