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Nizwa and Bahla

If you want to explore the old history and traditions of Oman you have to go to Nizwa, the capital of the Dakhiliyah Interior) Region and one of the best known cities of Oman. It lies at the foot of the Hadjar Mountains. Sacred Nizwa was the former residence of the Imams (the religious rulers of the country) and one of the oldest capitals of Oman. It is recognized as the spiritual centre of the Sultanate. It is worth getting up early just to see the Friday animal market in Nizwa. What you will see is like a real theatre scene where the animals and the sellers play their roles. All of the livestock is located in a circle drawn on the ground. Sellers drag the resisting animals with all their force, while buyers look critically at every cow or goat searching for the best one. The real show starts when the buyer has to bargain with the seller for a fair price. They both get dissatisfied, the buyer leaves, comes back, starts negotiating again and again, and then, finally, they settle on a fair price suitable for the seller and the buyer. The show is spectacular and inexpressible!

The city of Bahla is located 40 kilometers from Nizwa. The city is rumored to be full of sorcerers and genies. In the oldest part of the market you can even see a very old scraggy tree which has been chained to the ground. The locals say that this tree is a meeting place for genies and they believe that if not for the chains the genies would take it away. Bahla is also famous for its 13km of fortress wall and traditional pottery

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