It must be ESP. When I booted my computer I just thought to myself, first I write to Arabia Felix.
Yes, we are well rested and safely back at home. It was a wonderful holiday, marked by an infinite number of impressions, which only slowly begin to sink in when talking about it. Visa, flights, accommodation, everything worked out without any problem.
We had every imaginable experience -- both old and new culture, including a camel race, a fish market on the beach, "every" coffee shop along the way -- and we reveled in it. The guide Jakob is a pearl. Without him we would have seen only a fraction of the highlights and probably experienced the country differently. And all without any great effort. Almost lazy to travel like that. But perhaps it is a good thing in an Arab country, when a woman with her need to know, is not needy.
Quite often we went for walks for short distances, which in that weather was an absolute dream. I think we gained a good and realistic impression of the country. Hopefully, tourism on the one hand and the rapidly growing population on the other hand will not be a problem for the country (they already have hefty garbage and waste problems. No gorge too deep and no wadi too far back that one does not encounter all the legacies of civilization). The Sultan is generating the right ideas already and hopefully will prevail. So far he seems - but it's only gut feeling - to be steering his country on a sensible course.
You chose the perfect itinerary, Jacob spoiled us further with a variety of scenic detours. His restaurant choices were suitable and perfect to observe realistic daily life. And much more palatable than in the hotels where we were just fed, when there was no alternative in the evening. We were also in great hotels like the Sahab Resort, and on a side trip to the Al Bustan Palace. There, Oman at its finest, with perfect service. But we were also happy to have the Arabian Sea Villas and the simple desert camp, and to stay in a central hotel in Nizwa. The 5-star tourist towers may make your stay very comfortable, even spectacular, but still they are somewhat gratuitous. I really miss the fresh fruit juices found everywhere!
Jacob's son was along for a couple of days. This was somewhat surprising, but turned out to be a welcome opportunity to get to know a young Omani and a little of his lifestyle. Very nice, well mannered and always helpful, unpretentious, it really was a pleasure to travel with him. The hikes were made twice as much fun with him - even though neither he nor Thomas showed any interest in following me to the waterfall in Wadi Shab. They missed the highlight there.
Dubai was again a contrast of conspicuous consumption. Thankfully, our friend showed us around and to spectacularly beautiful places. All in all it was a successful trip.
I was never In Cyprus; when the opportunity arises I will definitely turn to you. Are the temperatures in winter as pleasant there as well?
Thank you again, that you managed so well to meet our expectations. We will recommend you to anyone.