The main road from Muscat to Sohar is on the flat and fertile strip of land between the Mountains and the Gulf of Oman. This area was very populated. Many of the small towns we passed through had a fort (and plenty of roundabouts), most of the forts appear to have been renovated. We went in to Barka Fort, it had been very well restored, but unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos of the interior.
The gardens and pool at the rear of the building lead out onto the long sandy beach, but the hotel its self was very quiet. There did not seen to be many people staying at it, the dining area was very busy with 'business men' having late lunch.