The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.One of many covered walkways.

In 1992 HM Sultan Qaboos declared that his country should have a Grand Mosque. Building work started in 1995 and it took six years & four months to complete.

As there are National Day holidays over this weekend here in Oman, I decided that rather than joining the crowds escaping the capital, I would visit some of the local attractions.
The Grand Mosque is just down the road from where I live and as I had not been there for a number of years, I thought it was about time I went back.
An architectural delight, that avoids the ostentatious façade of wealth and splendour which a lot of modern building can have. It does have an awe-inspiring visual impact, but in a dignified way; in keeping with many of the great places of religious worship around the world.
I got there before it opened to the public (anyone can visit on any day apart from Friday) so for a couple of hours, was able to walk the grounds with only the gardeners & cleaning staff present. At 08:00 sharp – opening time, I entered the main building which was before most people would be arriving – perfect for making photographs.
A very enjoyable walk around with my camera, no restrictions on using cameras as long as one remembers and respects that the building is a place of worship.
A tranquil and carefree morning out, with a lot of images that I will work on over the coming days.

Wadi Tayeen – Devil’s Gap B&W.

Wadi Tayeen No3On the road to Devil’s Gap – having crossed two water obstacles that stretched across my path and unknown to me at this time, three more. It became safer giving up the comfort of my Landrover and getting wet feet !
With terrain response engaged, the LR2 happily takes most things in its stride BUT……. there is a point when caution is the better part of valour  🙂



Things Abandoned.

Abandoned dressThings Abandoned.

Depending on the age of the village when the last occupant left, but more importantly because the people occupying it had traditional values; theft or putting it rather more euphemistically ‘ borrowed on a permanent basis’  other than in very rare instances, did not exist.

Two observations with this statement: tribal custom means that any of the community uses items that are not of a personal nature and is often misunderstood as theft by outsiders. Modernity brings its own problems.

As a consequence, all sorts of stuff can be found, old storage containers (1950’s ammunition boxes – very popular on the Jebel) pots, bottles, clothes and even the odd suitcase. Don’t get me wrong, there was not a cornucopia full and overflowing, just that old or unusable items just got left and were never touched by anyone else.

A small anecdotal story from my time in Jeddah – I was wandering around an open-air market and saw a stall which was obviously a footwear sellers, but covered in dust (lots !) so I asked about it. The answer was – He died a year or so back & none of the family have claimed the items…….  nothing had been touched !



I made the mistake of editing this post in the ‘new editor’  it took all the paragraphs away !!!!!!