Saturday, 15 January 2011

Weekend Recap: Rustaq Road Trip

On the weekend 2 OPNOs drove to Rustaq (which one of them remembers as having been a part of Ad Dhakliyah historically), by way of Al Mussanah (after Seeb & Barka), which is why, she then supposed, it had become part of Al Batinah region. What a difference a road makes, right?

She remarked that it was waaaaaaaaay less longer than route to Rustaq from Nakhl. THIS OPNO, honestly wouldn't know.

Well, honestly (using that word twice) I fell asleep before we got there. But I was woken up at the Al Kafsah hot spring.

BTW, Isra, OPNO insists I add you got taken HERE---NOT to Nakhl.

Review: I don't like this stupid hot spring because if you are a Muslim it is sexist, and if you are an expat, it is highly inappropriate. What?! all readers must wonder. Well, I'll tell you. The hotspring is situated with the swimming/bathing area right under a Mosque, so it is not respectful for any non-muslim woman to be jumping in here in her bathing suit. Being, it is right next to a MOSQUE. This, really, is not the hotspring's fault, right? And I mean, there weren't really non-muslims living in the area so buidling a Mosque right there would not have been a problem for the respect and dignity of the Muslim community. But it IS sexist, as the Ministry of Tourism has oh so kindly built semi-private swimming areas for men, but there is no area for women. As I stated for the expats, this poses some trouble. Really, I could look at the spring, and it makes one whoel single photo, but it wasn't impressive. But I see why Omani men like it.

Onwards, we went to the fort. Which was closed for restoration. But never to fear, OPNO and MOP charmed their way in as per usual, and we had to pay nothing. But the fort IS closed, so unless you have the insane ability to walk through walls, climb castle parapets, or be skinny enough to slip through a chained closed door, well, Rustaq is on the OPNO MUST SEE WAITING LIST.

It is an AWESOME fort though, very important in Oman's history from the time period where they were battling the Portuguese, so I am told. It has the most impressive wall I have seen in Oman, and most resembles my idea of a castle. Jabrin is more polished, Nakhl more Omani in its veiw of surrounding date plantations, but Rustaq is massive, and charming. It is the largest fort I've been to, tough MOP drove us past Bahla and that fort (also closed for restoration) seemed pretty big too.

Highlight of this trip was that the locals in Rustaq let us take home some antqiue doors and window frames (which you will consequently be charged a fortune for in Mutrah Souq or in Al Qurum), and there was a goat that had gotten itself stuck in the local hypermarket. It was led in by an Omani man who thought it would be funny to take this very dignified looking lost goat inside the hypermarket and see what madness pursued.

Oman, Oman.

That hypermarket also had very cheap but yummy chocolates.

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