Hello my munchkins! What are you up to? Any epic trips planned for the weekend?
Speaking of epic plans, let me show you one of mine.
A couple weeks ago, my husband decided to take me on a trip down Oman’s memory lane. Like, literally. Oman has a rich history, dating back to 100,000 years and is the oldest independent state in the Arab World, according to Royal Air Force Museum.
Most of the richest history is down in the Dhofar region, which I have lived in and visited (a must-go-place during July through August; trust me, it’s unbelievable). However, I have a lot of exploring left to do in the Muscat state. So we planned to cram together Al-Hoota Caves and Misfat al-Abriyeen into one road trip. I was tickled pink! But Sameer asked me one question prior to leaving; are you up for a long walk? Now me, I love walking. I’m usually the one who likes parking on the furthest end, just so I could walk longer to the destination. But boy, I was not ready for this kind of a walk!
We first went to the caves. Now these aren’t just any regular caves. Located on the foot of the mountain Jabal Shams, these are dated to over 2 million years old, according to facts on the official website of the tourist attraction. The cave goes as long as about 4.5 km, however, only 500 m are for public access.
There are four lakes and a number of animal species that call this cave a home. A rare blind fish inhabits in the lakes, as well as bats, snails, water beetles and others. Now comes the fun part, the actual attraction of the caves. Al-Hoota Cave is made of stone, but was created by water. It was formed by the dissolution of limestone by acidic water. Exciting fact: water dissolves through 10mm of rock every 100 years! Can you imagine the slow process of the cave’s formation!
Unfortunately, I can only tell but not show, because we are not allowed to do any sort of photography inside. You can look them up online, and anyone residing in or visiting Oman needs to put this hidden treasure on their list of places to explore. What a glorious sight!
Image from Google
Next up, Misfat al-Abriyeen. This is a 200 year old mountainous village situated 1000 m above sea level. It is a stunning sight to see such old architecture in today’s world, such as traditional mud houses. What amused me the most was that these are actual houses of actual families still living in those conditions. They rely wholly on their agricultural terraces to support their livelihood.
Are you ready to see a ton of pictures? Go!
We were dead tired after walking up and down God knows how many stairs in the cave and the village combined. But we were met by a spectacular sunset as we set off to head home, and it was all worth it.