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Wednesday, December 26: After eating a lunch of chicken soup, an omelet and chapati at a typical Arab restaurant in Ibra, we head down the road from Ibra to explore some more ruins in Al Mudaybi.

ready for lunch

ready for lunch

drinks, anyone?

drinks, anyone?

While heading in that direction, we come upon brown signs for Al Rawdah Fort.  We park in the village below, along the falaj, and children simultaneously getting off their school bus happily greet us:  “How ARRRD you?  How ARRRD you?”

Mario & the children in the village near Al Rawdah Fort

Mario & the children in the village near Al Rawdah Fort

We take some pictures with the exuberant children and then climb up steps to the fort. We’re greeted by a gentle curator who doesn’t speak much English.  He takes us around the quiet fort, which we have all to ourselves; at the top, we have fantastic views of the village, random ruins and date palm plantations.

Click on any of the pictures below for a full-sized slide show.

After this we poke around in the falaj, finding an interesting insect that looks like a deformed blade of grass.

interesting little critter

interesting little critter

We then continue our drive in the same direction, where we come upon Bait al Khabib.  It is not only closed but the entire village seems to be deserted.  We walk around the outside and walk briefly through the attached village.  We don’t see a soul in sight as it is probably nap time.

Bail al Khabib

Bail al Khabib

cannon at Bait al Khabib

cannon at Bait al Khabib

Bait al Khabib

Bait al Khabib

Bait al Khabib

Bait al Khabib

Bait Al Khabib is built on a foundation of rock

Bait Al Khabib is built on a solid rock foundation

i love the wispy feather-like clouds

I love the wispy feather-like clouds

yet another interesting metal door in Oman

yet another interesting metal door in Oman

and a carved wooden door

and a carved wooden door

and this one would be really cool if it wasn't covered with chain link fence!!

and this one would be really cool if it wasn’t covered with chain link fence!!

I’m ready at this point for a nap myself.  Though we intend to drive on to Al Mudaybi, I just don’t have the energy for it.  At this point it is 2:30 and, as is usual with my frequent bouts of insomnia, I have been up since 4 a.m. We decide to call it quits and head back to Nizwa.  Between our explorations of the fantastic Ibra ruins earlier, and these amazing forts, it’s been a wonderful day-after-Christmas adventure.

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