Tuesday, March 21, 2023 | Sha'ban 28, 1444 H
overcast clouds
27°C / 27°C

Arabian dream comes true

The Kornells are retirees from Austria who enjoy travelling all over the world. As travel bugs, they visited several countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Central America and Oceania. But they desperately craved to explore an Arab country. Franz Kornell, a former IT-consultant and Edith Kornell, his wife a former accountant, both residents of Vienna, fell for the magical landscapes and fascinating architecture of Oman.

‘‘Oman is the gateway to a fascinating Oriental world. The visit made us aware of Omanis who are open-minded’’, as they carried hundreds of photos and positive memories back home after their 13-day trip in December last.

Not to mention their love for Red Snapper which they would love to taste again at an Arabic restaurant in Sur.

Franz and Edith were immensely proud of the help rendered by young Omani guides Ahmed al Mahri and Aftab Farooq who did a wonderful job during their trip.

The guides helped the couple deliver useful information during their visits to Wadi Bani Khalid, Wadi Tiwi, Wadi Darbat, Jabal Shams Canyon and Rimal Al Sharqiya.

“Since our childhood, stories of Arabian Nights have kept alive the longing to experience the Arabian world first hand. We toyed with the idea for as long as we never explored an Arab country’’, says Franz.

After extensive research on the Internet, browsing travel literature and talking to friends who had earlier travelled to this part of the world, their dreams to travel to the Arabian Peninsula were fulfilled. They zeroed in on Jasmin Nutt from Al Maamari Tours, the tour operator, who presented the couple with a completely worked out itinerary as Oman emerged as the destination country which they booked with eager expectations.

At the Muscat International Airport, they were warmly welcomed by guide and driver Aftab. He not only proved to be an excellent guide with extensive knowledge, but a trustworthy person who seemed to anticipate their problems well in advance.

Under Aftab’s expert guidance, they explored Muscat over the next few days.

Later, they flew to Salalah to get to know the beauty of Dhofar Governorate.

Here, Ahmed, the driver and guide, was at hand with his knowledge of the area and its amazing people. The couple roamed the mountainous area of Salalah for a few days and had unforgettable encounters with flora, fauna and the friendly inhabitants.

On their round trip through Oman they went around mosques, museums, fish markets, souks, deserts and oases, gorges and mountains. Not only did they come in contact with Oman’s breathtaking natural beauty and sights, but also many friendly Omanis.

They were highly impressed by businesses which support environmental and social projects. The open-mindedness, friendliness and appreciation of their unobtrusive way of doing business evinced them. Edith says that with this trip, they often nostalgically look at the pictures and talk about their experiences.

“We are convinced in making the right choice about choosing Oman as our destination. We thoroughly enjoyed our time and can recommend a trip to Oman wholeheartedly. We never had the impression of being under time pressure and experienced a lot in a day. We also visited places off the beaten track, had picnics by the sea and desert and were always accommodated in good hotels’’, she adds.

“Aftab and Ahmed were always very concerned about us and treated us more as friends than guests’’, they mentioned.

“All this together made us feel that the spirit of ‘One Thousand and One Nights.’ Even though our next trip will take us to other parts of the world, another visit to Oman is on our priority list’’, confess the Kornells.

arrow up
home icon