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Shopping anyone? by Carol Sherritt

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Guest Blogger Carol Sherritt

My husband and I visited Oman in January when the weather is mild and sunny. On our first day our hosts were keen to show us the best of Muscat and we headed to the main commercial area, Mutrah.

Muscat

We strolled along the Corniche, admired the Arabic architecture and thrilled at our first glimpse of an Omani dhow. But the best was yet to come, as we made our way from the glaring brightness into the gloom of Mutrah Souq. It was shopping time anytime, and we were in for an amazing sensory experience.

Carol's Shopping Trip 2

Frankincense pervades the Souq, or open market, with its strong, sweet scent and it can be bought in all sizes of packaging, along with beautiful incense burners. In all directions colour abounds – in fabric stalls, clothing and shoe shops, glassware and jewelry. Decorative wares fill the walkways and this fat bellied brass frog is just asking to be stroked.

Carol's Shopping Trip 1

The vendors keep up a constant stream of chat to potential customers: “Madam, come in. Madam, what size? Madam, what colour? You try?” The pashminas,  fine cashmere wools used for making shawls, are so tempting, in all the colours of the rainbow, silky, soft and luxurious. There are woven carpets from Pakistan, cushions and beaded shoes from India, silver boxes, rose water sprinklers and Turkish coffee pots delicately engraved and embellished.

Carol's Shopping Trip 3 On the more quirky and slightly weird side are the embalmed, mounted and framed creatures including butterflies, scorpions, centipedes and frogs. They’re not exactly to my taste but fascinating all the same.

Carol's Shopping Trip 4

One alleyway is devoted to the jewelers’ shops, which are much more upmarket and way out of our league. The solid gold and silver jewelry is priced according to weight and the current value of gold per ounce. We’re told by one shopkeeper that the local ladies like to wear these necklaces when they go to parties to show off their husbands’ wealth.

Carol's Shopping Trip 5

It’s best to go to the Souq in the afternoon when the rush of tourists off the cruise ships has gone. Then it’s cool, the light is dim, and you have the time to browse and enjoy with all your senses, and even make a purchase or two.

Carol's Shopping Trip 6

You can read more from Carol on The Eternal Traveler with her traveling companion, Justin Beaver.

Carol and Justin

Would anyone like a fat bellied frog?

8 replies »

  1. Thank you Marsha for hosting my post and Dianne and Rexlin Victor for your compliments. This trip was one of the best we have done because it was so different from anywhere else we have been. Dianne there are several posts about Oman on my blog that I wrote way back in May and June 2012.

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  2. I absolutely love that frog lying on his back – I want one! This is a great guest post Carol! How lucky you are to have traveled to this beautiful place! 😀

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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