Salalah - The Nature's Gift to Oman!

Discussion in 'Africa & Middle East - Other Areas' started by safa, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    It was one of the hottest days of summer in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Dubai</st1:City></st1:place> last year that we chose to travel to a beautiful and cool city, salalah of sultanate of Oman.The temperature was nearly 50degree Celsius and we all were in a mood to escape from the heat.
    Our friend Ishaq and his family were with us. Since men had included some adventures in the trip both did not take their cars and instead rented a four wheel drive for three days.
    We had inquired about our stay in Salalah before we go, and reserved rooms there in Dhofar hotel. Since the journey takes a full day we had to spend one night during the way in Nizwa. We started from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Dubai</st1:City></st1:place> in morning after 9ó clock and took visa and exit pass from uae at border in Hatta.
    After passing the border we took some shortcut. The real distance from <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Dubai</st1:place></st1:City> to Salalah is about 1500 kms. So if we take this short cut we could cut down some more kilometers from the total. But this road was through the desert, and there were no shops and petrol stations by the side of the road. Whenever we pass about 300 kms we could see a hotel with staying facilities and petrol station. We stopped each of the rest places and could see other travelers who take rest there.
    The physical features of <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Oman</st1:place></st1:country-region> mainly include mountains and deserts. It is a land, covered with mountains When we travel we could see only mountains and desert around us and for one day’s travel it was little boring.
    But the thought about the beautiful state Salalah, brought cool breeze in to our minds. It was around 4 o’clock, when we reached Nizwa.
    We had taken rooms in the Nizwa hotel, which is a five star hotel located proudly in the calm and quiet village town Nizwa. After we reached there, we took rest for a while and went out again to explore the beauty of the mountain village. The tranquility of the village was quite amazing in the evening! We went to the top of the mountain – Jebel Al Shams- in the car. Jebel al shams is the biggest mountain in the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Oman</st1:country-region></st1:place>. Since they had made wonderful roads up to the top of the mountain, it was easy to drive there. We could see, many locals living in the different parts of mountain. Their main income is from sheep and they are poor people living in small houses. But the Government has done their most to bring them the facilities of modern world like electricity and others. During heavy rains, it is hard to stay in that kind of localities and they used to face flood.
    When we reached nearly mountain top we were scared to look down to the roads that we had come.It seemed like black ribbons in the evening. There were no street lights and after arguing a lot with men folk, they agreed to drive down the mountain.
    We bought some Arabic food and came back to the hotel. Kids and men took a bath in the hotel swimming pool and spent little time in the garden around the hotel .Since every body was tired and thinking of the next day’s long journey , we went for sleep soon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2006
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  2. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    Next day, we started in morning just after breakfast. The full day we were in the car, and stopped at every rest house. After a days journey through the desert we reached Salalah in the evening. Actually Salalah is located at the southern most part of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on">Oman</st1:country-region>, near <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Yemen</st1:place></st1:country-region>. We could notice the specialty of this place before we reach it. Every thing changed from the hot climate, to the cool breeze, the dark clouds carrying rain made all of us really happy. When we enter the border, we had to go down to a hilly place. It was a wonderful experience since we suddenly entered in to a new world with in hills filled with mist! It was raining and the rain was just like spraying water. And it was very cold out side; we couldn’t even see the road and other vehicles due to the mist floating every where.
    We had not to travel a lot to the hotel building, it was in the near by town. That night, we just walked out in the street as it was like a street in our country. Different from Gulf countries Salalah was not filled with tall towers, it is just like our own Kerala!
    Some times I couldn’t believe my eyes that I am in a Gulf country, but always felt am some where in Kerala. Salalah is filled with green hills, coconut groves, palm trees, banana plantations, springs, caves, beautiful beaches with white sand and eventually the wonderful misty rain! Views of the city from escarpment are really breathtaking!
    We visited many caves and springs there.The Azrat, Jarzeez, Sahnout ,Athoum and Hamran springs are the springs with natural fountains which flow between the rocks The springs are famous for it’s wide wadi(valley) and beautiful dense forests. Since there was road up to the most of the hills we could reach every where in the car. Government has taken some precautions by fixing strong iron nets to the other side of the hills, not to fall them on the road during rainy season. There was beautiful stream with clear blue water passing through the hills. I couldn’t forget the greenery of the side of the stream and the hills. Most of the visitors bring food and spend time in the grass watching nature’s beauty.

    We could see a part of hill near the sea like a shed giving shade to the visitors and there the sea it self made big holes in the rock. When the high waves reach the shore, we hear the roar of some wild animals, and suddenly water emerges through the holes up to a height of thirty feet! It is a fountain made by the nature it self!
    The other great attraction was the anti gravitational force on one of the hills. When we reached the starting point, released the car break and the car gradually began to move up hill seeming to defy gravity! At starting the speed was about 20 km and it increased up to 50 kms. We all held breath for some time and it was little frightening. This 200meters stretch of road which intrigues visitors is situated 60 km east of Salalah.
    We could see some land as the after math of a heavy earth quake happened years ago, before the time of Jesus.It is known as the lost city of <st1:City w:st="on">Ubar.It</st1:City> was famous for the trade of frankincense (a kind of fragrant tree) and Arabian horses and archeologists believe the queen of <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Sheba</st1:place></st1:country-region> had traveled to the region to obtain frankincense. We could see frankincense plantations in Salalah, which was used widely in the ancient world and was prized as highly as gold.Omanis still use frankinscence widely, burning it on glowing charcoal to fumigate rooms and clothing and blending it in local perfumes.
    There was big well which is known as Tawi Attair or the well of birds is a natural sink hole with a depth of 211 meters and wide over 100 meters and one of the deepest in world. It is a dwelling place to many species of birds.
    The other interesting sights were Al Balid and Khor Rori Samhuram. Archeological findings revealed the remains of a great rectangular shaped mosque surrounded by balconies from all sides.Khor Rori Samhuram was a walled rectangular shaped town which was used for the trade of frankincense.

    Whenever we think about camels, a picture of camel caravan in the desert comes in to our mind. Here things are different, camels wandering in the green grass with cows.
    There were some holy shrines in the country and we could visit most of them.The important of them were prophet job(Ayoob), Mary(maryam-mother of Jesus) and prophet’s grandson.We all were surprised to see the tomb of a Keralite king named Cheraman Perumal who later embraced Islam and while coming back from Makkah after doing hajj , he passed away in Salalah. All of the tombs were appeared lengthy as the height of two men. The men who guard the Shrine explained us it is because in ancient age, the humans were very tall.
    During our travel through out the city, we had to come to the hotel for food and all kinds of food were available there.
    There were lot of stalls near the sea side selling vegetables and fruits which grown in Salalah only. The main attraction there was Tender coconut like we get in Kerala. We bought many to use during our return.It was Khareef(monsoon) season in the city and a Khareef festival is held every year from mid July to the end of August.Besides its natural beauty salalah offers many other attractions. There was a Global village, gold souqs, hand crafted jewellery and Al Hain souq for traditional and modern goods. People come from all over the world to enjoy the unique wonders of nature in Salalah.
    When we were coming back our hearts were still in Salalah, and the trip was great refreshment for our souls.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  3. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    Here are some pictures of Salalah, Oman.
     

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  4. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Very beautiful write up, Seena !

    Middle east is one place which has never sounded attractive to me. First Preethi's write up on Doha & now yours on Salalah have made me revise my opinion. The very name Salalah sounds musical !
    Rain spraying lightly is one of the best experiences, always !
    The sink hole sounds so interesting.
    Camels wandering with cows, sounds so unusual, really !
    Your write up is so nice, Seena, shows how much you have enjoyed the trip. Similar to Kerala, must have been, no doubt, a reason as well.
    The pictures are just b..e..a..u..t..i..f..u..l ! I liked the one with a camel in the background of coconut trees !
    Congratulations on a very nice write-up, Seena Dear !
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
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  5. meenu

    meenu Bronze IL'ite

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    camel in thegreens?vow!

    Dear Seena,
    your article was very beautiful.To see a place in Gulf like Kerala is too amazing.I have always thought that there is nothing much to see in gulf but your write up is an eye opener.In fact what you people write is more interesting than tourist guides.Thank you for taking us through a wonderful trip to Salalah
    Regards,
    Meenu
    P.S. The photographs are very splendid:clap
     
  6. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    My dear Chithra and Meenu,
    Thank you so much for your kind words.(Couldn't reply soon, was little busy doing some works).
    Certainly it was a wonderful experience in Salalah, as we usually do not think of such a place in the desert.
    I am sure; we can call this place a paradise on earth!
    Actually the person who encouraged me to write this report, is our Preethi, so I give all the credit to her..
     
  7. Preethi

    Preethi Gold IL'ite

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    Wow...Good Glimpse of Salalah !

    Dear Seena

    Your trip report to Salalah had been too good and I enjoyed virtually visiting all the place that you had been to, the Anti-gravitational mountain impressed me a lot in particular.

    Next time when me and hubby plan a mid-east tour, we know where to go !

    The pictures are soo good and the scenaries captivating...

    Great Job done !

    Love,
    Preethi

    PS: Just saw ur reply, I don't deserve your credit seena dear, when you have taken all the effort to make this write-up more interesting and captivating. I give the "SOLE" credit back to you !
     
  8. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    My dear Preethi,
    Why do you tell you don't deserve the credit?
    You know, I am a person who interested to write. Seeing the write a trip contest, of course I wanted to write. Since I was busy with my kids and household works, I was sure I couldn't finish it even if I get a whole month. Also I was not confident on this. When I mentioned this, you assured me that I can do and told me to write.
    So , how can I claim without mentioning your name?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2006
  9. Eljaype

    Eljaype Bronze IL'ite

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    salalah write up

    Dear Seena,

    Sorry , I couldn't read your write up earlier. I was very busy with some personal problems and also my conjunctivitis.
    This is a very beautiful place, about which I am hearing for the first time. There is always a first time for everything, Seena. Only when you start , you'll know where you can improve and mind you, noone is born an expert . You become one with experiance. If you have the taste for it , go ahead.
    Till you try , you cannot find time or words for it. Once you start writing , you'll find time among all your duties at home. All the best :clap and congrtas for your article.
    Latha :wave
     
  10. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    My dear Latha,
    Thank you for the nice words of encouragement..
    Once Chithra gave an explanation on positive energy, (still I couldn't read more on it) I feel all of you are such personalities spreading positive energy! Am very happy reading all of your remarks..
     

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