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Nizwa is a fairly large town an hour or so down the highway south of Muscat. Like most places in Oman it has only recently been connected to the capital by road. Nizwa has a long history though, as evidenced by the spectacular fort.

We were only in Nizwa as part of a day trip from Muscat, through the same organisation that took us to Snake Gorge (see Bilad Sayt). It was an extremely hot day.

Omani highway

It's no wonder it took so long for roads to traverse this country, what with forbidding serrated mountains like these to negotiate.

Pottery on display outside a very well presented traditional style shop in Nizwa.


Nizwa Fort

The battlements of Nizwa fort, complete with the Omani flag flying. The round tower in the background is very big.

Nizwa fort is enormous, and like many of the forts in Oman looks happily sandcastle-like, and probably very recently restored.

Nizwa Fort

Nizwa Fort

Inside the keep, or donjon, or whatever the equivalent word is for the sturdiest round tower of an Arabian fort.

Gold, blue and sandstone mosque in Nizwa.



Not far out of town, we took a detour to this ghost village. Those villages which were left off the grid after national electrification were shortly abandoned.

It was fascinating and very Indiana Jones-like to go clambering around inside these old buildings, particularly when there was still evidence of recent habitation.



Inside one of the old village buildings, with fading coloured decorations on the wall and an old gas lamp still hanging from the ceiling.

View across the moonscape of the Omani mountains, spectacular scenery.



Terraced farming faces the jagged peaks of the last picture.

Workhorse of the middle east; the Toyota Hilux pick-up truck. As proven by Top Gear, these things are practically indestructible. On the left is our driver, but our vehicle of choice was a step-up in the Toyota world - a Land Cruiser.


Distant view

Looking over the different layers of hilly backbones in the distance.

Another abandoned village built up the side of a mountain, this time on the back from Nizwa to Muscat.


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Copyright © Ross Wattie 2008