Monday, March 25, 2013

The Muttrah Souk

One of the first places I take any visitor is the Muttrah Souk (or Mutrah Souq, depending on which guide book you are reading.)  A souk is a marketplace.  It is located on the Muttrah corniche, along the harbor.  A beautiful location.  The souk has been in this same location for centuries. 

I have been to the souk 5 or 6 times, and these pictures were taken at different times.  I kept thinking of something else I wanted pictures of!  There are several narrow alleys with small shops on either side.  It is very easy to get lost.  The variety of items for sale is amazing!  You see many locals shopping here, but it is especially busy when the cruise ships are in port.  Just remember, however, the souk closes from 1-4 in the afternoons.  I have learned this the hard way. 

Residential alley to the side.

I have my eye on one of these purses with the camels.  How much longer can I resist?  :)

Dishdashas and muzzars for sale.  The scarves to the left are called keffiyehs, and are worn by Emirati or Saudi men.  The black cords are aghals.

When I first moved to Oman, I didn't know what these were called.  I thought they were burqas, but they are called abayas.  Most of the women in Oman wear these over their regular clothing.  A lot are all black, but many are decorated.  These are some of the more highly-decorated abayas.

Here I am, wearing a shela, or head scarf.  The shopkeeper had to show me how to put it on.  In case you can't tell, the edges are all rhinestones.  And yes, this did come home with me!

I couldn't resist trying on an abaya.  Very blingy!

This part of the souk is known as the Gold Souk.  Store after store selling gold.  LOTS of it.  You would not believe the size of some of the necklaces.  Should have taken a picture of them!

This store sold semi-precious stones and silver jewelry.  More to my taste.

Baubles of all kinds.

This is what we were looking for on this trip to the souk- antique doors!  Highly-decorated doors are very traditional in Oman.  We would like to buy an old set for our house.  These doors actually function in their door frame.  I still want to go back and buy these.

More doors
My favorite thing to buy in the souk?  The gorgeous trims!!!  There are several small stores selling all kinds of beautiful trims.  I bought this particular trim, not really knowing what I will do with it.  I might put it on some pillows for my couch.  Or use it as tiebacks on living room drapes.  Or trim a purse with it.  Who knows? 

What would you do with all these beautiful trims?  Other things to be found at the souk include TONS of pashminas, perfumes, frankincense, henna, spices, rugs, antiques, etc.
It is a little blurry, but here is my friend, Angela, right outside the souk entrance.  We were enjoying a drink and snack and the views after shopping.
See y'all later!  There is a camel purse with my name on it.

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