Other than the souq, we had little left on our agenda after returning from the sinkhole, so I decided I wanted to go to Al-Riyam Park, which had been on my original agenda in the midst of a lot of walking. We’d driven past it and I’d seen that it had a mini amusement park similar to the one I saw and loved in Shiraz, Iran. Thanks to my guidebook, I figured out that the above monument was supposed to be a giant ornamental incense burner.
We found a coffee shop that sold ice cream, popcorn, and more mango juice at ridiculously cheap prices and sat and watched the Omani people. I loved seeing all the children running to the shop clutching baisos and chasing each other around–at one point, I thought that if I closed my eyes, it’d sound just like roaming around Queens Park in Invercargill–until the prayer call came!
Still having time to kill before the souq opened, we drove back through Old Muscat and the Mutrah area.
The Mutrah Souq was quite quaint, but after seeing the souqs in Iran, felt really tiny to me. I was shopping this time, however; I needed gifts for several important people, and as such, I enjoyed it much less than I had when I’d been wandering the Iranian ones aimlessly.
After getting more fruit juice, it was time to head to the airport.
We got exceedingly lost on the way to the airport–this is what happens when one follows signs saying “Muscat International Airport.” Turns out even my subpar directions are better than Omani road signs.
Overall, while I had a lot of fun in Oman, I wasn’t really very impressed. One of my close friends had spend a summer and Muscat and told me it was rather boring, but I still expected to have too many things to do and too little time in two days in Muscat. However, there wasn’t that much to see, and other than museums, I feel like we saw everything I wanted to see. If my friend hadn’t been with me, I would have ended up bored–shoutout to him for putting up with me and my indecisiveness for two days straight! And for having pleasant music taste and being a genuinely awesome companion. I’d definitely recommend spending a night in Muscat as a layover elsewhere, but I wouldn’t make it a destination.