Friday, June 7, 2013


Omani Francincense at the Amouage factory, Muscat.
Fessing up: Before we go any further, you need to know that I travelled to Oman as a guest of  Sultanate of Oman Tourism.

I'm sitting here with a small nub of frankincense melting on a coal that's crackling and sparking alarmingly in the kitchen. It's pretty magical stuff and drags me back without any resistance to the Middle East but most specifically, Oman.

Travel smells can be very powerful and have that ability to instantly haul you from here and now, to another time and place altogether. Like the alleyways of Old Muscat's Mutrah Souk. My travel companions are long gone...finding treasures deep in the heart of the market, knick-knacks and other gorgeous things. I'm just watching, listening, breathing it in and on the look out for a lemon & mint juice. There's got to be one here somewhere...somewhere through the frankincense.

I could write thousands of words about this place, no doubt, but I suspect you'd prefer to peruse a few pictures and maybe hear some sounds. If you've got a spare 12 minutes or so, you can hear me chatting about Oman with Joanne Shoebridge on ABC North Coast below.

If not, just push on, scroll down, and absorb the sounds hidden amongst the images of this fascinating place.

It's even better with frankincense.

If you've got some lying about.

Sunrise at the stunning Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Muscat

Approaching the tranquil Grand Mosque, Muscat.

Decisions, decisions. Mutrah Souk, Old Muscat.

Checking in. Mutrah Souk, Old Muscat.

Lane ways surrounding Mutrah Souk, Old Muscat.

Treasures aplenty. Mutrah Souk, Old Muscat.

Playing with frankincense. Mutrah Souk, Old Muscat.
Traditional date palm trunk hives. Bee farming, Oman.

The workers. Bee farm, Muscat.

Dark honey in the comb.

Freshly nicked honeycomb.

Incredible, dark Omani honey in the comb.

Connecting over fresh honey.

High up in the Al Hajar Mountains

Our digs in the ancient Omani capital, Nizwa.

Early evening, Nizwa.

Nizwa Souk.

Nizwa Souk.

Coffee time. Nizwa.

Jabrin Castle.

Jabrin Castle.

The unexpectedly stunning Sahab Hotel, Jabel Akhdar.

Rosewater village, Jabel Akhdar.

Learning about rosewater.

Brooke Schoenman, meet rosewater.

Roadside twister, Oman.

Amy from "Don't Ever Look Back" letting the joy of a Bedouin moment take hold.

Camel maintenance, Desert Nights Camp, Ash Shaqiya.

The only way to dress for a desert sunset, Desert Nights Camp.

Dhow Yard - Port of Sur, Oman

The port town of Sur.
The port town of Sur.

The port town of Sur.

Green Turtle tracks on the beach, Rass al Jinz Turtle Reserve.

The very, very deep Bimah Sinkhole.

Bimah Sinkhole.

Knife work - Mutrah Fish Market - Old Muscat.

Ninja knife work - Mutrah Fish Market, Muscat.

Mutrah Fish Market - Old Muscat.

Do we have a deal?
Deal. Mutrah Fish Market - Old Muscat.

Mutrah Fish Market - Old Muscat.

Dessert at Sidab Women's Group, Old Muscat. Delicious.

Coffee with cardamom, Sidab Women's Group - Old Muscat.

Thailand? Or the view from the Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Muscat.
And maybe best to finish with a little refreshment or two from the Mojito trolley at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel...cheers!


  1. I didn't have any frankincense on hand but your photos certainly captured Oman for me. Looks like a very beautiful and intricate place.

    1. Thanks, absolutely is.

      Beautiful, relaxed, friendly and surprising at almost every turn.

      Definitely worth popping it on your bucketlist...if there's any room.

      Happy travels,


  2. That looks beautiful! Would love to travel to Oman someday as well. Lovely photos! Nice share!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment.

      Oman is just so, friendly, relaxed and unforgettable.

      I hope you get there someday!

  3. Great images, I especially like the two goats in "the port town of Sur," and the Bee farm in Muscat. In all, this whole post gives a great sense of atmosphere, especially with the sound bites interspersed throughout (great idea!)

    1. Thanks, Dylan.

      I think I got lucky with the goats...photographing them, I mean.

      I loved every minute in Oman and, yes, I think the sound bites really add to the experience of scrolling through the photos.

      Glad you enjoyed!