Muttrah is one of the quarters that make up the city of Muscat. It's the place where Oman's ancient trading port used to be. Today in Muttrah there's a lively fish market and Muscat's best known souq.
On one of the surrounding mountains and hills you can see Muttrah Fort - one of the 13 forts scattered about the area. It was built by the Portuguese when they occupied Oman and was also the seat of government under the rule of Sultan Said bin Sultan al Busaidi. of course it was Eid when we went to Muttrah, so lots of places where closed. And yet, we liked it... we like the little harbour with the boats, the peacefulness of the area, and the amazing sea promenade past the centre of town.
When in Rome
If you're in Muscat at night-time, chances are that you'll be in a Restaraunt or Hotel Bar but for a change, we found a great little Sheesha Cafe which isn't licenced and you can go and have a smoke with the locals.
Listen to the chit chat around you and immerse yourself in your surrountings
Scuba or Snorkelling
I was lucky enough to be staying with a friend who had her own speedboat which meant we could take off and find our own secluded beaches and Snorkel.
Just down the road from the Yacht club was a dive school and whilst I haven't got my PADI, I have scuba dived before and loved it.
If I had of had the time, I would have loved to have done it here - the water was lovely and warm and crystal clear and from the fish and sealife I saw whilst snorkelling, I think it would be fantastic - maybe next time! Head for the Yacht clubs just out of Muscat heading South - the dive school I saw was in that direction
Suburbs & mountains
The mountains of the Western Hajar Mountains gives a beautiful backdrop to Muscat, and the various suburbs are scattered throughout the hilly areas. This photograph shows the suburbs of Al Khuwair and Madinat Sultan Qaboos.
Can't See What The Fuss Is About
As Ali & I live but a stone's throw from The Chedi Hotel and are also keen to sample different dining establishments, we have been trying to book The Restaurant for months. Unbelievably, it has a minimum one month waiting list for a table. That, and the much touted winning of the Oman Today Best International Restaurant, Best Ambience, and Best Service awards for 2004 (probably equivalent to the Bombay Star winning the best restaurant award in the Aberdeen Press & Journal for all its culinary value) leads one to think that this is one special Muscat Restaurant. So, I booked the table one month in advance and managed to get a 21.30 sitting (painful as work starts at 07.00). The menu card is divided into 4 sections: Arabic, Mediterranean, Asian, and Indian. For Arabic, read Moroccan and Lebanese which is a bit of a misnomer really but there's no Trading Standards Office here. Mediterranean leans heavily towards fish dishes and pizza whilst Asian (read Thai), and Indian focus on the meat curries. The ambience is reasonable, albeit a little cavernous, and far from intimate. The 4 cooking areas for each type of cuisine is an interesting feature if you happen to get a seat facing one. Service was good with the staff being very attentive. In summary, I can only offer that the prolonged wait for a table is caused by the hotel giving priority to residents who would otherwise be marooned miles from any decent alternative eatery. It's good but nothing too special and, certainly, the Al Marjan restaurant at the Al Bustan Palace is equally as good and a more intimate venue for that meal a deux.