If you’re living in the UAE and haven’t yet visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, you are greatly missing out on a rich cultural experience. The Grand Mosque is a symbol of the diverse Islamic community not only of this country but of the whole world. The architectural design is impeccable. The grandeur and solemnity elates you yet also calms your senses. Seeing it in pictures and being there in person are two different worlds.
Located in the capital city of Abu Dhabi, the Grand Mosque is one of the largest in the world and can hold about 40,000 worshipers at one time. The ceiling is adorned with gold-plated chandeliers made of Swarovski crystals while the floor with hand-knotted carpet. It is a magnificent sight to behold.
*This has been sitting in my drafts for over a year. Never had the time to transfer and process the photos. Excuses, I know. ;-p
My best friend and life partner recently came back from a trip to Armenia where pomegranates are abundant, wine is cheap and ancient monasteries are a common sight.
Sevanakvank Monastery at Lake Sevan.
This country in the Caucasus region is famous for the magnificent views of Mt. Ararat which is actually located in the eastern part of Turkey that borders with Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is believed to be the mountains where Noah’s Ark rested after the great flood.
Happy New Year everyone!
Quite late but we’re still on the first month of 2018 so it still counts!
Dubai has always captivated us in terms of architecture, open spaces and its beaches. We hail from a quiet and laid-back province in the Philippines so coming here and seeing all these mega structures just leave us gawking. It’s not that we don’t have high-rise buildings back home but here in Dubai, it’s just different – in a fascinating way.
So on the first day of the new year, we went for a walk along the newest beachfront development in Jumeirah 1 – La Mer.
It’s like a city on the beach. The vibe was very relaxing with all the contemporary, rustic and minimalist elements all coming together.
I’m a bit nostalgic lately I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m hormonal due to that time of the month or also because I just recently turned two years here in Dubai.
I went through my old files and found photos from my Visa Run last January 2015. The popular and most affordable exit destination at that time was Kish, a small island on the Persian Gulf. Prior to my exit I have heard ‘horror’ stories from fellow expats and googling Kish, Exit and Visa Run just made it worse. Though my colleagues assured me that it’s not all that bad I was still anxious.
The distance from Dubai to Kish is a 30-minute flight on board Kish Airlines. The plane I was on was really old and would seem to easily dismantle if exposed to strong turbulence and wind. This is a common opinion among those who have been to Kish for Visa Run. Luckily the flight was short and none of the above happened during the flight.
At one of the first stops of the tour – the ancient city of Harireh.
One of the ruins at Harireh. The 800-year-old city consisted of a mosque, bath house and palatial house.
It was like a ‘NatGeo’ moment for me seeing these ruins.
Interior of one of the houses.
Some parts of the ruins were reconstructed as part of the restoration just like this little wooden gate.