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Oman: Misfat

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Misfat | Oman | Asia

[Visited: October 2008]

The drive from Al Hamra to Misfat is nice in itself, with some great views of the Hajjar Mountains. As I drove up, the sun was on its way down, the sky was filled with dark grey clouds, and it looked like it could start raining any moment. Rays of sunlight were cutting through the thick layer of clouds, putting their bright spotlight on an ever changing area of the landscape. After parking in the new area of Misfat, I walked to where I had some great views of the old part, on the other side of the valley. From here, it was easy to see how the village is built right on top of the ridge of the mountain. It seems to float on top of the date plantations below. While I waited, rays of sun at times chose to fall on Misfat.

Picture of Misfat (Oman): Misfat seen from the new part of town

Once in the old part of town, I walked the steep and rocky streets to where I found a small square with a small shop. Here, people gathered, this obviously is the local get-together place. You can enter the village through a gate, leading to narrow streets and ancient stone houses which are integrated into the rocky foundations of Misfat. I chose to first walk down, towards the date plantations. Here, houses are built right on top of big rocks. Soon, I reached the falaj or traditional irrigation channel which is a popular walk which takes you past date plantations and into open territory with watchtowers and views of the wadi below.

Picture of Misfat (Oman): Grey clouds over one of the defensive towers of Misfat

I returned to Misfat, and explored the village itself. Steep and narrow streets underlined the age of this village: it was built when people still carried their stuff personally. There is no space for carriages, let alone motorized vehicles. Houses are built on rocks also here, where needed, steps are hewn into them to allow people to walk up and down the alleys. When I got close to the main gate of the village, I heard chanting men, and stumbled upon an Eid celebration for the end of Ramadan right on the small square. I stood and watched, as the late afternoon sunlight was falling right on the rocks above the square. The men were rocking back and forth while chanting to the rhythm of drums. It was a proper end to a long day of exploring central Oman. The views of the surrounding mountains was even better than before with the warm, orange sunlight.

Picture of Misfat (Oman): Ancient houses of Misfat blending in with the date plantations
Picture of Misfat (Oman): Houses are built on top of rocks at Misfat
Picture of Misfat (Oman): Watchtower guarding Misfat
Picture of Misfat (Oman): Rocks are everywhere in Misfat
Picture of Misfat (Oman): Typical stone house in Misfat
Picture of Misfat (Oman): Houses of Misfat clinging to the rocks
Picture of Misfat (Oman): Houses of Misfat seen from above
Picture of Misfat (Oman): Rocks are used as the foundation of houses in Misfat
Picture of Misfat (Oman): Houses on rocks basking in the afternoon sun
Picture of Misfat (Oman): Irrigation system used for date plantations
Picture of Misfat (Oman): The skyline of Misfat: houses built on rocks
Picture of Misfat (Oman): Misfat has narrow streets
Picture of Misfat (Oman): Men celebrating Eid on a rocky square in Misfat

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Misfat (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 Misfat.
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