Zeb and Chanel Visit the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman

World class opera performances in the desert?   Yes!   The Royal Opera House of Muscat opened October, 2011 and has been featuring some of the best entertainers from around the world ever since.   This Omani venue comfortably seats 1,100 patrons.   Now the outside floor is being polished.

Royal Opera House, Muscat, Oman

Our Omani guide wears the traditional white robe.

Our guide in Muscat, Oman

We have been told this attire is comfortable and cooler in the oppressive summer heat of the desert.  Entering the lobby is our guide and Chanel’s mom.

Going into lobby of Royal Opera House of Muscat

The lobby only is now open to visitors.   Even not being allowed to go inside, we are grateful seeing the exterior of the concert theater.   I, Zeb the Duck, am sitting on the table of the the lobby.

Inside lobby of Royal Opera House, Muscat

The floors and table, recently polished, really glisten.   West Side Story will come to Muscat in late February.   We always enjoy seeing that musical.   After existing the lobby, we stroll on the covered outside walkway.

Walking down covered outdoor walkway

A few turns and we see the lovely gardens.

To landscaped gardens of Muscat Opera House complex

The opera house complex features a concert theater, an auditorium, formal landscaped gardens, a cultural market with retail space, an art center, luxury restaurants and a large parking garage.   This complex was built following the Royal Orders of Sultan Qaboos of Oman. These beautiful buildings, all making us feel very peaceful, can make this duck, a small bear and 3 humans hungry.   Our guide drives us to the cafe.

Cafe for our snack

We enjoy a special Omani tea.

Frothy Omani tea

It is frothy, but definitely tastes like tea.   I like it!   This Omani bread has honey in it.

Bread with honey

Tasty and pleasantly sweet; not overpowering sweetness.   Our guide had bread with everything:  cheese, egg and honey.   I wasn’t too sure about that many flavors in the bread, but after sampling some, I liked it a lot.   We are enjoying our short time in Muscat, Oman.   We visited in mid February so the weather was in the mid 70s F.   It was overcast much of the time, but we were comfortable, always felt safe and very welcome.   Next time we will show you more of Muscat, Oman.

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque with Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear

Abu Dhabi and Dubai have so many beautiful new buildings but Chanel the Bear and I, Zeb the Duck, wanted to see an old city and old buildings.   We took our moms to Muscat, Oman a city known as an important trading port since early in the first century.   Our taxi driver delivered us to the Abu Dhabi airport where we had our first eye scan, purchased and enjoyed fresh Saudi dates, stuffed with various nuts.   So good!   Our moms like to be at the departure gate a little early and it was good that they were.   Our full plane left Abu Dhabi a little early.   In our one hour and 10 minute flight, we left Abu Dhabi, enjoyed a light lunch; we had vegetarian sandwiches, bread sticks with dip, mini pretzels, water and mango juice.   The flight attendants on Oman Air were fast and very busy.   In Muscat our guide met us at the airport.

Arriving at Muscat International Airport in Oman

Our private tour was reserved for 4 hours.   Our fantastic guide extended our tour to 5 hours.   Yeah guide!   There is so much to see.   Our first stop, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Let’s go

This mosque, Sultan Taboos Grand Mosque, competed in 2001, required 6 years to complete.  This is now the 11th largest mosque in the world.   When it was completed it ranked higher, but new mosques, bigger and more elaborate, are being built.   The Grand Mosque was not open to non Muslims at this time, but the building is spectacular and is worth a visit, just to see the outside.   The entrance consists of a long walk way with well tended gardens.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman

I am sitting on one of pillars to keep vehicles out.   Intricate designs adorn the structure.

Beautiful craftsman work everywhere

Looking inside, the greenery is beautiful.

So refreshing

The arches offer a wonderful view and the floors gleam.

Looking through the arches of Muscat’s Grand Mosque

Walking to an end of the building this area invites peaceful thinking or meditation.   Imagine no traffic noise, surrounding desert and nearby mountains under clear, blue skies.

A beautiful, uncrowded area

We admired the large dome.

Beautiful dome

A long walk to the main entrance and then a left tun down the main walkway and to our car.

This mosque is really huge

Inside the mosque is the second largest hand knotted carpet in the world.   This carpet, 70 meters by 60 meters, took 600 women 4 years to complete.   The large chandelier, 14 meters tall and weighing 8.5 tonnes is inside also.   The carpet and chandelier were the largest in the world when completed, but now the largest carpet and chandelier are in Abu Dhabi.   We showed you pictures inside that mosque in February.    Near the Grand Mosque our guide took us to the magic water.   The water from the mountains flows into the cave.

Cave containing magic water

A man was inside and graciously posed for us.

A gracious man posed for us

This is a tub that can be filled with magic waters that seem to have healing properties.

Soaking tub

Mom thinks it is similar to our hot springs  in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.   The hot mineral springs relieve much stress and many pains also.  Although the mosque was closed to us and the tub was not full of magic water, these places were definitely worth seeing.   Next time Chanel and I will show you more of Muscat, Oman.

We Will Always Love Stevie

A few days after mom and I came home from Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, Stevie, the black lab died.   Stevie lived with Soapy Smith Duck and his mom for 14 1/2 years.   Stevie joined us on many Colorado day trips.   Stevie loved to romp and rest in our various parks.

Stevie at Secrest Park

She came to my house on Halloween, often in costume.

Stevie in her Halloween costume

We would sit on the front porch handing out candy to trick or treaters.  All the kids loved her.   Stevie went with us to Central City, an old Colorado mining town and seemed to like the old equipment.

Steve loves to explore but stays with the humans

One summer we went to Woof Fest in Denver’s City Park.

Steve strutting her stuff!

She was proud of her tattoo and tolerated her ruffled collar.   In the fall, she picked out a pumpkin at a local pumpkin patch.

Steve is busy exploring in pumpkin fields

This past January we were in Winter Park for a sleigh ride.   After the ride Stevie and her new friend, Chip, played.

Chip and Stevie

One day at Echo Lake, near the entrance to Mount Evans, Stevie gave me, Zeb the Duck, a ride along the lake shore.

Zeb riding Steve at Echo Lake

Our Stevie was always ready to go for a car ride.

Stevie loved car trips

She traveled all over Colorado and even enjoyed trips to northern Minnesota to frolic on the shoreline of Lake Superior.   Stevie, we miss you and will always remember and love you.   You, our friends that have loved and lost dear pets, know exactly how we feel.

Zeb the Duck and Mom are Home from the Hospital

I, Zeb the Duck, and mom are back home.    On March 1 we had an ambulance ride to the hospital.   On March 2 mom had emergency spine surgery.    After our stay in the hospital, we were transported to Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital.

Spalding, our rehabilitation hospital in Aurora, Colorado

It was here that mom learned to walk again.    We had many hours of therapy, both occupational and physical at Spalding.    Several hours were here in the gym.     We could look out the window while riding the exercise bike.

On swiveling seat of exercise bike

These bars were often used to do leg and balance exercises.

Bar we used for leg and balance exercises

Learning to walk happened here.

Let’s walk between the bars

Eventually we  went outside and enjoyed the pleasant spring weather.   Mom learned to walk on uneven pavement, to cross streets, and navigate curbs and construction areas.   Our last few days at Spalding, we did not use the elevators.   Mom and I, and our therapist, walked up and down 2 flights of stairs to get from our room to the courtyard, and back to our room.

Courtyard at Spalding

Our courtyard was peaceful and mom practiced moving around in this area.   We could see the courtyard from our room.

Looking out our window

One day the doctor told us it was time to remove mom’s staples from the spine surgery.   Of course she could not see the back of her neck, so she thought she had 3-4 staples.   Not true.   The nurse told her there were 16 staples.     Soapy Smith Duck and his mom visited us every day.  They were there when one of our favorite nurses removed the staples.

Nurse is pointing to the 16 staples that held mom together.

The next day they were able to bring us home.   Since our return home, we walk a few miles every day, no longer using our walker.   We are now almost self sufficient.  Mom is even driving now.   Continued physical therapy has reduced or eliminated most of the pain.   Mom had difficulty sitting and using her arms.   She could not sit at a table and open mail.   Writing was painful and typing was also difficult and painful.   Last week the physical therapist gave us new exercises to strengthen the necessary back muscles.    We are eternally grateful to the fabulous hospital nurses and staff, the doctors and our surgeon, the therapists, ambulance personal, dietitians and everyone that helped us recover.   All of you that work in the health care industry are greatly appreciated.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks hope to begin posting a few times a week and to share more from our trip to the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman.