|Omani Francincense at the Amouage factory, Muscat.|
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.