Wednesday, May 31, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 10, 1444 H
clear sky
38°C / 38°C

A summer drive from Sur to Nizwa


Some may think driving from Sur to Nizwa for a day trip is a bit crazy, and while it might be, it was fun being a tourist for the day while revisiting some old places I had been to recently and seeing some new places, like the new museum.

Even though I visited Birkat Al Mouz a few months ago and have been to the Nizwa Souq several times, it's funny how there's always something new to discover. And while my friends and I left Sur around 6:45 in the morning, the trip was worth it., even in this heat!

Below are some of my highlights from the trip, including a visit to Birkat Al Mouz, Oman Across Ages Museum, and the Nizwa Souq.

Birkat Al Mouz

I can never get enough of visiting these ancient ruins. I like wandering around the narrow passages and looking inside some old rooms while admiring the large date tree farms from afar and capturing a few pictures of wooden doors.

The highlight was cooling off at Bait Al Sabah's cafe with friends and cold iced coffees. It was my first time here, and I immediately noticed the hanging clay water pitchers and a mini traditional wooden door hanging on the wall. When it's cooler, visitors can sit outside on the terrace, looking at the ruins and date tree farms. Before walking upstairs to the cafe, go toward the left near the reception desk to see the filaj inside a small entranceway.

Oman Across Ages Museum

About twenty minutes from the Nizwa Souq, one cannot help but notice the modern white building with a pond of water in front. Some may want to get out of the car to take a few photos because the design of this museum is not what you expect it to be. Large metal pillars lined up in three rows hang from the ceiling to the bottom of the floor to the left of the entrance.

Walking inside the massive lobby, guests will learn that there are two main sections, the history and renaissance galleries. Guided tours are also available.

The history gallery contains eight rooms containing information about the filaj system, geology, maritime, Islam, etc. The Renaissance gallery features facts about Oman from 1970 onwards. One of my favorite sections in the Renaissance gallery was the scrolling pictures on columns of people and places in Oman. I also enjoyed learning about the filaj system.

The museum is also interactive and hands-on, so visitors can practice building a ship, sailing, and learning about different materials for the filaj. When wanting information about various rocks, put your hand above one, and the details will appear on the screen. My friends and I were impressed with the architecture, history, technology, and museum size. We did not expect to stay more than two hours. There are also two cafes and a gift shop.

Nizwa Souq

Our main task was to enjoy a coffee at Anat Cafe inside the souq. This popular place is inside a refurbished traditional mud home. While walking toward the entrance, guests will notice a courtyard below with chairs and a small pool on the other side of the railing. In cooler weather, guests can go outside on the terrace.

A trip to the souq would not be complete without a visit to the date souq. The shop sells my favorite ginger and cumin-flavored dates. I always sit on the couch for some Omani coffee and dates with tahini sauce.

I have been to this shop numerous times, but they showed us how they make the Tahini sauce from sesame seeds this time. The bonus was sampling the warm sauce after mixing it with some date syrup. I had three small spoonfuls, but I could have eaten the rest of the mixture but stopped myself.

Our being a tourist for the day soon ended because it was time to grab some food before heading back to Sur. The three-hour and twenty-minute drive was worth the fun day we had. It also helped that we stopped along the way to break up the trip.

While this was not my first time acting like a tourist in Oman, this will also not be the last time I go out and discover new and old places. No matter how often you go to the same place, there will be something new to find.

arrow up
home icon