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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sa la la la lah........

Originally I had booked a tour with Mark Tours for Muscat, so luckily the same company has tours in Salalah..... Ashok was great in getting us organised on a new tour 1000 km away.

Princess were also struggling as Salalah may have 2 cruise liners visit every year....  Being a working cargo port we were not allowed to walk on the dock, Princess worked hard in trying to find a total of 9 shuttle buses ( they only held 25 people each ) to get people to and from the port gates .... but then also larger buses for the ships tours ( I believe some buses were actually brought down from Muscat for us ) ....

Our first hurdle for this tour was convincing the staff to let us off without shuttle tickets as our tour bus was going to be dockside.... I had to give them our tour details and they checked to see if our contact Ali had access to the dock......  Well I think we were safe as I noticed that Ali was not just coordinating our tour but the princess tours as well...  Anyway all went well and we were the first off the ship....

There was 20 of us and our tour was called Serene Salalah.  Saed was to be our tour for the day.... Unfortunately we didn’t arrive until 12 noon and of course Salalah  closes down between 1pm and 4pm.

Our first stop was a photo opportunity at the Al Husn Palace, this is the summer residence of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos.

Next  was the Al Husn Souk, here we bought some frankincense and the boys stocked up with some Omanian hats.

Then on to the Shanfari Mosque the largest Mosque in Salalah... again we missed the times that we could visit inside.

From here we were taken to visit a natural farm ( Ali’s farm in fact...) it is hard to believe as we sailed in Salalah and seeing such sandy and arid looking land .... that here it is so green and lush....  lots of banana trees, Coconut and papaya trees....  We drank coconut water and ate fresh lady finger banana’s which were yum....  we took a walk through the farm and saw his cows and the biggest hit were the baby camels and I believe there was one that took a liking to Arnold.  (LATE MAIL:  I though they were pets until someone mentioned that BBQ Camels are a delicacy.)

Still trying to fill in time before the Museum reopen we took a drive along the beach front , but in the end Saed decided to relent and give us girls another half an hour at the souk and the boys stopped for a  coffee...

Finally we were able to go to the Al Balid archaeology site which is the area where you will find the remains of the palace that the Queen of Sheba used whilst in this region. Right next to the site is the Frankincense land Museum. Here you can see the history of frankincense as well as Oman in general.

Now the rush was on to get back to the boat before Curfew .... we made it in time but it always seems that the princess tours are ones always late!!

Garry’s world cruise Bread Roll Count so far - 78

Joanne’s  Lobster count – 5



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