I’ve always loved the town name ‘Bid Bid’. I’m not sure why, It just sounds like a funny thing to call a town. Frequently passing by on the highway to places like Nizwa and Jebel Shams I hadn’t had a chance to stop before. When I heard that Bid Bid had it’s own castle I made the effort to check it out for myself.
Some tourism sites call this a fort, some call it a castle. For arguments sake I’m going to go with castle because it sounds grander and who doesn’t love a castle?!
First and foremost, this is not an easy place to find. It’s a bit of a pain. After the main sign from the highway stating “Bid Bid Castle 3km” there are no other signs. I drove round and round the town not seeing any sign of a castle before taking a lucky turn towards ‘Al Husn’ and I ended up down a hill, outside a farm and right outside the castle. I wasn’t even sure that I was at the main entrance, there was no signs to say that I had arrived.
This is what The Rough Guide to Oman says about Bidbid Fort:
“This is one of the prettiest small castles in the country: a rustic little structure, built with mudbrick walls on a stone base, with windows and rifle-slits cut lopsidedly out of the adobe, half-hearted little rounded battlements above and a large watchtower perched on a small rock outcrop beside. Unusually, the walls have been left unplastered following restoration, so you can see the pebbles and bits of straw mixed in to strengthen the mudbrick, adding to its rather homespun charm. A swiftly flowing falaj, in which villagers are wont to do their washing, runs around one side of the fort.”
It sounds inviting doesn’t it? Well sadly it wasn’t something that I would rave about. The castle itself is aesthetically beautiful but I found it really hard to take nice photographs to show it off without showing the trash, litter and dumping ground that surrounded it.
The doors are chained shut and you cannot get inside the castle or into the watch tower, the only thing to really do is climb up to see the canon. That was a positive but not really worth driving all the way to Bid Bid for.
As I couldn’t go inside I took a walk around the perimeter wall, turning a corner I stumbled into a woman doing her washing in the stream outside. A lovely rustic touch but I don’t know who was more surprised to see each other, this maybe isn’t a huge tourist spot. Sorry for scaring you nice lady 🙂
I just can’t see past the litter and the hassle it was to find this place to tell you many positives. If Oman really wants to be taken seriously to attract tourism they need a serious shake up. It could be so much better, it could be wonderful. As a tourist I should be dazzled and inspired, not wonder how I’m going to edit my photos to block out the litter.
On the plus side I saw some nice farm animals..
So Bid Bid castle was not my favourite spot to visit but another one ticked off the list.
Do you have any suggestions where I should go next?