I was approached by a husband and wife company earlier this year for permission to use some of my photos of Oman at Oman Vistas in a presentation to passengers on a Saga voyage. The MV Spirit of Adventure was cruising to Sri Lanka from Muscat via Mumbai and Goa.
It seems that my photos were particularly useful for revealing to ladies how they should, and should NOT, dress to visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, or Jama'a in Al Ghubrah, Muscat. I had turned up at the mosque dressed inappropriately, as shown, and been told to leave.
Female passengers have been turned away from the mosque on previous occasions because the length of their blouse sleeves did not cover the wrists appropriately. In fact, I was even admonished for showing just the slightest trace of my hair beneath the front of my hijab. To be honest, I felt humiliated. But there you are. When in Muscat, do what the Muscatians tell you to do.
However, the gardens are lovely. From November to March, Muscat's roadside gardens revel in 'zillions of petunias', as a friend of mine once put it. Presumably, the target audience on the cruise also enjoy gardens, since this photo was used too.
This item was first published on 29th November 2006.