I seem to have lost my camera! Fortunately, since Christmas, I’ve been taking most of my photos on my iPhone, but…… it’s a great little camera, and my turtle photos are on it. And NOT on any computer.
We’ve checked both cars and everywhere in the house I can think of, and nothing. I’ll keep searching, as I really want to take it with me to France.
In the meantime, on with the show… well, I guess I mean “blog”.
The first trip we took when our cousins arrived was to Nizwa Fort. Nizwa was the capital of Oman for many years and a center for learning. The Friday Mosque beside the fort is large and beautiful. The souq there is quite famous. It was rebuilt when the fort was restored, but has done business for a long, long time.
and Vegetable souq, where table after table of lovely fresh produce was displayed.
Before long, the men had headed to see the knives and old rifles, and we ladies headed to the pottery and jewelery – Nizwa is famous for silver work. As it was a holiday weekend, it was quite crowded, but we didn’t let that interfere with the fun.
Eventually, we got word that the men were at the gate to the fort and ready to move on. They just don’t understand shopping, do they? Well, when we found them, they were looking through books and maps, and WE had to wait for them!
Nizwa fort is very impressive, and very well presented. They have an extensive section of exhibits depicting Omani life as it once was; a film of lifting water from a well with a cow and donkey, sections on clothing and pottery and silver and indigo dying (did you know that they used dates as a fixative?)
The main defense was actually the tall tower which was built in the 1600’s, and the surrounding complex predates it as living facilities for the ruler or wali. The stairway up the tower is narrow and zigzags back and forth, with a turn just before each of the 7 doors, so that invaders wouldn’t have any running room for a battering ram. Above each door way, there is a slit that goes all the way to the top of the tower called a “murder hole”, so that they could shoot at invaders, or pour boiling date syrup on them. In addition, just after each door, the floor was made of loose planks that could be removed if they were under attack, so the first fellow through the door would fall a long, long way.
At the top is the gunnery platform, with staircases to the sentry walk. There are 4 wells that were completely within the tower, so no enemy could poison the water. Twenty three cannons could be fired in a 360 degree radius.
Inside the lower complex, there were rooms for date storage, living quarters, kitchens, jails, etc. If you are there at the right time, you might see the making of halwa, which is a traditional Omani sweet, or silver and copper smiths. There is a lovely gift shop within the walls which sell products from all regions of the Sultanate.
And that’s for the next installment.