Soon after taking the turn from Muscat at the Wadi Aday roundabout, the road cuts straight through rugged Eastern Hajjar mountains. It is a pleasure to drive this stretch, and it gives some nice mountain scenery typical for Oman. Rocky mountains, narrow valleys and wadis, small villages at the foot of the mountains, you see it all. When you finally come out of the mountains, Qurayat is a short drive through flat landscape. Once upon a time, this town was famous for the export of horses that were reared in the plains behind Qurayat. After it was sacked by the Portuguese, though, the town never regained its importance.
The waterfront corniche and beach are a good place to start exploring this fishermen town. I walked on the beach, and then along the corniche of Qurayat, checking out the many fishing boats on the beach and in the small harbour. As it was not very early anymore, there was little going on here. I decided to walk through the backside streets of Qurayat, which allowed me to see the houses, meet some people, be followed by some curious teenagers, before being given a present: a guide to how to convert to Islam. I walked past some of the many mosques of this coastal town, before heading back to my car. I drove to the other side of town, to where the road ends on a boulevard. Here, you have a good view of the defensive watchtower on an islet in the harbour.
It also is a promenade and almost all covered shelters were occupied by Omanis in their long white clothes, enjoying the view of the Gulf of Oman with the pleasant sound of the waves crushing on the beach just below. It took me some time, but I found a way to drive to the other side of the river, giving me access to the sand dunes and the beach east of Qurayat. Here, I took a long walk, taking in the views, listening to the sea, the screeching of the birds diving into the green-blue sea, before driving back to Qurayat to have lunch and visit the 19th century fort. Small and cosy, the fort needs some restoration works, even though the views from the roof and the tower are obviously good anyway.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Qurayat (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 Qurayat.
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