Sunday, April 4, 2010

But I want to see some sharks...

With our first week at school completed sooner than the kids could say, "I have another gekco in my bedroom, (good luck apparently as they eat the other nasty creatures that seem to find their way between the ill sealed door ways and windows.) spring break was upon us. 

The kids, fully recovered from jet lag, having made a few new friends, and excited about seeing more of our new home country enjoyed their first spring break, Oman style.  After digesting all possible forms of "What to do in Muscat" brochures we were ready to experience the local kid friendly culture.

After some discussion, the kids and I decided to venture to the aquarium at the Department of Fisheries in Al Rowdha.  The kids were keen to see some of the local marine life so this seemed to fit the bill perfectly. 

As we left our new home on the PDO camp in Al Qurm, we exited towards Muscat.  This was the first time that I had driven outside of my comfortable grocery zone but, putting our faith in the GPS we were soon on our way.  Awed by all of the different types of ships docked in the port at Muttrah we then headed past the souq and out of Muscat towards Sidab and the marina at Al Bandar.

  We arrived at the aquarium with relative ease and as we walked past sun bleached whale vertebrae and rib bones we unfortunately discovered that our idea of an aquarium and the site that we had come to visit, were vastly different.

We entered the building to find a lovely poster featuring several different species of local fish and then turned the corner to find a single, small room with several small, poorly lit and even more poorly signed tanks with a few moderately interesting fish species on display.

 The one saving grace of the visit was that two tanks, on either end of the fish displays, contained newly hatched and young rescued green sea turtles.  This was incredible!  We had never seen sea turtles before and it was so special to see the hatchlings as well as the young turtles swimming and interacting with each other.  We spent a good amount of time just watching and enjoying the turtles.  It was a wonderful way to spend a hot afternoon.

After we were finished visiting the turtles, we decided to continue on our drive towards Yiti to see where the road took us.  As we crested a hill we were met by the most incredible view!  It was like we had landed on a foreign planet.  The rocks and hills were so stark and barren.  It was spectacularly bleak but so beautiful!  I had never seen anything like it and despite the kids displeasure with me, I had to stop and take a picture.
 As we drove towards Yiti and the Oman Dive Center, I was again struck by the desolate beauty of the scenery before us!  We came around a corner and were met with the most breathtaking conglomerate of islands, bays and coves.  The water was pure, calm and crystalline blue, the beaches deserted and the landscape, breathtakingly serene! 

Although we didn't get to see any sharks it was a pretty cool day spent exploring a country so different from Canada that I almost can't begin to describe it.  This is just the beginning and we actually live here!  Wow!

A demain...

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