Salalah Trip...Part 6

Posted: Friday, August 29, 2008 by Stained in Labels: ,

Sunday, 3rd of August

First part of Day 5

1) We went to the Baleed archaeological park in Salalah in the morning. Here is a map of the whole park. All the pictures taken during the park were taken by my brother and not me.
2) There were several webs inside the boats that were being exhibited near the park entrance. The webs were so perfect that they seemed fake (like they have in those Hindi films) but they weren't.
3) The archaeological park also contained a bird sanctuary (that we didn't visit) but we did see these four geese waddling around. My Niece kept trying to run behind them. She thought they were ducks.
4) One of the exhibited boats. This one had some Arabic verses engraved on its back side (not pictured). I don't know if it was a real boat or just a reconstruction.
5) A view of the Baleed Citadel from the Northwest City Wall Bastion. People were walking all over the citadel which kinda killed the fact that this is a UNICEF protected area.

Quoted from the Sign board for 'The Northwest City Wall Bastion' :
"Here large cut blocks form the foundation for an old city wall and its Northwest bastion, all that remains of an older city wall. Due to its massive construction, this bastion may have served to deflect summer monsoon waters coming from the distant Dhofar hills"
6) They had placed a plate of what looks like rice for the weaver birds (I think) living in the tree nearby...
7) A view of the Al Baleed Citdel South Gate and the large Masjid.
8) The Main Prayer Hall of the Masjid and the Courtyard in the middle of it.

Quoted from the sign board :
"The Main Prayer Hall was the largest area of the Mosque. The roof was supported by over 144 columns. During its last phase, the Prayer Hall was reduced to the area adjacent to the Mihrab."
"The Courtyard measures 14m*12m and was the main source of light and ventilation for the Prayer Hall"
9) A panorama shot of the Masjid (by combining 4 pictures) with the Minaret on the right, the Courtyard in the middle and the Ablution area on the left.

Quoted from the other various sign boards :
"This is the location of the Minaret for the Original Grand Mosque. The Minaret is the tower from which the Muezzin intones the call to prayer five times each day. The Minaret of the Grand Mosque would have been at least 5 metres highs."
"The Ablution Area is where worshippers would wash themselves before entering the Mosques for prayers. The Ablution Area here consists of four chambers with wash basins supplied by a well at the south end."
"The Mihrab is a semi-circular niche in the wall which indicates the direction of the Mecca and the direction to face for prayer. The Minbar, directly to the right of the Mihrab, is where the Imam stands to give his address as part of the Friday midday prayers."
10) A view of a Smaller Masjid.

Quoted from the sign board :
"This small mosque excavated in 2001 is almost square, each side no longer that 10 metres. Like other mosques of this size it did not have a Minaret. The round monolithic pillars that once supported the flat roof can still be seen where they fell. As in all such buildings excavated to date, this mosque's entrance were found to have been sealed during its last phase, suggestive of progressive decline."
11) A Headstone lies near the Cemetery Mosque.
12) A view of the Cemetery Mosque

Quoted from the sign board :
"This unique cemetery mosque is located within the city centre. The typical mosque contains six monolithic pillars that would have supported a flat roof. Notice the ablutions area to the east of the mosque which contains two rectangular stone lined well and many monolithic plaster lined wash basins. On the north and west sides of the mosque is a 1.5 hectare cemetery defined by a low wall, which contains more than 1000 graves. Notice the different headstones styles within the cemetery"
13) One unmarked pillar lying around on a mound of sand and rock. For this short trip around a part of the park cost us AED 10 per person for a small golf kart type 8 seater with a driver who would stop at the various sites allowing us to look around. After this we headed off to the small museum in the park where photography was not allowed so no pictures of it. Also there is a fee on entering the park but I don't know how much it was and there is also a boat ride that costs AED20 per person.
14) After heading out from the park we headed off to the Salalah airport where we went to a restaurant called Woodlands where we ate some good Indian food but the service was terrible and they charged three different taxes on the food (read the fine print at the end) amounting to about 18%. This is a picture of the Salalah Clock Tower roundabout.
15) After lunch we headed off into the mountains on our way to the Mausoleum of a Nabi Ayub. We soon realised we were not the only ones headed there and we were crawling at a much slower pace than required due to the inability of some of the people to handle the fog and the overtaking skills required.
16) Random tree in fog shot.
17) Another random tree in fog shot...
18) A dirt road leading off the main road. This one was not closed so I supposed it must be safe to use but we didn't bother even thinking about any off-roading in the mountains...
19) This municipal worker was walking next to the road collecting the trash. There was a heavy drizzle in the air and it was quite cold (20'C) so I felt sorry for him though I'm guessing he must be used to it. He was the second and the last municipal worker (apart from the Heritage village) I saw in the Salalah. No wonder the place is going to the garbage.
20) Whenever I look at this picture, I wonder what is hanging from the tree...
21) As the others headed off (on foot) to the Mausoleum of an Nabi Ayub entrance, me and my sister lingered around watching these birds on the nearby tree.
22) Making sure none of the adults were around, I slowly moved closer to the birds to get a better shot. It was a tricky situation (with the wet grass/mud) where I was trying not to slip and to not make any noise. Slowly I made my way towards the birds. As I got closer, apart from this yellow bird the rest flew away from me. So not wanting to scare this one, I stopped and clicked a dozen photos of it. Of the lot, this came out the best...
23) Water droplets on the tree.
24) A view of the Masjid near Mausoleum of an Nabi Ayub.


  1. Abid says:

    Wow...#22 has beautiful bokeh. It is looking at pictures like this that I wish I could spend a thousand dollars on a DSLR setup, but then tuition fees come in :-(.

  1. The Ego says:

    #22 is my favourite...

  1. nice pictures.. i like the duck ones ..and the clock tower..

    really great photo's

  1. Stained says:

    abid...Someday when you're working you can get a decent DSLR...with the prices being so low it's not so hard to afford one...though the cost of buying the accessories is the my case I've already spend more on lens, flash, batteries etc than on the camera body itself...

    d...#22 does not look so good in the original picture due to the fog. I had to work on it to get the details and colour out better plus I had to crop it a bit. 200mm is not enough for bird photography.

    Someone in al ain....Thanks!!

  1. Neelofer says:

    I like #13! Very much like an abstract object, missing piece of a puzzle or a very big Lego block!

  1. Anonymous says:

    yes they are Rupples Weaver - the bright yellow - hes the male

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