Nizwa, Bahla, and Off roading through a Wadi

Nizwa Travel Blog

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clay water pots hanging at the Nizwa souk

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

       - Ralph Waldo Emerson


We packed up Joel's Kia at 8am, and departed for the interior of Oman, the scenery is amazing example of geology in real life.

Bahla Fort, one of four UNESCO world heritage sites in Oman
I only wish I remembered more of Mr Benjamin's grade 12 Geography class or of GEOG111 from SFU. You could just see all the layers of what used to be the ocean floor, that had been thrust upwards, now creating huge mountain ranges that surround this desert area.

We saw goat herders, accompanying all their goats scattered on the side of the highway. We saw camels roaming aimlessly, apparently they are actually owned by someone, but they roam as they please, and the owner will come find them to feed them. First we headed to the Nizwa souk, a huge market that is divided into many sections. There was the goat market, the vegetable market, the fish market, silver market etc. the market is adjacent to the Nizwa fort, which is a fully restored fort, with turrets and windows with cannons sticking out of them. In parts of the fort, there are slits in the ceiling down to the stairways, a defense mechanism where the defenders would pour boiling date juice on their intruders.

Ruins in Tanuf
The fort and town is nestled in an area surrounded by mountains, and its unbelievable that it exists in the middle of nowhere. We next headed to Jabrin Castle, which is unique for is elegance and decoration. Its so large we almost get lost looking through it. We have lunch in Bahla, the haunted city, in a small local restaurant before heading up to the Bahla Fort, which is one of the four UNESCO world heritage sites that are in Oman, and was built in 1000 BC. The city is surrounded by a 12 km long wall, that reminds you of the great wall of China in a way. Here in Bahla, in the middle of the market, stands a tree that was thought to have evil spirits, "Jin", in it.  When someone once tried to cut it down, there was an explosion.  They wrapped the tree's trunk with iron chains, as the spirits could not penetrate iron, thus the jin were trapped inside the tree.

We drove for a while, till we got to Tanuf, home to a spring water company, but also has old buildings that were bombed out, and the remains still stand.

Nizwa fort
We then drove for about 4 hours over the mountains down through the wadi, dry river bed....not so dry due to the recent rain. This drive was all off road, on a bumpy...not even gravel road, but the view was spectacular. As we wound around the switchbacks, you could see for miles, endless cliffs and valleys, then nestled would be little towns, with houses and cars, electricity and lush greenery. They would be like a little oasis in the middle of the dust and browny red environment.  We drove by the Forgotten City, one that claims to be the most beautiful city in Oman...nestled in the middle of nowhere in a small valley.


We finally arrived back in Muscat around 8pm.  Dinner was a takeout of Lebanese food, and sharma. Both absolutely delicious! Who knew I could eat so adventurously! No, there were no veggies! LOL. I think my favorite dish were the deep fried perogy like snack food with cheese inside. I don't even remember what they were called, but cheese...good....deep fried anything....good!

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clay water pots hanging at the Niz…
clay water pots hanging at the Ni…
Bahla Fort, one of four UNESCO wor…
Bahla Fort, one of four UNESCO wo…
Ruins in Tanuf
Ruins in Tanuf
Nizwa fort
Nizwa fort
In Tanuf, a city where they bottle…
In Tanuf, a city where they bottl…
camels roaming aimlessly
camels roaming aimlessly
clay pots
clay pots
At the mountain top, before we off…
At the mountain top, before we of…
a falaj, a system that the Omanis…
a falaj, a system that the Omani'…
The Forgotten City
The Forgotten City
Claims to be the most beautiful ci…
Claims to be the most beautiful c…
Off roading
Off roading
Nizwa
photo by: vances