12.22.2013 - 12.22.2013
We're all up fairly early and head downstairs for the breakfast buffet. It's as large as the one we enjoyed in Al Ain. Chaz and Chandler each have made to order omelets and I feast on fresh fruit, yogurt, smoked salmon, smoked tuna and several cheeses that I can't remember what they were called! Yesterday the clerk had recommended several sightseeing spots including the Mutrah Souq and the harbor. There is a shuttle bus leaving soon but we decide to drive. We make a couple of wrong turns, once down a road leading onto the large port wharf, but eventually end up in front of the Souq. We've missed the turn where the clerk had told us we would find public parking so we turn around and coming back Chaz spots a parking place along the harbor wall. It's very small and he's going up and back, up and back to get the car in. A man is leaning against a post watching our machinations and finally gets in the van in front of us and pulls up a few inches so we can easily park! He even gives us change so we can put money in the parking meter. We realize he's a taxi driver looking for a fare.
The harbor is horseshoe shaped and very protected. There are two traditional dhows anchored in the center and the pier is lined with cruise ships and luxury yachts.
Inside, the souq reminds us of the Dubai souq we visited last year. The same items for sale, the same men holding scarves and trying to put them on my head, holding out watches and saying, "Copy watch, sir? Copy watch?" It's best not to make eye contact or you'll find yourself escorted into a shop before you know it.
We walk through the maze of shops and stop in one to buy t-shirts for all of us. I find a small clutch wallet and enjoy bargaining. Chandler looks at lanterns in several shops and ends up buying one in a shop along the main harbor road.
We head back to the hotel for lunch and remember that the Executive Lounge has complementary snacks at lunchtime. We make small sandwiches and also enjoy wonderful fresh tuna. We rest after lunch and then decide to take a walk on the beach. We head down the cliff road under a beautiful canopy of trees - which Chandler used to call "can o'peas", passing an inlet where a fisherman is working on his nets. The beach is almost deserted and we walk as far as we can before coming to another inlet at the end of the beach road. It's windy but another beautiful day.
Tonight is Mexican night at Dukes Bar in the hotel but first we stop in at the Executive Lounge for complementary appetizers. Some are hard to identify but it's fun to eat these different dishes.
When we're seated outside at Dukes Bar, it's very crowded and windy. We decide to leave and head over to Come Prima, the Italian restaurant. Here we enjoy an absolutely delicious meal with only one other table occupied. We go to bed full, tired and very relaxed from our day in Muscat.