It isn’t exactly a secret that I am obsessed with The Middle East given how much I talk about this area. A lot. I have been fortunate enough as a child to have visited Tunisia and Morocco, and I know they’re not Middle Eastern countries, but they are Arab Nations so when I say The Middle East, Northern Africa is also included. From such a young age I fell in love with the buildings and THAT architecture, the food (especially the food), the culture, the souqs, the history, and that luxurious Arabian feel to everything they do. Since then I have visited a few Arab nations, and my experiences have been nothing but wonderful each time. When I completed my training at BA, the first destination that I requested was Muscat, after hearing amazing things from one of the trainers, so that was my April requested route, and again in August.
We fly to Muscat once a day on the 777 and 787 throughout the year, aircraft depending on the time of the year. So, right now, Muscat isn’t on my personal route network since I am not trained to operate on the 787. The flight itself is great with a flight time of around 6.5 – 7 hours depending on which flight crew you have (joking!) You land in the morning so if you’re visiting on holiday you get a full day there rather than losing a few hours getting there. In my experience the flights are never full, so as a crew member, it’s nice for us to be able to build up rapport, which can be difficult to do on full flights. You also fly right over Dubai too and you can get some AMAZING views should it not be too hazy.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
This place is EASILY one of the most beautiful buildings that I have ever seen in my life. It is open for non-muslims from 8 -11 on Saturdays to Thursdays only. It was built in 2001 as a gift from Sultan Qaboos to Oman to mark 30 years on the throne. I won’t talk too much because there isn’t a word or metaphor that I can use to really emphasise the beauty of this place, and do it justice. You are obviously required to dress modestly, and females are required to cover their hair too. With that, I was having a mare with mine. It kept falling out of the scarf, and the guards found it quite funny since I have quite the wig on me, and I was worrying that I was going to get arrested for my hair not behaving. Instead an Omani lady who worked there approached me and offered to do my hair for me since it wasn’t playing nice.
The MOST important bit
Middle Eastern cuisine is by far my favourite in the whole world, and you know that I am enjoying my meal when I don’t utter a single word. I was that engrossed in my amazing meze that I didn’t get any photographs of the food, and it looked incredible. So incredible. If you are ever in Muscat, I urge you to go to a restaurant called Kargeen. From the outside, it looks a tad questionable, like “are you sure this is the right place?” From the inside it’s like The Cave of Wonders. The trinkets and decor are so beautiful with the choice of eating inside or outside, where you’ll find gorgeous Arabic cushions, sheesha, lanterns, tagine pots cooking off dried fruits, the spices, the colours, and the aromas. I can smell them now. Seriously, especially my fellow Cabin Crew, if you want a seriously good meal with beautiful surroundings this is where to go.
Website can be found here
I do have more to write about this amazing city, but I am waiting for another trip out there for more photographs to use. It is one of my favourite layovers to do, and it can be as action packed or as relaxed as you wish, which is where the next post on Muscat will come in. There is something to do for everyone, if you’re into indulging and relaxing, you have your pick of the most stunning hotels with some stunning sunset views of the gulf and the mountains, if you fancy something outdoorsy, Oman has the second biggest canyon in the world believe it or not, and some amazing diving spots complete with some very friendly dolphins. However, I am saving that for another blog post, because, you gotta leave people in suspense haven’t you?
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