Birkat al Mawz 2009



Birkat al Mawz 2009

After touring Manah, the group headed off for a new destination, a village at the entrance into Wadi Muaydin which leads up Jebel Akhdar.

The destination was Birkat al Mawz, literally banana pools. While the main tourist attaction is the fortified house of Bait al Radidah -- which was closed on the day we visited -- we were impressed with the collection of mud and stone houses clinging to the mountain slope above the modern village.

A falaj system meandered through the houses and, after crossing an impressive aquaduct, continued down the wadi distributing water to dozens of well-kept farms.

We spent some time exploring the abandoned houses, climbing to the top where the remains of a tower provided a spectacular view of the valley below. Some laborers, enjoying an afternoon of relaxation, joined us near the tower where everyone took photographs of one another!

Before returning to Nizwa, we purchased fresh baked bread at a tanour bakery in the new village.


Electrical lines indicate the
houses had modern services


The main falaj channel


Stairs leading up through
the abandoned houses


Some houses were in
very good condition


The light offered different
perspectives


Natural light


The ceiling timbers and
matting of one house


Another view


A cat's sleep interrupted,
a scarf hanging on a peg


Wall decorations


Baskets and bowls


Detail


Soot stains the walls


View looking uphill


The houses are multi-storey


The gardens below


Many houses have
collapsed


Plaster fallen away to expose
the flat stones used in the wall


House (right) of mud brick
and stone


Exposed rock above
the houses


Houses built exclusively
with flat stones (slate?)


Another view of the
stone houses


From the tower looking
down on the village


Another view of the valley


Looking down the wadi
towards the old road to Muscat


Aqueduct (left) and a
fort downstream


The fort downstream


The old and new villages


Aqueduct cutting through the
date gardens


Tower remains (right)
and gardens below


Another view


View towards Nizwa


Some of the stone houses


Stone houses


Detail


More of the mud and
stone houses


Laborers joined us
near the tower


Everyone took turns
photographing each other


Interior of one house


Note the fine stone wall


Peaked archway


Were those rifle slots from
the original building?


One of the passage ways
near the tower


Stone was the main building
material for many houses


Walkways were narrow
and winding


Evidence of renovations


Well-built two-storey
dwelling


Falaj and pathway at lower
levels of the old village


Interior of one home; were
the mud walls painted?


Steel pipe used for
pegs on the walls


A magnificent house


Different perspective
of the magnificent house


House may have been
three stories high


Another view of falaj which
used for irrigation and bathing


Interior


Natural light of interior
room


As at Manah, houses
extended over pathways


Garden outside the village


Engraved door


Blue and yellow paint was
used to decorate the door


Door bell


Double set of heavy
doors on gate into village


Alley leading to the
abandoned hosues


Bob making his way back
to the cars

 


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