Anja Mittra Single Women Traveller, Selfdrive Tour and Guided Tours, November 2011

Dear Arabia Felix Team

For me it would be best never to return to Oman because Oman is now my passion, and it breaks my heart whenever I am here in cold -- in the literal sense of the word --  Germany, It's not about the temperature of the weather, but the warmth of the people there. The slowness, tranquility, serenity (all positive) ... are contagious and make returning to Germany most difficult.

But Oman is also subject to change, and in a few years it will no longer be as tranquil as it is now. But the opportunity still exists to determine one's own pace, by avoiding tour groups and exploring the country on one's own.

I was just there, for two weeks, a woman on the road alone, and I would do that in only a few different countries. Here in Oman, the people are friendly and helpful, the country is safe --  probably one of the safest on earth -- and a woman is accepted as a solo traveler, as long as she is discreet. Sure, there is some astonishment, and no one could express it better than my guide in the Rub al-Khali, Oubid, who made a detour around a group of Bedouin who were feeding their camels. He said he would go around them because he could hardly explain to them why I am alone, without my husband, or why he is traveling with a woman who is married to someone else.

Traditions have a high priority and it is important to accept them. If this is done, you can experience this wonderful country on your own. Since I went to both Jabal Akhdar and Jabal Shams, I was traveling in a 4WD. As long as you have some common sense and a bit of caution you can navigate the mountains, up and down, without any problems. Your reward is magnificent scenery and breathtaking mountain routes. My guide through Wadi Muaydin and around Jabal Shams (from 2,000 to 3,000 meters in 3 hours... on foot) was like a mountain goat. He ran up the slope faster than I could put one foot before the other ...

After a week I returned the car at the Muscat airport and flew to Salalah. I was there at first without a car, which I couldn't take for long. Therefore, I rented a 4WD again and clambered up the mountains in the distance and went to towns and places, which I had visited two years ago. The highlight was certainly the night in the Rub Al-Khali. Finally, once again to see the Milky Way, a wild delight for a city dweller! But the storm that raged for three quarters of an hour and nearly blew the tent away taught me again to fear and respect nature.

Now I am sitting here and still drawing strength from the trip. My battery will not hold long, and then I have to go back to this fascinating country again to recharge. Alone again, naturally.

I thank you for the excellent organization. I have already and will certainly continue to recommend you fully!

Anja Mittra