Wandering about Misfah
Misfat Al A'Briyeen Travel Blog› entry 12 of 20 › view all entries
Our destination after lunch was a return through Al Hamra to Misfah Al Aâ€™briyeen, an inhabited village that hearkened back to the Middle Ages. But driving through Al Hamra we stumbled upon an amazing section of town which was largely deserted. This would our first â€˜abandoned villageâ€™ --- because the mud brick dwellings here are not terribly durable, we concluded it must be common practice to simply abandon buildings once they deteriorate. We would cross similar areas in every town we investigated and this is what leads me to doubt we actually saw the bombed out portion of Tanuf (upon recollection it seemed strikingly like the other abandoned villages we encountered).
*** Abandoned Villages footnote: heard back from Naseeb and wanted to set the record straight on my faulty hypothesis that Omanis abandoned their mud brick buildings.
The scenery in the old town was splendid and the only difficulty was turning around.
Misfah is a wonderful place I am hesitant to share. It lies a few kilometers up a twisty mountain road outside of Al Hamra, and there is no admission charge. As you enter there is a map displaying two different routes to follow through the village: one going up through the village and the other heads down to a date plantation.
Visitors are requested to stick to the paths, highlighted by Omani flags painted here and there. We headed towards the village and almost immediately passed through a group of children playing.
There was a substantial hoard of visitors and I was surprised most were fellow Omanis. We were greeted frequently and learned this was a popular day trip for nearby citizens. The â€˜star towersâ€™ were an amazing facet of Misfah:
A substantial falaj system was equally intriguing. Very photogenic, we noticed quite a few folks walking along the falaj and agreed they provided much smoother passage then the rocky and somewhat muddy pathways through town.
We briefly debated, reached a consensus and marched up the stairway to the right. Everyone was immensely relieved when we confirmed we had made the right choice. Followed Omani flags back into town and then checked out the other trail to the date plantation. A charming destination, but I personally felt a bit guilty trespassing on folks just trying to live their lives.
Rebounding from Misfah we ducked into the Falaj Daris in Nizwa for a drink.
Back home at the Tulip, everybody showered, but we let John go first and permitted him to scout the options on campus for dinner and entertainment. When you permit John to pick an entertainment option you are definitely living on the edge, and his choice was Al Wasit, one of four bars on the grounds of the Golden Tulip. It was a strange affair that reminded me of the night Mark, Samia and I experienced at Liwa Oasis in the UAE six years ago.
Once again there was a somewhat sinister looking dude sitting behind a synthesizer with three scantily clad ladies in front. Please remember we are the
Al Wasit was crowded, almost entirely Omani men. When we first sat down an older Omani was out on the dance floor making poor attempts at modern moves. I would have felt sorry for him, but he seemed to be really enjoying himself! After a couple rounds and some crappy chicken tikka for dinner we retreated back to our room, where I overcame an early burst by Mark in Spite & Malice to add Nizwa to my list of card conquests.