Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A new beginning?

It has been awhile since I wrote here. I was planning to quit; not for anything but for the lack of time, which would only incur shame to my very self should I write half thought pieces. But today, I feel like sharing.
AHS (hubby) travelled a bit in May and here are some of the places we went to:

Masjid Nabawi, from our hotel window: sunrise

Maybe it is that time of the year when pilgrims make their way to Saudi that has made me inspired to write again. As always, I was lighthearted when we were there,and I was, and am still thankful to AHS who made it possible; making all the necessary arrangements, as I was annoyingly busy.  

The Bedouins' Camel ranch: Hudaybiyah

 It was my first time at the camel farm, never having the chance (somehow) to get there the times I was there before. Our guide mentioned the properties of the camel milk: it cleanses your bowel, keeps you warm (we need to be this even in Saudi) and makes men more virile. 

Pilgrims' water containers of yore

The phool apparatus: phool became my main breakfast item in Makkah

Entrance to the building where our hotel is situated

Outside masjidil Haram, from our hotel

We tried our best to be good pilgrims, and then, leave everything to Allah.

Khat, at al Ansari Mosque, Istanbul

Al Ansari was the first mosque we visited in Istanbul, in fact, hours after we arrived; and I fell in love with the town right away. Al Ansari Mosque wasn't in the itinerary, but Mustafa, our good guide took us near there for breakfast, and the mosque was close to our breakfast place: Simit Sariye.

One of my favourite things: the fountain. Outside of al Ansari.

Some tiles fom long ago at the mosque

In fact, I love Istanbul (and its food) very much that I suggested for us to migrate there, but AHS was more realistic about it.

The fare at Simit Sariye

AHS, taking wuduk at The Blue Mosque

A tap from ancient times, at the Hippodrome, Istanbul

Tombstones, Sulaiman Mosque grounds

The ubiquitous Turkish sweets: delightful

The Whirling Dervishes: Amazing

The Aquaduct of ancient times

Wonderful street music in Taksim
Our stop on the Bosphorus Straits ferry ride, to sample the yoghurt: refreshing

Of course we did the touristy thing of visiting the Hagia Sophia which is breathtaking, and the beautiful and huge grounds of the Topkapi Palace, its kitchen  ten times the size of my house. They are situated next to each other and in the vicinity the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (The Blue Mosque). We enjoyed the lunches we had at Bukhary restaurant, in the Sultan Ahmet area and the divine dinners at our hotel in Lalile.

My only tiny regret is not buying the beautiful ceramic pieces from Koppadokya. They are made by hand and the designs are intricate and fine; much different from the blue ceramics in the bazaars. In retrospect, however, they are just things, and I cherish the memory of being with AHS more. We also had a long way to go because after that we headed off to Damascus, Syria.

It was fruit season in Syria
A tiny mosque in the bazaar
At the Umayyad mosque

Must try: Syrian ice cream

Umm Nour: Our guide's wife, in her kitchen

The last leg ouf our trip was Dubai, a stark difference from humble Syria. I was especially impressed by the Emirates airport: such chic and opulence!

Outside a Palace's grounds

One posh residence
Got to see this

It was a good trip, though AHS was taken ill in Dubai. I suspect it was the heat that did it, leading us to cancel our safari trip to the desert.

Here ends this sharing bit. I've enjoyed putting this together, which has taken me close to three weeks!


AmaZura said...

Love it so much Jooli!

But even looking at your travelling makes me feel tired .. I am really getting old ;-|

jooli said...

Ha ha ha. As a friend was saying: getting old is okay, as long as we're healthy.
Glad you enjoyed the pics.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Such lovely pixs.. I've not been to Istanbul and now I really want to make it happen :-)

jooli said...

Oh, yes, you must, Kama. It's such a beautiful place...and the history is amazing. I keep getting the names of the sultans (among others) mixed up.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Jooli, not sure you remember me as the last time we had contact I was much younger, ha ha.
How you doin'?
Love the pics here.
You keep well, and keep a song in your heart, best regards, Lee.

jooli said...

Tempat jatuh lagi di kenang, U. Lee; masakan lupa you.
Thanks for dropping by; and you are still actively posting, I see. KL hujan petang2 these days, I hope Canada is not too cold this time of year.

Enjoy your weekend!

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