Day 24 Muscat in Oman
The photos for the Indian trip are now on the previous blog entries. We left the ship at 7.45 a.m. today for a tour of Muscat. We had an excellent guide who told us to tell all our friends how sorry the people of Oman were to hear of 9/11 and how his family actually cried when they heard about it. He said he has read the Koran many times and cannot find anywhere in this book where it says to kill non Muslims. He said a few people with their own baggage, tell the uneducated, who cannot read that the Koran says things that it does not say. Our guide was 23 years old and he said that on his 24th birthday the government will give him, as it does to all Omani citizens, a piece of land and he can borrow money at zero percent interest to build a house on it. Locals in Oman pay no taxes, have free health and education and have no need of insurance. If they have a car accident, the government just gives them a new car. Most families have 3 or 4 cars and there is very little public transport. I was very impressed with Muscat which is a clean well planned city. There is deliberately no high rise. We visited the grand mosque which was so beautiful that it was worth getting dressed in cover ups even though the temperature and humidity were both incredibly high. We then visited the Sultan’s palace with its own hotel for guests of the sultan, a private museum with old weapons, women’s clothes and domestic pottery. Our last stop was to the Souk. The displays here were very colourful. Silver was a good buy but I just bought a blouse for myself. I was very proud because I bargained with the shop keeper as they say you should and got it for $8 American.