This is part 4 of my series of articles about my recent photo tour in the Sultanate of Oman.
You can find the previously published parts here:
- Oman Travelogue, Part 1: Muscat
- Oman Travelogue, Part 2: Nakhal, Wadi Bani Awf, and Al Hamra
- Oman Travelogue, Part 3: Jebel Shams
The next episodes in the series will be published shortly. I am currently planning my next photo tour of Oman. Would you like to join me there? Check out the tour page and sign up to be notified when bookings will open.
Nizwa is an lively city just south of the Al Hajar mountains of Oman. It boasts a powerful and completely renovated fort, a large souk, but it is most interesting to visit on Friday mornings, when the traditional cattle market is held just outside the city walls.
People from all around the region gather here to buy and sell sheep, goats, and cows. The animals are paraded around a circular platform for the buyers to see and to make offers for. To the outsider, it looks like complete chaos, but the locals handle the exchange of demand and offer with aplomb. At the end of dealings, money and cattle exchange hands at the perimeter of the circle.
It is also a treasure trove of subjects and actions for the travel and street photographer.
After the market is over, other buyers and sellers gather under the shade of trees in a small square to exchange another kind of merchandise: weapons. Old rifles, cartridge belts, and the traditional Omani daggers, the khanjar, are examined by experts and eventually bought and sold.
A short distance from Nizwa lies the semi-abandoned and crumbling village of Birkat Al Mawz, whose name means banana pool. We explored the ruins carefully, not expecting to see anyone, and were surprised by the sudden appearance of a very distinguished Omani gentleman with his immaculate dress.