Nizwa is the perfect base. The fortresses of Jebreen, Bahla, Nizwa and numerous oases wait to be visited. We interrupted our tour of the oases around Nizwa only to get out of the worst heat of the day. Our first choice to do so, Al Hotta Caves, were closed for maintenance. The other option was the museum inside Nizwa Fort with is great display of clothes, tools, household equipment, jewelry, coins and simple furniture.
Despite the heat, we climbed to the top of the Fort to get a view of Nizwa. Unfortunately there is no walkway around the top, so in order to get a 360 degrees view, you have to climb four different stairs – one for each direction. Such efforts called for an extended lunch in an – surprise, surprise – Indian restaurant. A friendly Omani, who was well aware that Europeans can only take in that much chili, coached us through the menu.
Saturday night fever in Nizwa is different to anything we knew. First of all it was Thursday night. The absence of bars moves life into the street. These were buzzing, but with men only. Heidi felt a bit strange. Not that we did not see ANY women: small groups occupied the jewelry shops.
On our fifth day in Oman, we still did not know what Omani food tasted like. There are not a lot of restaurants to begin with. The few restaurants you see are Indian run – Muscat is different, of course. At that point we should mention that probably most tourists eat in their hotels and do not venture out at night.
Another lesson was learned quickly after our first lunch was spent with a running nose, tearing eyes and a tongue numbed by chili: from now on, we always asked to go easy on it…