May 2014 | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

May 30, 2014

Oman: The Stunning Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

A short walk from a friend's home is one of Muscat's iconic structure. It was such a pleasure to greet the morning sun and cap off the evening with an awesome view of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Each day, during our 3-day vacation in Muscat, the Grand Mosque left me tongue tied. We always had to do a quick stop outside the gardens and stare at the magnificent structure in all astonishment. 

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat

May 26, 2014

Oman: Seafood Dinner at Fish Village

For our foodie adventure in Muscat, Ed and I only had two goals in mind; to have a taste of traditional Omani cuisine and to savour the freshest seafood in the city that was once a humble fishing village. To tick off our goal #2, our friends recommended a simple seafood restaurant that they have discovered recently. They have been talking about Happy Nest Coffee Shop and Fish Village for several days. I was really curious as I have never heard or read anything about the said place before. It's not on Tripadvisor's top ten but left a great impression on my friends' palates, so it could be worth a try. 

Fish Village seafood restaurant Muscat

May 22, 2014

Oman: The Remarkable Royal Opera House Muscat

At the break of dawn, Royal Opera House Muscat glistened under the dark grey sky. The stunning pearly white structure caught my attention while Ed and I were in a private car heading to a friend's home. Fresh from a sleepless inter-country bus ride, I was already half asleep, but Royal Opera House's magnificence was enough to wake me up. I was in awe. So, on the same day, right after I had my beauty rest, Royal Opera House Muscat was our first stop during our Muscat city tour.      

Royal Opera House Muscat

May 19, 2014

Oman: Traditional Omani Dinner at Bin Ateeq

A week before our trip to Muscat, I asked my friends in Oman to check for well-recommended local restaurants. Yah, I was lazy, I mean busy, to do some research. Seriously, Ed and I were caught up with work that we never had the time to prepare an itinerary for our Muscat trip. Lucky us, we have great friends who facilitated our city tours, nature trips and foodie adventures! 

On our first night in Muscat, Ed and I had a wonderful opportunity to dine in an Omani restaurant with a local. Thanks to our good friend H for introducing us to a helpful Omani who served as our tour guide to various tourist attractions in Muscat and happily supported us on our foodie escapade. For a traditional Omani dinner, he took us to Bin Ateeq Restaurant in Al Khuwair.      

Bin Ateeq restaurant in Muscat Oman

May 17, 2014

Oman: Road Trip, Boat Ride and Jump Shots in Wadi Shab

I was captivated by the beauty of Oman the moment we reached the border. The magnificent Hajar Mountains line the concrete roads and loom over the towns. It was the most gratifying sight for someone who needed a vacation outside the city of megastructures. So, when a friend asked if Ed and I are willing to go on an adventure and swim in the natural water pools of Wadi Shab, Hajar Mountains' best kept attraction, we immediately gave it a go! 

Wadi Shab in Oman

May 12, 2014

Oman: The Enchanting Bimmah Sinkhole

I listened to a full Arabic conversation between an Omani taxi driver and my Filipino Arabic-speaking friends. I didn't understand a single word. All I know was they were trying to convince him to take us to a sinkhole and a wadi in the middle of the Hajar Mountains. I thought it was nearly impossible to hire a city cab for an unusual out of town trip, but then my awesome friends managed to close a 50 Omani Rial deal with a local driver. 

Just as planned, we jumped in our hired cab at 2 pm and embarked on a scenic road trip. Armed with a GPS and an Arabic speaking tongue, my friend B, sat on the front seat and helped our cab driver find the way. I lounged comfortably at the back seat with Ed, H and a bag of cheesy tortilla chips. It was a long drive, butt-numbing and eye-popping at same time! We traveled on concrete roads built in the middle of picturesque rocky valleys and after almost two hours, we finally reached our first destination... the enchanting Bimmah Sinkhole.      

Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman

May 9, 2014

Mexican Fiesta at Rosa Mexicano

Hola! Midweek, Ed and I were in Rosa Mexicano at The Dubai Mall celebrating Cinco de Mayo for the very first time! Actually, we were one day late! I wasn't able to join the media lunch during the Mexican holiday because of schedule conflict, hence my visit was moved the next day. Rosa Mexicano has been on my foodie list, so I delightfully accepted the dinner invitation though it means I had to rush to Downtown right after a busy work shift.  

Rosa Mexicano is an international fine-dining Mexican restaurant with two branches in Dubai; one at The Dubai Mall and the other at Mirdif City Centre. The restaurant's name actually means Mexican Pink; no wonder it fascinates me a lot. The color is a mix of red, blue and white; truly different from other shades of pink. Based on its name alone, I guess Rosa Mexicano was created to stand out from the rest of its kind.

Rosa Mexicano at The Dubai Mall

May 6, 2014

Fine Italian Fare at Lounge Cafe Italiano

I was busy with some lab works when my blogger friends were at Lounge Cafe Italiano chilling with a football star and devouring Italian cuisine. I almost cried with envy when they posted some photos on their social media accounts. Well, not really with the rubbing of elbows with a famous football player as I'm no sports fanatic, but with them bonding over delizioso dishes at the new contemporary Italian restaurant.

Though I missed the successful launching event, the people behind Lounge Cafe Italiano were kind enough to send me another invitation. This time, it perfectly synced with my once-in-a-blue-moon weekday off! Despite of not having my husband or my friends around as all of them were caught up with work, I excitedly hopped off the train at Nakheel station and headed to Lounge Cafe Italiano at Arenco Tower for a solo Italian lunch.

Lounge Cafe Italiano in Dubai Media City

May 4, 2014

Oman: Summer Morning in Mutrah Corniche

It was past sunset when we found our way out in the labyrinth alleys of Mutrah Souq. The traditional Omani village facing the sea is fascinating at night, but I wondered how it looks like during the day... more stunning I guess. So, on the next day, before we went on a road trip up in the mountains, we revisited Mutrah. 

At 10 am, I was greeted ferociously by Muscat's sunshine. Just when I thought Dubai has the hottest summer, a walk along Mutrah Corniche proved me wrong. The weather was in a scorching 38 degree Celsius, and it's not even the peak of summer yet! But who cares? The fantastic view of whitewashed buildings tuck between the rocky mountains and the clear blue sea left me speechless. There was no room for complains!    

Mutrah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains

May 2, 2014

Oman: Meandering in Mutrah Souq

Powered with only three hours of proper sleep, I found myself trailing behind a new-found Omani friend at the maze-like alleys in Mutrah (also spelled Matrah or Muttrah). Wandering in a fascinating old city with a local doesn't happen everyday, so I gathered all the energy left in my sleep-deprived body. Along with my husband and our friend, I eagerly followed the local's footsteps and delightfully listened to his engrossing stories of his home country. We walked through the narrow pavements at what seemed to be a residential area. I felt tad dizzy on the labyrinth of passages heading to I-don't-know-where until the fragrance of Frankincense awaken my senses. We have reached the Mutrah Souq, a traditional marketplace right at the heart of Old Muscat! 

Mutrah Souq in Oman