Old Watch Tower in Old Muscat, Oman
S urprisingly little information seems to be available pertaining to the Old Watch Tower located near the Muttrah Corniche in Old Muscat — so little that I had no idea it even existed when I researched on what to do in Muscat upon my visit to Oman.
In fact — as I was driving east on Al Bahri Road along Riyam Park towards Old Muscat — I almost passed it up when I spotted the harbor on my left side. I sought for a cut in the median which divided the busy main road so that I can safely turn around to explore this area a little bit more. I was attracted to the harbor as the sun was setting in the afternoon sky. I darted the rental car into the parking lot and initially took some photographs of the area itself, still oblivious to the Old Watch Tower as it camouflaged itself into the rugged hill on which it was situated — almost like a chameleon. I intend to post those photographs of the corniche in a future article.
When I did notice the Old Watch Tower, I took a few photographs of it as shown above and below — when I noticed people ascending and descending the stairs. There was no one stopping anyone from doing so; no ticket booth to purchase admission; not even a sign giving directions or a gate providing a barrier.
Curious, I decided to climb what seemed to be — by my count, anyway — approximately 100 steps to the Old Watch Tower…
…and I was unexpectedly treated to some scenic views.
The rocky terrain of the mountains as they hugged along the coast of Muscat had a somewhat majestic appearance to them; contradicting with the calm blue waters of the Gulf of Oman.
Pardon the similar photographs above and below; but I simply could not decide which one I favored more. Do you have a preference?
A man dressed in a traditional white thobe was photographing the landscape; and included in the scenery was the Riyam Monument, which is a giant incense burner perched high above Riyam Park.
To me, Riyam Monument appeared to have the unlikely combination of a traditional Muslim structure and futuristic space ship. It definitely stood out, in my opinion.
I looked west towards the rest of Muscat, which — as I first mentioned in this article pertaining to the best way to get around Oman — is a city similar to Honolulu in that it is spread for miles along the coastline, rather than centralized at a core and spread out from there; and although it was relatively still high in the sky, the sun was descending towards the rugged mountainous landscape.
This is a view of the parking lot in which I parked the rental car; along with Muttrah Corniche to the right and Riyam Park across Al Bahri Road.
Old cannons — or, more likely, replicas of them — were aimed through the arched openings at the top of the Old Watch Tower.
Again, please pardon the similar photographs above and below; but I just could not decide which one I favored more. Do you have a preference?
I preferred to photograph through the arched openings which did not have a cannon in front of them…
…and instead have the cannons as the focal point of the photographs; rather than to be used for a different focal point.
Shown in the above photograph is another look at Riyam Monument.
Al Bahri Road snakes its way east between the mountains and the shoreline of harbor, heading towards Old Muscat.
The sun still sets in the west as a man appears to check the photographs he took on his mobile telephone.
Off in the distance towards the left, you can see a vestige of an old fort or watch tower at the peak of the craggy cliff above Kalbuh Park, which is the green strip along the shore. Little information seems to be available for that structure as well.
I decided to use the stairs to descend from the Old Watch Tower.
The Old Watch Tower is free of charge and offers some views which some may consider incredible and spectacular — at least, I was pleasantly surprised by them. You can spend as much time there as you like; and it is also a good spot to watch people from above as they go about their normal business.
If you find yourself near Old Muscat, include the Old Watch Tower as one of the destinations you must visit.
All photographs ©2015 by Brian Cohen.