25 March, 2007
We have thought about visiting Arabian Peninsula and now, in March 2007, it seemed to us that time is right. After reading some Lonely Planet travel forum topics and with help from friends we decided to visit Oman, because it promised to be beautiful nature, rich culture and not very touristic yet.
Search in the internet indicated that not all major airports have direct connection to Muscat, the capital of Oman. Also, the price of the ticket from London or Frankfurt was available for about 500-600 EUR. BUT, as we live in Tallinn, Estonia this means we also need to fly there. Or travel agent from Matkapunkt suggested an option to start the trip from Riga and fly Turkish Airlines. The price for the ticket was 510 EUR.
Our trip started on Sunday morning with a 300-km-drive from Tallinn to Riga. We started at nine o’clock. As it was Sunday, the roads were quite empty and we managed to be in Riga even earlier than needed. We parked the car in the long-term car park in Riga airport (it costs 25 LVL a week).
The check-in counter opened two hours before departure and as we were earlier we were one of the first to check in. Although we had seats pre-booked, the problem occurred at the counter - one ticket Riga – Istanbul was missing. The clerks from Turkish Airlines asked me to come to their office – I only inculcated to myself that worst thing what could happen is to buy new ticket. We contacted the travel agent and everything ended happily – Turkish let me to fly without additional charge! I even do not know what the reason of missing ticket was, but I know that next times I will check tickets more carefully, this is for sure!
Turkish Airlines surprised us positively – everything happened in time, there was plenty of room for legs and the food was one of the best we ever had on flights. And the price was good.
We landed in Muscat at 2AM. Seeb International Airport is small but efficient. First we had to buy the visa. We stood at the queue at money exchange because we have read earlier that you need to pay for visa in local currency - Omani Rial. Happily it came out that currency exchange also takes money for visa – no need to fill any blanks – single entry visa was issued for a month.
And now we were here – in a middle of warmth, after cold and dark winter, it was very pleasant feeling to be here. We paid in the taxi counter 8 Rials (OMR) for a ride and after 30 minutes ride we were at the door of Naseem Hotel, Muscat.