Thursday Doors, 7/12/17. One shot from the road…

I’ve been on the road again, not much time to blog, too much coastline to cover and random wifi opportunities.

I’m sea-shell collecting around the Oman coastline, observing and enjoying the opportunities my camera finds.

This is one of them.

Just one door, all that is needed today, I’m off out for my birthday meal !

Linking with Thursday Doors…

Thursday Doors, 8/11/17, Small town Oman, doors and herons…

I think that most of you who read my blog, probably know now that I travel a lot in Oman and I also love what I find there. It’s a vast country and on every trip, although, often travelling over previous ground, I find something new.

We cover unthinkable distances on the round trip from Dubai to Salalah to Dubai. If you return up the coast road, a round journey of around 3,000 kms, you don’t get much time to spend poking around as there is always a ticking clock to get back to Dubai for commitments.

But, on occasions, I put my brakes on and insist on time out. Otherwise, we are just burning the same tarmac every time and not seeing “IT” …”IT” being life in the places we flash through. Seeing life, you also see doors!

In October 2017, we had a little overnight break at Al Saqla resort ( this time I’ve inserted a map so you know where I am on this post, blue line A to B, the post features that route)

We were heading to Muscat from Shannah port (A), a 6 hour trip along the coast, which is only serviced by one road through the coastal Ash Sharqiyah governorate. Heading north from Point A ( Shannah), the impenetrable dunes of the Al Wahiba sands are on the left, the Indian ocean to the right, it’s a 4 hour trip to Sur up the coast road, where the motorway to Muscat starts and the driving is easier.

The coast road takes you through towns that are far removed from the larger cities of Oman because of the vast distances. Agricultural ( basic) and fishing life ( main economy) are the lifeblood in this region. It’s run down, poor and traditional, but the life you flash past on the road through is totally fascinating to my eye.

This time I wanted to re-visit some very old doors on the coast road. I took a lovely door shot last year, so we tried to find the doors again. They are gone now, razed to the ground, but back-tracking through the town streets trying to place them, I came across a plethora of Omani doors.

I hope you enjoy my discoveries as much as I did.

The sunset from Al Saqla…

No connection with doors, but the camel upholstery on the room sofa is too interesting to leave out…

The morning view….Yeah, a good day ahead…

Heading into town it was obvious we were in the uptown area for small-town Oman…

But then we found the Gold one, possibly the Arab equivalent of the Jones’s…

Winding through the small streets of town trying to find my old doors, this is what I found, car shots of doors, narrow streets, just all fascinating to my eye…

This one is my favourite…

Heading out of town via the harbour, herons, a couple of feet away from my window, not bothered by my presence, dhows in the harbour, locals taking time out and of course, the mosque…

Time to move on, out of town, heading up the coast again, past the house surrounded by it’s own little forest, you can’t see any doors here!

 

Linking with Thursday Doors, a weekly event hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over, click the blue frog link and check out some world-wide doors this week…

Thursday Doors, 12/10/17. Trying for the perfect door shot, Mirbat, Oman….

In 2016, I visited and photographed doors in the old town of Mirbat, Dhofar, Oman.  An ancient fishing port, the old town is crumbling away. I featured doors from Mirbat last year here. Please feel free to visit, it’s a special place…

I’ve recently returned from another trip around the Omani coastline and once we were back in Mirbat, I made a point to re-visit the old town. Progress in some of the remoter areas doesn’t include renovation of heritage and as I’ve been doing this round route for the past 4 years, I’m recording changes for myself, maybe as a history…

I’m on the road again today so this is a brief post regarding one particular, rather gorgeous, door (in my opinion).

In the 2016 Mirbat visit, we drove around the corner to see the most spectacular door, blocked by a white mini-van and a white truck. In vain I tried to capture it, contorting myself around a lot of wheels, but had to settle for half a door.

2017 saw us winding our way around the narrow streets trying to landmark the door. After a few tense exchanges ( I feel I have better geo-location capabilities than the other half when it comes to doors!) we saw it…

As we drove around the corner the WHITE MINI-VAN was still there, one year later. Was I a bit stompy? Yes! A 1800km drive with this door in mind, fab shot…hmmm… 

So, I’m out of the car trying to exclude it. Ok, this is nice, works for me, a bit of blue sky, the door, and traditional windows…

Let’s make it better, angling and a zoom, it makes a face, on nicely weathered walls…

But… the close-up is special. In my inner heart, I want to rip this door out, strap it to the top of the car, drive it home and renovate it…It’s the “covet” door. 

But, I am a guest in this lovely country and my desire is impractical, so my photos of this door will form a special door place in my heart, but, you know if the owner popped out and said “Yup, I’ll sell”, it would be on my roof rack in a blink! Look at it, the detail, the little inner door… Oh, yes, it’s my door!

For more on Mirbat, clink on this link for some unique Omani windows…

Joining into Norm Framptom’s Thursday Door challenge, come on over, click the blue frog link at the end of Norm’s wonderful door post and check out on what we all found this week…

Weekly Photo Challenge, Windows…

Your inspiration this week is windows…..or of a landscape or piece of art that’s like a window to another world for you.

Windows of Mirbat.

A town in Southern Oman that is slowly crumbling away.

Wandering around the streets, there is a shot at every step, but it’s the windows that my lens points towards.

These little wooden, arched and shuttered Omani windows; I wonder at the lives led behind them in the days when old Mirbat was thriving.

Windows on another world…

 

Windows

Thursday Doors, 28/9/17. Looking for pots but finding doors…

Hello, I’m back! During a long, hot summer of re-organizing and sorting bits of my life, blogging took a back seat. Just keeping my hand in with a couple of weekly photo challenges, it’s time to drop back into Thursday doors.

I’ve just completed a trip around Oman (again), shell collecting being the reason but along the way, there were always some sidelines during the 4,400 km journey.

Driving back from Muscat to the border crossing at Al Ain on the journey home, I decided to stop again in the town of Bahla to try to find the elusive potteries that I had never found before on my previous visits.

The Muscat to Ibri route, via Nizwa and Bahla, takes you through the Hajar mountains, immersed and dwarfed by spectacular scenery.

I introduced Bahla on one of my previous Monday Window posts in 2016 but, I had no idea then that I hadn’t seen the half of it. ( Feel free to visit the post link to find out more about Bahla and the fort)

Bahla Fort, walls, and plantations…

As we drove into town at mid-day Friday, but also part of a public holiday weekend, I realized the chances of finding an open pottery were very slim. There was no-one around to ask, every establishment was locked up and it was also prayer time.

Closed doors in town… (click on the pictures to enlarge)

No matter, we will return and we decided to try and find it anyway from directions I had picked up online. So we headed into the small streets and around every twist and turn I found an amazing selection of the traditional Omani doors and gates that I so enjoy finding and recording, as in many cases the doors are deteriorating, buildings are slowly crumbling, unrestored and modern doors, whilst decorative, somehow don’t have the same appeal.

We did find the pottery, as anticipated, it was closed. I foresee a spend on my next visit.

Cool places under the Palm trees, a Falaj ( traditional water system) and the pottery, down a little narrow street, but closed…

Rather a lot of doors from Bahla, enjoy… (click on the pictures to enlarge)

After so many doors and no pots, it was time to head home, out of Bahla through the imposing entry and back alongside the Hajar mountains…

Linking with Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over to see for yourself what other lovely doors have surfaced this week….

 

Weekly Photo challenge: Layered…

In Oman, you get the chance to see how our Earth is layered and wonder how it happened all those millenniums ago… was it a swirling maelstrom of fire and upheaval? Was it a gradual happening?

Driving through the landscape you ask yourself a lot of questions…. a photo from the incredible road from Hasik to Ash Shuwaymiyyah in the Dhofar region of Southern Oman, layered with strata…

 

Layered

Thursday Doors, Qurun, Oman, 9/3/17…

The small village of Qurun on Oman’s east coast, lies just below Al Ashkharah, which is a town in the Ash Sharqiyah region.

Qurun is a sleepy little settlement on the edge of a salt flat area, and the bay beyond is where the local fishermen bring in their catch. If we head up this coastal road on visits to Oman, we always have a quick stop at Qurun. The beach often turns up some shell surprises and it’s a lovely place to take a break and stretch your legs walking down its long shoreline.  Continue reading

Monday Window: On a beach in Oman, 6/3/17…

You don’t expect to find a window on a lonely beach, but in Oman, there is always the unexpected sight.

A derelict mosque sits on a sand dune above the beach, the elements are sweeping it away, storm by storm.

Taken on the long beach north of Al Ashkharah, Google maps GPS 21.941609, 59.648001.

Al Ashkharah (Arabic: الأشخرة‎‎) (named after a poisonous desert plant) is a town in the Ash Sharqiyah Region of Oman.

Thursday Doors:12/1/17

Oman stories…

Bahla, (Arabic: بهلا‎‎), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site town, located 40 km away from Nizwa, and about 200 km from Oman’s capital Muscat which lies in the Ad Dakhiliyah region of Oman. It is notable as the home of one of the oldest fortress in the country, the 13th century Bahla Fort and for the town’s pottery.

On our November/ December trip to Oman, during the long 10 journey from Duqm to Dubai, I marked Bahla as a stopping point for a break from the endless roads. Continue reading

Thursday Doors: 22/12/16

Travelling in Oman in September this year, on the road from Mahout to Sur, you pass along a sleepy coastline.

Fishing and camel and goat farms seem to be the livelihood in this region. Hemmed in by the vast Wahiba sands to the West and the Indian Ocean to the East, travels along this coastal road are rather like being in the land time nearly forgot.  Continue reading

Oman road trip: The Dhofar coastline and a midnight visitor…

Leaving the comfort of the Salalah Marriot, we headed up the coast. Oman is doing some major road expansion and the road from Mirbat to Hasik, which winds through crinkly foothills, is being straightened and expanded to meet up with the incredible road constructed from Hasik to Ash Shuwaymiyah, linking these two towns through a mountainous range.  Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O, butting in for a second round…

 

Well, I didn’t dare title this H2O2……altogether a different subject!

H2O, refracted.

When light travels from air into water, it slows down, causing it to change direction slightly. This change of direction is called refraction.

 It made the blue crab into an abstract crab…

H2O