Two Ancient Towns

After leaving Sinaw market, and stopping to picnic under a tree, we started on our way home. Along the way, we came to a village – the two towers on a hill  with another close by looked intriguing, so we decided to see if we could get close for a good photo.Th hill is lime stone, and is called an exotic – the rest of the rock is ophiolite, which is the ocean floor. It is thought that these exotics were islands that got pushed up on the ocean plate when it came over the land plate as the mountains of Oman were formed.

Maybe we can get closer, and have a look.  After a few false starts, ending up on trails too narrow for the SUV, we parked by a path and, grabbing our camera, proceeded to walk through the palm oasis.

Pretty soon, we were there – and around the base of a hill was an abandoned mud-brick village. They are obviously planning to make it an historic site, as there was a paved parking lot in the front (now, WHY couldn’t we find the road that led to it???) Some of the houses had apparently been lived in not so long ago, as there were power lines.

We walked all around the town, looking through windows,poking into doorways, taking photos of old, beautifully carved wooden doors and frames,   checking out the way they used to make roofs and mud walls.One building had painting on the walls, and tile-designs on the inside of the shutters.David and Robert climbed up to the highest tower – they said the view was great, and they got a better idea of just how the town was organized.

This wasn’t taken from the top – only from the roof I climbed up onto to take their photo.

After clambering around and discovering what we could, we carried on to our planned destination – Birkat Al Mouz.  As well as the modern town, there is an ancient village there as well.  We drove through the town, looking for the best place to get close – and discovered the palm oasis – and the most wonderful falajs – or irrigation channels. (For more info, see this site –

This one was very high above the ground – there were stairs to climb up – inside the wall, and then on the outside.  We left the climbing to Robert and David.See Alice walking beside the falaj – that show just how high it is.This opening in the wall obviously hadn’t been used in a long time – the “mist” you see filling it is all spiderwebs – I’ve never seen so many!This mosque is at the end – the water comes from this level.

A cat outside the bath houseInside the bath house – the falaj goes right through.

Along the high street to the old village, there were bananas growing – I guess this place is known for it’s banana production.Here we are, approaching the old walled city –The outer gate –

An inner gate  Notice the slits in the walls for shooting from – they are in most of the buildings here, so it must have been a well defended (and much sought) location.

This door was just inside – what beautiful work!The falaj flows all through the village -see how narrow the street is – it takes up most of the space. We were turning back here, as the water was milky with soap – people were washing in it just around the corner, and we could hear them talking and laughing.Here are some shots of the buildings

(I have to throw in these “art” shots – I think the light effect is incredible_

And going out – the contrast between the ancient  and modern – or nearly so.The day was a bit longer than we had planned – but worth every minute of it.

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2 Responses to Two Ancient Towns

  1. Paramjeet says:

    Another greatly informative blog post …what is the source of this water in the falajas

  2. Aiesha says:

    Kathy nice blog, congrats on your new move thanks for sharing the pics it was great to see Alice after so many years.

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