It occurred to me long before people on social media pointed it out. I did a few enhancements to the photos, added some filters and adjusted the layers and the result came out stunning. With the final episode of the latest season of Game of Thrones breaking the internet, there was no doubt in my mind that Oman could also have been a perfect shooting spot for this global phenomenon. Many will agree that the country’s stark landscape makes it an ideal spot for movies but it hasn’t gotten the buzz yet the same way that countries like Morocco, Croatia, Northern Ireland and Spain had.
What global movie producers missed so far is that the Sultanate not only have some of the most beautiful ancient structures like the falaj or the numerous historical castles, it also has lush oasis, dramatic desert-scape, towering mountains, an interesting cave system and of course, Salalah.
For the uninitiated, Games of Thrones is a fantasy drama series based on the novel A Song of Ice and Fire written by George RR Martin. Over the last seven seasons (first episode was aired on August 17, 2011), it has gain a massive following not only in the United States but all over the world and the final episode of its seventh season has around 34 million viewers.
The TV series has been heavily criticized for nudity and violence which could be the reason why it didn’t gain that much following here in the Sultanate but as a global trend and on the context of filming location, Oman would have been a perfect filming destination.
Although there are hundreds of spots in the Sultanate, nothing seemed more fitting than the archaeological site of the Castle of Salut located in Bahla, about 155 km from Muscat. The castle is an impressive Iron Age fortification built roughly around 1300-300 BCE. The complex of archaeological features took 10 years of research before experts fully understood the fundamental information it reveals regarding ancient Omani history.
Rising from the ground
The rain during our visit to Bahla was a sweet surprise. In the middle of summer, the cold breeze provided a temporary respite from the summer heat.
After passing through Jabreen Castle, it was a boring ride