Happy EID

EID is a major Muslim holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan.  The exact timing is based on the sighting of the crescent moon and the timing cannot be accurately determined in advance and the celebration lasts several days.  The exact timing can vary by a day or so depending on the country.  We learned shortly before our arrival in Salalal, Oman that our arrival day would be the first day of EID.  This meant that many of the spots our tour was supposed to visit would be closed.  We decided to proceed with our tour anyway as we had never been to this port before.

We first visited the village of Taqah where the old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  There is an old fort on top of the hill, but it was closed for EID.

We walked through the old town and saw this mosque.  Most of the old town is a ruin and no native Omani live there.  Some refugees occupy the buildings as squatters. 

The doors and windows were a highlight.  Shoes are traditionally removed before entering the houses, which explains the first picture.

After the walking tour, we drove to a lookout for views of the town and ocean.

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There was a palace belonging to a relative of the sultan on top of a hill overlooking the town.

The tomb of Muhammad bin Ali, a descendant of the prophet Muhammad.

The tomb is surrounded by a cemetery.

The interior of the tomb. 

Our guide explaining the history of the tomb.  We all agreed she was the best guide we have had so far.  She gave a lot of explanation of life as a Muslim man or woman in Oman.

There were many camels roaming the desert and the roads.

We drove back to Salalah for some cold coconut water before returning to the ship.  We saw a store nearby that has no equivalent at home.

The cities and countryside had many large, modern buildings. Last time we were in Oman, it was after visiting India. At that time, it provided a major contrast with the dirt and shabby buildings of India. The contrast with Africa this time was similar. Despite the EID closures, we enjoyed the tour mostly because our guide was so interesting.

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