From Muttrah, we followed the corniche until we reached Kalbuh (or Kalbooh, whatever they wanna call it). Then after a few more strides, we found ourselves in front of a huge gate. Welcome to the Old Muscat!
The Muscat Gate looks too new to be the original so I’m guessing it’s a reconstruction of the old access. There’s a museum on top aptly named Muscat Gate Museum. We were a bit hesitant to get in as the guards appeared to be unwelcoming.
It took us a good 15-minute walk to get from the gate to our next stop, Bait Al Zubair Museum. A former private residence of the Zubair family, the museum is a compound composed of four buildings and a garden. The huge collection of everything Omani ranges from traditional men and women dresses, pieces of antique jewelry, swords and guns, old photographs, maps to old furniture sets. We learned a lot about the locals, giving us a new light to understand them better. Definitely recommended!
In the garden was a diorama of sorts of a traditional falaj or water channel.
The museum’s cafe was closed so before heading to our next destination, we had an uber late lunch at a local eatery that pretty much resembles the ones we have in Dubai. They serve shawarmas, grilled meat, burgers and sandwiches and fresh fruit shakes!
Next, we stopped by the royal residence, Al Alam Palace. Its blue and gold columns is such a standout! The public isn’t allowed inside but you can get close to the gates and admire its pretty details.
Here ya go, up close!
I know I sound like a broken record, but the silhouette of the Hajjar Mountains is really, really gorgeous!
Close by is the Al Mirani Fort which, I think, is under restoration. From there you can also get a nice view of Al Jalali Fort. Both forts were built during the Portuguese occupation in the country.
And this another fort that I knew nothing about, even its name, is one of the many forts scattered around the area.
We wanted to see the French Museum but it was 5-ish then so it was closed. With nowhere to go to, we decided to call it a day. Left the old quarter through this other gate.
Check out the rest of my Muscat Series:
- To Muscat by Road
- Along Muttrah Corniche
- City Tour
- On Board the Big Bus
- The Majestic Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque