A trip to Musandam from Sharjah.

Assalaam alaikum,

First of all,  here is some geological history of the land we visited, before I share our trip, so that we know how ancient were these beautiful and majestic mountains….

Musandam is the smallest and most northerly region of Oman, covering an area of around 3,000 square km. Its rocky headland juts out into the Strait of Hormuz, giving it strategic dominion over one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.The magnificent Hajar mountain range dominates the landscape of Musandam.

http://musandam.info/?page_id=236

Most oceans have a ridge of volcanic mountains running along the centre. Due to volcanic activity, such a ridge in the middle of the ocean can split, forming a new part of the lithosphere, the so-called oceanic crust. The two sides drift apart, a process called seafloor spreading. http://www.alshindagah.com/shindagah75/a_peak_into_the_past.htm

Difficult words: The lithosphere (Greek: λίθος [lithos] for “rocky”, and σφαῖρα [sphaira] for “sphere”) is the rigid[1] outermost shell of a rocky planet. On Earth, it comprises the crust and the portion of the upper mantle that behaves elastically on time scales of thousands of years or greater.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithosphere

In the late Cretaceous, there was movement originating from volcanic action in the part of the Tethys sea that still remained to the east of the Arabian landmass. This caused dark, dense crustal magma extruded by the submarine volcanoes to be pushed up over the edge of the Arabian landmass, together with rocks from the layer below, giving rise to a tremendously thick sequence of so-called ophiolite rocks, which are the main type of rock in the Hajar mountains. Ophiolites are typical of such spreading centres and provide the geologist with relatively rare access to rocks that are amongst the most representative of the deepest parts of the Earth’s crust. In fact, the Hajar Mountain range holds the most extensive area of ophiolites in the world and is one of the few places on earth where these oceanic crust rocks can be studied on land. http://www.alshindagah.com/shindagah75/a_peak_into_the_past.htm

Difficult words: The Cretaceous (pron.:/krɨˈtʃəs/, krə-TAY-shəs), derived from the Latin “creta” (chalk), usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide (chalk), is a geologic period and system from circa 145 ± 4 to 66 million years (Ma) ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period.The Cretaceous was a period with a relatively warm climate, resulting in high eustatic sea levels and creating numerous shallow inland seas. These oceans and seas were populated with now extinctmarine reptiles, ammonites and rudists, while dinosaurs continued to dominate on land. At the same time, new groups of mammals and birds, as well as flowering plants, appeared. The Cretaceous ended with a large mass extinction, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, in which many groups, including non-avian dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and large marine reptiles, died out.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretaceous

Tethys Sea, former tropical body of salt water that separated the supercontinent of Laurasia in the north from Gondwana in the south during much of the Mesozoic Era (251 to 65.5 million years ago). Laurasia consisted of what are now North America and the portion of Eurasia north of the Alpine-Himalayan mountain ranges, while Gondwana consisted of present-day South America, Africa, peninsular India, Australia, Antarctica, and those Eurasian regions south of the Alpine-Himalayan chain. These mountains were created by continental collisions that eventually eliminated the sea. Tethys was named in 1893, by the Austrian geologist Eduard Suess, after the sister and consort of Oceanus, the ancient Greek god of the ocean.http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/588887/Tethys-Sea

An ophiolite (pron.:/ˈɒfiəlt/) is a section of the Earth’s oceanic crust and the underlying upper mantle that has been uplifted and exposed above sea level and often emplaced onto continental crustal rocks. Ophio- is Greek for “snake” (ὄφις), -lite means “stone” from the Greek lithos (λίθος), after the often green-colored rocks (spilites and serpentinites) that make up many ophiolites.

The beaches that bordered the ancient ocean folded into mountains also. These are the fossil bearing limestone outcrops that separate the gravel plains from the Hajar range.
Erosion by wind and water has worn down many of the mountaintops, while copious rainfall in the past thundered down the mountains to form deep wadis down their sides and wide gravel plains at their feet.

http://www.alshindagah.com/shindagah75/a_peak_into_the_past.htm

Above was some geological history info.

Now comes the tale of our journey. We started from home on 4th and came back on 5th of April 2013.

Below is the photo of a scenery we saw when we just crossed the border of United Arab Emirates and entered the Sultanate of Oman. See beautiful Hajar mountains all along. On one side is Gulf, and on the opposite side are the magnificent Hajar mountains. Hajar in Arabic means stone. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Hajar_Mountains 

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Soon we found a nice spot at Bakha and had food there. Public toilets were also available.

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We started our journey towards Khasab, where we had booked an apartment for night stay.

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We spotted an other nice place, a small park. We stepped out of car , took some snaps and enjoyed it. It was also in Bakha.

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Again on the road to destination Khasab.

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Again hit the road to Khasab.

On the way to Khasab we entered a nice, small, quiet town by the name Jadi.

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To Khasab again…

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On the way we entered another small town Al- Jerry.

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We resume our journey again to Khasab.

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Where we stayed the night.

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The dining hall. Bon appetit.

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Isra Hotel Apartments.

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Entrance to our apartment.

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Next day after breakfast we reached the harbour to take full day boat trip.

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We observed beautiful ‘Fjords’. Fjords pronounced as fee-ords are mountains coming directly out of water and there is no sand beach area between water and the mountains. This place is also called Norway of Arabia, because fiords are only found in scandinavia and here. This info was given by our tour guide. More can be read at http://www.readme.ae/articles/musandam/travel  

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From the boat we saw this small village called Seebi, which was one of the two villages on the bank of the Gulf in Musandam area. Entrance and exit to these villages is from the waters of the Gulf. There is no road link to these villages because of the difficult mountains that surround them. The population is very small about 80 to 90 people. The Sultanate of Oman sends there all groceries and all things needed, by boat. Water, electricity is also provided by the Government. Kids go to school in Khasab. They come home on week ends because travel is by boats only. And it takes about three to four hours to reach there from Khasab. This info was provided by our tour guide.

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Before reaching Telegraph Island we saw Dolphins swimming along side our boat. We were lucky people.

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Then we reached the Telegraph Island. The brownish one is the Telegraph Island. A part of the building is also visible with a tree on the top. [The Telegraph Island was built by the British in 1864. http://www.goldencoasttourism.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48%3Athe-norway-of-arabia&catid=34%3Atours&Itemid=1 ]

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There is no harbour. Stairs can be seen. One has to swim to go to the stairs or use a small boat to reach there. Then climb up the stairs to reach the Telegraph Station which was built by the British.

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Can you locate the whitish tree among the grey rocks? It simply merged so well with the back ground that hardly was visible. Now that I have told you. You may find it easily.

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We enjoyed this trip very much and we recommend it to you as well. Allah hafiz.

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