My late mother was a huge fan of cruises which resulted in me seeing a lot of places for a short period of time and not feeling the need to step onto a cruise ship in the foreseeable future. A couple of years ago we cruised around the United Arabic Emirates (UAE) so here it comes.
One of the places the cruise ship stopped was Muscat, Oman and I really liked it there. It wasn’t as hectic as Dubai and the other places we visited before, instead it was rather small, smog-free and quiet. What also added to my positive attitude towards this city was the fact that I took a bike ride instead of the dreadful bus tours and it was one of the best things I did on any cruise ever.
Due to Muscat not being that big and it being a city in the middle east we were only allowed to take a very specific route through the city. We weren’t even allowed to ride our bikes from the ship through the harbour, we had to put them on a truck while we rode a shuttle until we were out of the harbour. It actually wasn’t that big and it would have been no problem to let us ride through it on our way in and out but whatever. In comparison to all the other annoying security things I had to endure during visits in the near and middle east, this was one of the better encounters.
After getting out of the harbour we rode along empty streets, the coastline, saw old castles and even rode our bikes right in front of the Sultan’s Palace. Our group was even photographed by the royal photographer but I suspect that had other reasons than us being amazing and friendly tourists.
Riding a bike through the city was weird in a good way. The people are not used to seeing cyclists like they are in Germany or other countries, it’s just not that common there. So we were looked at with amusement and curiosity while everyone was also really friendly. This stuck with me, even after years, friendly people and what more is there to take away from visiting a foreign country?
I saw incredibly blue skies and waters, rode a bike through the middle east and encountered lovely people. I was content.