In a bid to escape the scorching temperatures of Muscat my parents and I escaped to the mountains today. Jebel Akhdar (Arabic meaning Green Mountain) is part of the Al Hajar mountain range in Oman, the mountain range extends up to 500 kilometres and even into the eastern part of the United Arab Emirates. Jebel Akhdar is called the Green Mountain because during the rain season all the flora bursts into bloom, it really is spectacular. The mountains are so high up they even get snow in winter. Sadly we've missed the 'rainy season' (in Muscat we're lucky if it rains three times a year...) but there is a massive temperature difference compared to the capital. In the mountains it was a pleasant 20 degrees whereas in Muscat it's reaching 31.
The main reason I wanted to go up into the mountains was because the roses are in bloom at the moment. They only grow for about 3 weeks in April. Rose water manufacturing is very popular here and the roses are grown on terraces. The minute you step out of the car you can smell them, it's glorious and it's so unlike any roses I've ever smelt before. They are so fragrant, citrusy and fresh compared to all those synthetic rose perfumes you can buy. We walked around the plantations and also saw lime trees and pomegranate trees. It was a beautiful way to spend the afternoon, the air in the mountains is so clear and fresh it felt really good to be there.
We finished off our exploring with coffee at the new Sahab Hotel. The hotel is built on fossil-filled bedrock but using a new tourism concept they didn't lay any foundations to cover the fossils and built the hotel around the plants and fossils found there, encouraging the flowers and plants to grow freely. The views were amazing and I wish we'd brought our swimming stuff because their infinity pool looked incredible.
It was so good to take the time and get away from Muscat. My exam timetable came out yesterday so I've had lots of anxiety, getting out of town and into nature was the perfect cure. I really wish more people would go to Oman, I love this country so much. After every visit I leave feeling at peace with myself and re-energised.
Hope you enjoyed this post, sorry it's so picture heavy it was so hard to limit myself with photos!