sands through the hourglass

“Muscat is a large and very populous town, flanked on both sides with high mountains and the front is close to the water’s edge… the harbor is small, shaped like a horse-shoe and sheltered from every wind.”
— Afonso de Albuquerque

Muscat was once a great city in the Middle East and even had a colonial empire of its own until recent times. Till not too long ago they were also quite influential in international commerce. Their fortunes have changed a bit since then.

Muscat bears marks of a strong military and naval tradition as the city is dotted with countless citadels and watchtowers. The local museums reveal the rich and glorious history that these cascading fortifications were protecting.

Great powers rise and great powers fall. Today Muscat, like the rest of Oman, is in a receding phase. This is still a captivating city to spend a few days in but it is not the same place that once roused great forces to move mountains to capture it.