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Oman: Bilad Sayt

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Bilad Sayt | Oman | Asia

[Visited: April 2011]

Taking the turnoff from the main track to Hat, we climbed a little further on a track where we even found some asphalt; surprising, after the dusty and rocky track that we had been following since we left the Rustaq road. And then, suddenly, we reached a high spot from where, below us, and pretty close, we saw a hill covered with old houses. We knew at once that we had reached Bilad Sayt. After reaching a parking lot close to the entrance of the village, we started exploring the narrow streets of this old mountain village whose name, according to some, means "the town I forgot", after a Mongol invader who sacked the other villages in this wadi, left Bilad Sayt alone.

Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): Terraces with date palm trees and Bilad Sayt

We met an old, blind villager, who was working his way up the steep streets of the village with his cane, had a short conversation with him, before we continued our way up the streets that in some parts had stairs. Many of the houses were made of stones, and looked pretty original. The atmosphere in Bilad Sayt was quiet and peaceful, as could be expected in such a remote place high up the western Hajjar mountain range. The Omani villagers we met were welcoming us to their village while we climbed all the way up to the highest point - a watchtower that dominates Bilad Sayt. It proved double-locked and thus impossible to visit, but from here, we had the best views. Not only over the village now lying at our feet, but also the plantations that had been hidden behind the hill on which Bilad Sayt is built.

Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): Street in the old mountain village of Bilad Sayt

After soaking in the great panoramas, we walked down again on the other side of the small mountain village, and headed back to our Landcruiser. We drove to the very end of the basin in which Bilad Sayt lies, and were lucky enough to have the sun pierce through the cloudy cover of the sky which gave the best views of this picturesque village. We chatted with a few village girls, who appeared to be in a very good mood, and then walked up a mountain trail, offering us yet better views of Bilad Sayt. From here, we also had a better view of the rugged mountains just behind the village, and could clearly see the oasis-like character of this small area high up in the Jebel Shams mountains. We still had a long drive ahead of us, and decided to leave before it would be dark, making driving on these precarious mountain roads dangerous.

Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): Impression of the mountain village of Bilad Sayt
Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): One of the old streets in Bilad Sayt
Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): Painted door in one of the old houses of the mountain village of Bilad Sayt
Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): View of the village of Bilad Sayt with date palm trees and rocky backdrop
Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): View from the ridge under which Bilad Sayt is built
Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): Houses on a hill with terraces: Bilad Sayt
Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): Stairs around a house in Bilad Sayt
Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): Old watchtower dominating the village of Bilad Sayt
Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): Trees and terraced fields surrounded by mountains near Bilad Sayt
Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): Mountains surrounding Bilad Sayt seen from the watchtower
Picture of Bilad Sayt (Oman): Access to the second floor of a traditional house in Bilad Sayt

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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