The Fjords of Oman

Hajar Mountains, Oman

Our first port of call was Fujairah in the UAE. Dave and I had researched this area and there seemed to be literally nothing going on. The ship had a great excursion that actually bypassed Fujairah altogether and took us to Oman for the day on a dhow to see the fjords, which was thrilling because Dave had done this before and I was eager to also experience sailing on a dhow. We left the ship around 11pm and boarded a bus that would take us into Musandam – a part of Oman that is separated from the rest of the country by the UAE.

Our guide, originally from Hungary but now a resident of the UAE, told us about the areas as we drove along. We drove through 2 emirates: Fujairah and Sharja. Fujairah was trying to get some things going like tourism and such, while Sharja was content to live by Islamic law much like Saudi Arabia – no alcohol, women covered, separate beaches, etc. Interesting. Our guide also told us a bit about the 5 pillars of Islam. I think I’ve heard them before, but never explained by a Muslim. Much of what she said we already knew, but sometimes she would say something familiar…but not because of our knowledge of Islam. Like, tzdakah. Exact same word as in Judaism. In fact, a lot of common words are quite similar. This was all pretty surprising.

The boarder crossing into Oman was nonexistent on the Omani front and soon we were in a small marina with dhows and fishing boats. As there was no pier or dock, we jumped from one dhow to the next until we reached the boat on the end that would take is out for the day. It was larger than I had expected and had pillow-covered benches lining the sides and pillows up front for laying out. It had a small second floor also.

"Fish Market" in Oman

We were only with 10-14 other people, which seemed like very little considering the space. We enjoyed the boat ride alongside the Hajar mountains and eventually made our way into a small cove area overlooking a private beach that was only accessible by sea. We anchored and were treated to an authentic and delicious lunch that had been prepared by our crew. There was pita bread, hummus, deliciously spicy chicken, saffron rice and lamb. Everything was pretty amazing. So flavorful and fresh.

Dhows and Omani Fjords

After we ate, a group decided to go snorkeling. I almost went, but the water was just too cold and in the Seychelles will be much much better. Instead, Dave and I took a short speedboat ride around the mountains and picked up the beach-goers. The beach was pretty cool actually. There were all of these goats running around, climbing up the mountains and even up trees. There was a boat beached on the sand and there were even goats in the boat. After we returned from our mini excursion, we headed back to the maintain. Not without, of course, doing Arab dress-up once again. I’m not quite sure why this was done, but of course Dave and I were the first and one of only two couples that donned the outfits. We took pictures and such and it really made me wonder why they like dressing us up so much….

Muslim Dress Up

The ride was sleepy for the 2 of us and we slept even more on the bus ride back to the ship. We made it back by 5:30 and the boat left Fujairah at 6pm..ish. We were having dinner with the Hotel Director, Lestor, tonight. It was also formal night so I put on my black and red flowered cocktail dress and Dave put on his dark pinstriped suit. I have to say that we were definitely the best looking couple on the ship hands down, and we looked completely ballin’. Dinner was pretty hilarious. Lestor is a nice guy from India originally and we also sat with 2 Australian couples and a very nice British lady, Sheila. Conversation was not like the small talk I am used to and included such topics as: why Crystal is the only champagne that one of the couples can drink, which airline has the best first class experience, and how to take 33 Silversea cruises in 12 years. Dave and I managed to scrape by, mostly due to our knowledge of Australia and the UK and our ability to bullshit. After much conversation, we called it a night and retired to our cabin, passing out from probably 2-3 glasses of wine. This honeymoon rocks.

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