On the weekend, we were joined by Grant's wife, Catherine, who flew in from Abu Dhabi. No sooner had she arrived when we hit the road for a mini road trip to Nizwa!
Nizwa was once the capital of Oman, but that was then! Today it's a sleepy town with a busy Friday morning market in the middle of the desert. It took a few hours to drive there through some of the most stunning mountain scenery I've ever seen. Dramatic, multi-coloured, sheer plates of stone crushing up against each other, showing how this earthquake prone country was formed.
Also, it has loads of antiques and it's known that antique dealers from the capital come to Nizwa to stock up on cheap items. Like Omani jewelry...
and wooden doors... copper platters.... and Arabic coffee pots!
....and freshly roasted coffee beans!
This man came across us wandering around in the back streets of Nizwa, snapping pictures of every centimetre of his town. He is kindly telling us if we go back between those buildings we'll see some really nice things to photograph.
.....and he was right!
Every Omani was kind to us. It is one thing that really stood out. From the women who smiled and offered us a "Hello" in the souks, to the taxi driver who refused to take our money because he got lost and couldn't find our villa, the people were unconditionally warm and open.
They were less hung up on "western people" and "Eastern people" and focused on "people". We heard many times, from many people, how we were not so different and we had to learn about each other in order to put our fears and prejudices aside.
I left this country feeling privileged to have explored it.
Even if only for a week.