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The small nation of Oman sits at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula between Yemen and the entrance to the Persian Gulf. Oman is located along the very important spice trade routes to Asia, so it has had strategic importance for centuries. Beginning in the 1500s the coast was colonized by the Portuguese, who built magnificent fortifications that stand to this day. Since the earliest days, the Omanis have always been focused on the sea.

Visiting Oman is a unique and intriguing experience. The country is devoutly Muslim and has one of the largest mosques in the world. Yet, Omanis are a relaxed and friendly people. The Portuguese forts still stand guard at the entrance to harbors. And the fish markets do a bustling business. There are small mountains, sheer sea cliffs, and in the desert you can find an oasis to beat the heat. Oman is an unusual place to visit, but a place we absolutely loved.