Friday sees the ancient Omani capital of Nizwa come to life for the weekly livestock market where farmers and traders arrive from as far afield as Salalah with their animals to barter and trade at one of the finest traditional markets in the Middle East. See a Middle Eastern market operating in much the same way it might have done for centuries, with sheep, goats and cattle all traded alongside local honey and dates. A word of warning – to really appreciate the action, it's worth getting there early and wandering around watching the trading going on in a manner pretty much unchanged for centuries.
It's all very atmospheric and extremely photogenic, and a good opportunity to pop into the stalls selling textiles and other fun souvenirs. After the market winds down, by mid-morning, visit the 17th century Nizwa Fort – one of the finest in all Oman – which has been expertly restored and which has fine views from the main tower. It's also worth a stop at the oasis village of Birkat al Mouz, now almost deserted but full of lush banana and date plantations and home to a classic example of the ingenious falaj irrigation system which sees ancient waterways channel water through the village.
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