Six months have passed and it’s time to move on. We said goodbye to Muscat last week, and were greeted by sandstorms and rain in Abu Dhabi. Half a year seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye – TT is taller and scampers around with a skip in her step; she’s starting to speak more and increasingly wants to be independent; she is a little girl rather than a baby. For us, nothing’s really changed and we’ve simply spent the last few months watching TT grow up a little more each day.
Even though I’m excited about our new adventures in Abu Dhabi, I’m naturally sad to leave Muscat. After all, we had established a routine and had settled in so well. We loved the place we lived in and both TT and I had made friends. And there were many things that we enjoyed in this city. As I was packing our numerous suitcases(!), I thought about what I liked and would miss about Muscat. If we make our way back there, I would definitely revisit these:
The Chedi Spa
I’ve never enjoyed any massage as much as at the Chedi Spa. From the moment you drive down the winding road to the hotel, an air of serenity descends upon you. Every treatment room is spacious, beautifully decorated and well-furnished with impressive bath facilities. Before the massage, a masseuse welcomes you with a foot massage and a refreshing Hibiscus cinnamon drink. Every massage I’ve had there has been exceptional and all the therapists I’ve come across have been meticulous and skillfully trained. After your treatment, you can relax in the lounge with an amazing view of the ocean. It really transports you to a magical place as you sip on a hot peppermint tea and gaze out on the mesmerising sea. Being a stay-at-home mum, it was always a treat to get some pampering and the short time spent there was always heavenly! It definitely took a tremendous effort to snap out of my reverie and leave the spa 😉
This restaurant serves simple, delicious seafood and is a casual dining place popular with families. Our typical meal would be an order of a starter and some seafood. The starter is a plate of assorted appetisers with hummus, dips, marinated olives and aubergines, and comes with fresh hot bread. It was always difficult not to fill up on this as it is so yummy and satisfying. The seafood that follows is simply grilled and nothing needs to be added to its freshness. Wash it all down with a lemon mint drink and this meal always hits a spot for me.
We would head to this quaint little restaurant near the Muscat Grand Mall to satisfy the need for Asian comfort food. Invariably, I would order the Nasi Lemak, because what else is better than fragrant, flavoured rice with freshly fried chicken topped with a sweetish chilli sambal? And I’m not sure if I have a flawed memory, but this tastes better than most I’ve had in Singapore. This unassuming hole-in-the-wall restaurant would leave me smiling after my meal as I sat contented, sipping a frothy mug of teh-tarik. I don’t miss Asian food much, but this place certainly warms the cockles of my heart.
Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah
This is my Xanadu and the view here is truly magnificent. Enough said.
Looking for something local to do? Hit the Souk for some shopping. The stalls and its wares come in a myriad of scintillating colours. We didn’t really buy anything because of luggage constraints but I was so tempted to get whatever we saw, especially the lamps and earthenware. And each visit wouldn’t be complete without some hot samosas and karak tea (cardamom and milk tea) from a small hole-in-the-wall stall at the entrance.
Friends and Playdates
This is what I’ll really miss – the friends I made at my Pilates class, the relaxing hour of Pilates, and our playdates with TT’s friends. The best thing about playdates was having the kids run around and play together (with the occasional struggle for toys), while mums could take a break from the usual craziness and have a decent conversation. I enjoyed our talks so much, Stephanie! Hopefully we’ll see each other again somewhere in the region
So, that’s it for Muscat. It is a beautiful place that is developing so quickly and its natural landscapes are surely worth a visit. In true Mummy In Transit fashion, my favourite things include the best of food, pampering, travel and friends. As I bid farewell to Oman, maybe you’ll have a chance to visit one day. Au revoir, Muscat!
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