When you come home after a holiday you reflect on an all round experience which is often amplified by a few highlights. These generally include expectations exceeded, details that delighted and unexpected pleasures. Here’s my list of five such highlights from our recent trip to Oman.
- The view at The View. It was our first night in Oman and the end of a long day and we arrived in plenty of time to appreciate the view (it does what it says on the can) and to enjoy an infinity pool which made you worried that you might swim off the edge of the world. Simply stunning.
- Yemeni bread at al Maida al Arabia in Muscat. It’s surely fair to say that eating lunch in Oman outside Muscat is unexciting. There’s a limit to the number of times you can eat chicken biryani. But in Muscat it’s a little classier and we began our meal with hummus and flaky Yemeni bread which was super.
- Bacon on the buffet at the Crowne Plaza in Muscat. It’s clear that Oman is a Muslim country and a pretty conservative one at that. But it’s also tolerant and pragmatic. Alcohol is available in hotels and some restaurants and as long as you don’t misbehave it seems that’s OK. And in a discrete corner of the breakfast buffet at the Crowne Plaza there was a supply of bacon to make a good breakfast excellent.
- The Museum of the Frankincense Land in Salalah. Normally a visit to a museum as a part of a tour is just laziness on the part of the operator but this one is really worth visiting. Only two halls but we really would have benefited by visiting early in the day when we still had the mental energy to appreciate them. The exhibits are first class and the English language text explaining them is of a high standard.
- Drinks on the lawn at the Crowne Plaza in Salalah. It’s common when you check into a tourist hotel to get an offer of a ‘welcome drink’ which is generally limited and barely drinkable. Not this time. We were pestered to attend and found ourselves at a party to celebrate the hotel’s successes in 2018. The wine flowed freely and there was ample food. It set a new standard for welcome drinks. Cheers!
We had a wonderful week in Oman. It’s clean, apparently crime free and its tourist offering is in excellent shape. And the sun shone every day at the time that the UK was heading into the cold weather of December. These experiences made it just that bit extra special.