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.
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.
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.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Bilad Sayt (Oman). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Bilad Sayt.
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