On Saturday, June 28, we visited Jabal Akhdar, a mountainous city in Oman. The name literally means "the green mountain" - and while it is somewhat green and the weather is amazing there (it even rained on our way back!), the title doesn't' refer to the weather but to the fact that people live there, the color green being symbolic of life. The people who live here are called the Bani Riyam, but after the oil discovery in Oman, most of these people left for bigger cities nearby, so now barely anyone lives here. The houses we saw were abandoned homes.
Jabal Akhdar is a good two hours away from Ibri to just get to the bottom of the mountain, but then you take these "four-wheelers" to drive up the mountain. That ride was a good 20-30 minutes, I think. Also, the place is known for rose water, but I totally forgot to ask about this during our tour. Oman generally imports rose water from Pakistan, a teacher told us last week, but Jabal Akhdar is the one place in Oman famous for it.
While on Jabal Akhdar, after seeing those abandoned houses (noted in the pics below), we went to a village called Qaryat al-Ayn (qaryah = village, al-ayn = (water) spring), and people still live there. It reminded me much like villages in Pakistan. Then again, I imagine all villages around the world are the same.
Now the pics. Bismillah.
|We're not quite at Jabal Akhdar yet. On a break.|
|Still on a break.|
|The four-wheelers that drove us up to the mountain. It was 8 of them. I was in #8.|
|Now this is Jabal Akhdar.|
|There was lots of climbing up and down lots of stairs.|
|Ghuzaan (walnuts)! Plural of "ghuz" in Pashto. Also apparently an Arabic word. Seriously, Pashto?!|
|You climb down all those stairs - and then climb some up - to get to these abandoned houses.|
|Art in the wall of a room on the second floor of the house. A tiny set of stairs led up to here.|
|Walking back down.|
|Headed now to the Village of Ayn.|
|We were on a break. I think. Looking over Jabal Akhdar. Beautiful views.|
|Still looking over the area.|
|The Qaryat (village) al-Ayn|
|Parts of the walkways (what are they called?) were covered with this kind of covering. Wood and mud.|
|Passing some houses in al-Ayn village, we finally see this.|
|The village fields.|
|The village fields|
|A sign all over Oman that tells people they're on a walking trail.|
|On a wall. I haven't sat down to read this carefully, but it's prolly something from the Qur'an.|
|The adhan (Muslim call to prayer, 5 times a day) came on while we were walking around here.|
|The village mosque|
|That's a famous hotel in the area.|
|The food we ate for lunch. (Meat/chicken and rice)|
|We ate our lunch in this area. GOATS ALL OVER! Hooooosshhh!|
|More hoshes (goats)!|
|The playground. A friend and I totally got on a see-saw. And we swang and stuff.|
|And then it RAINED on our way back!!! Alhamdulillah.|
|Them skies ...|
|Them mountains, though ...|