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On the third day of the Oman in Focus tour, we headed to Bahla, a city famous for pottery. On the way to one of the pottery shops, we spotted an amazing mosque on the side of the road and decided to stop for some early morning photography. I never found out its name, but it was a stunning and absolutely spotless building of white marble and yellow sandstone. The light was still soft and nice, which can unfortunately not be said about the time we got to the famous Bahla fort – the reason why I don’t have any photos of it.
The pottery shop, though, turned out to be pretty amazing. A man, covered in clay but with a neatly trimmed beard, churned out the delicately formed pots by the minute. It was fascinating to see him work and admire his skill, which he had obviously perfected over the years. The light was starting to get harsh and all the clay put a reddish cast on everything, but it was a fascinating place and I’m happy to have gotten some great photos out of it.
We finished shooting in Bahla and due to the lack of planning on the tour, soon found ourselves without a place to go next. We were sent out into the Ad Dakhiliyah Region without knowing what was available, and the lack of internet the previous two nights had prevented us from doing any research of our own. Luckily, our driver knew just the place: Diana’s Point, a spot in the Jabal Akhdar mountains Princess Diana used to visit and love. On the slopes of the mountain, villages huddle together, surrounded by hundreds of green terraces used for farming. The villages and the terraces are all connected with a genius irrigation system.
Unfortunately, it was the middle of the day and the light was terrible for landscape photography. Since all the locals spend the hot hours in the middle of the day inside their houses, even portraits were impossible to shoot. We decided to go anyway. After a short stop at a green oasis, we ended up hiking through all the villages at Diana’s Point, balanced through the landscape on the irrigation canals and enjoyed the relaxing hours there, without feeling the need to press the shutter too often.
The arrival of the golden hour eventually forced us back down from the mountains and into the plains around Nizwa, where we heard about a local market. Market? Hell yes! We simply couldn’t resist dropping by. The market in Nizwa is fairly big, with goods from vegetables to pots being sold, but what fascinated me most, was the fish market. It was grimy, it was loud and with all the haggling going on, it was definitely the most interesting place to be. Huge tunas lay next to even bigger swordfish. Men in pristinely white dishdashas bought from men wearing rubber boots and t-shirts covered in intestines. Since everyone at the market, be it buyers or sellers, was incredibly friendly, I managed to get a lot of photos in the middle of the action. Therefore, I’ll just let the pictures to the talking:
Exhausted and probably a fair bit smellier, we headed back towards our hotel just as the sun was setting. It was then that I spotted a hill with a cell phone tower on top and hiked the thing to snap this beauty of night setting over Al Hamra, the town where we saw the colourful festival just a day earlier.