Friday, February 16, 2007

Heading Towards Summer

It's been a few weeks since I posted anything here, so I thought I'd show you a shot of a lovely house entrance we saw during our recent Oman trip.

Fences and grand entrances are a cultural thing; Arabs have apparently retained the seige mentality from the days when their fellow Arabs marauded every part of the country stealing women and other valuables. Everything has to be fenced here, despite the almost non-existent crime rate and many of the fences would be worth 10 times more than our Alice Springs house.

Similarly, the vast acreage that householders occupy here is astonishing by our standards where developers are endeavouring to cram as many duplexes into as small a space as possible. It's even more astonishing when you consider the size of Australia and the smallness of the United Arab Emirates and many of the Middle East countries, the only exception being Saudi Arabia which is huge (but mainly sand!).

We had a lovely few days at Muscat, the capital of Oman; visited the Grand Mosque (which is indeed grand), saw the Sultan's Palace, went to the Muscat Gold Souk and generally tripped about the city. The traffic engineering is excellent and the city is attractively adorned with Arabic structures that go over the road (like a bridge), and jut up out of the hilly landscape. It's a very nice city.

We bought two Arabic coffee pots (similar to those on the gate above) and a few small trinkets at the souk and of course took hundreds of photos.

Now I've just finished my first week of teaching and we are counting the weeks off until our mid-year jaunt to Europe. God it's a tough life. The weather here, at the tail end of winter is absolutely delightful as we head towards summer.

Stay well and keep visiting our blog.

Best wishes

for Christina and Robin