We had decided to rent a car and drive along the coast up to Musandam, which is part of Oman. That part is called “Arab Norway” due to these many fjords.
To avoid driving in the middle of town on the big 6-lane roads, we had rented a car out on the plane. Now it went as it went… At first, they were reluctant to let us take the vehicle to Oman, so we had to cancel and rent a new one in the next door. They were much more cooperative, but the thing is that the Oman border is heavily guarded and very fussy with paper and especially when you come by car. We had to pay for an individual Oman insurance (we had already googled this before), but apparently they also had to have the car’s original paper, which of course, they did not have on the rental on the plane where the vehicle was … They could fix it for us, but it would take 2-3 hours. The alternative was that we drove to the head office ourselves and picked them up, so that was it. So it was a little extra turn into Dubai City. But everyone was friendly and helpful, and made sure we got everything we needed, wished us luck and said that we should now have a 99% chance of crossing the border.
It was an icy road … Broad highway with the desert landscape around, sometimes some village or larger town. Crossing the border took some time, everything would be so official and queued for different gaps with different papers. Still, in the end, everything went well, and for 76 dirhams, we had to go out of the United Arab Emirates, and for 100 dirhams, we had to enter Oman (1 dirham = approx. SEK 2.5).
Musandam is an Omani enclave (or is it called an exclave?). It is thus an area that belongs to Oman. It is located on a “cape” or corner, surrounded by the United Arab Emirates, without the physical connection to the rest of the Oman country. That part is called “Arab Norway” due to these many fjords. The scenery was truly enchanting to drive through !! The sea on one side and on the other hand these high unproductive mountains. Incredible beautiful! Yes, you see the pictures, but they really do not do it justice… It was really one serpentine road, winding locomotives, high and low. Sometimes a road work appeared around the curve, so it was essential to have the tongue in the middle of the mouth. We happened upon both one and another morass overtaking … But Bernt drives like a god, in a big city like “out in the country” !! 🙂
The original plan was actually that we would go about an hour from the border to a place called Khasab to hop on a boat and go out to sea on a dolphin safari (species-rich water right here) and to “Telegraph Island.” Still, after a lot of whining, we had not booked. It is difficult to book when you can not really schedule. It was lucky because, after the morning’s car hassle, it turned out that we arrived when the afternoon trip simmered out. Well, with the result in hand, it actually does not matter, we had a lovely day anyway. We spent a ridiculously good time looking for a post office to send a postcard from OMAN to Jörgen. Still, when we finally found one, it would not open until a couple of hours later, so he got a slightly more personal picture that we digitally sent on directly (when we got home to Dubai).
For Khasab Musandam Tours packages Booking: https://khourshemtours.com/packages/
Khasab was a small community … No tall big flashy houses in lots of colors, but low homes in white, beige, or brown-yellow. Here and their mosques with towers stood up, and on the streets, mountain goats roamed freely. We cached around a bit and just enjoyed the fantastic surroundings and the pleasant weather and the fact that we did not have to be crowded with a lot of others.
Of course, it’s funny how much “knowledge” you have in your head that you take for granted. For example, when we were on our way back, we started to get really hungry. In our Scandinavian heads, a neon-lit sign by the road in the evening darkness usually means an open restaurant. WRONG!! In these areas, it could just as quickly be a furniture store, car wash, or white goods sale. (By the way, we never think before we have seen so many car polishers at one and the same time before …). Shortly before starvation, however, we found a Burger King, so we made it all the way back to the plane by car. The car rental guy who received it looked at our car papers and stated that we had been to Oman. “What the hell were you doing there ?? There are kind of only … villages !!”. Only then did I realize that we actually had a whole day where there were not seven million people around us, but just calm and quiet and … nice !!