Over the winter holidays, I flew out of the country to Saudi Arabia with my family for two weeks.
This consisted of my younger brother, my mum, my dad, my grandma and my aunt and cousin as well as myself obviously. We flew from Manchester to Dubai and then from Dubai to Jeddah which was around a 13-hour journey as we stopped for an hour in Dubai. We then continued to drive to our hotel and can I just say the private hire there was rubbish anytime we tried to go anywhere they would say they were on the way or they just didn’t show up so it was much easier to just get a normal taxi. We stayed a week in Mecca and a week in Medina.
In Mecca, we stayed at the Diyaffat Mubarak hotel which was not so appealing from the outside but the room was much better as we had a frigid, a TV, a wardrobe and 4 beds and to be honest that was all we needed because we only ever really ate and slept in the hotel. Me, my mum, dad and brother stayed in one room whilst my grandma, aunt and cousin took the other. It was really fun because we would go to pray and especially during the early morning prayer when we would leave the mosque the sun would be rising and it was beautiful. Seeing all the people leaving the mosque after praying and cue up for food as the shops were opening was amazing.
The above is a photograph of the Zamzam tower which was opposite the hotel we stayed in and the holy Kaaba.
We mainly ate from a little restaurant near the hotel or we would get a burger from the shop next to the hotel. But we did have donuts from Dunkin Donuts and biscuits for breakfast and we usually made our own tea as we did take our own kettle, tea bags and sugar. So, on the Wednesday in Mecca we went to see a few sites and my favourite was obviously the land that I was named after Muzdalifah. We also did a bit of shopping and to be honest in Mecca the best place for this was the Bin-Dawood building.
The above are photographs of our visit to the sites in Mecca. The biggest image is the land Muzdalifah that I am named after.
We spent the new year in both cities as we were in Mecca for the turn of the year but we travelled to Medina that day and it was around a 7-hour drive so we got they’re at around eight in the evening but I enjoyed viewing the sunset on the long journey.
The above images are from our long journey from Mecca to Medina
When we got to Medina we stayed at the Karam-Al-Hejaz hotel and it was beautiful and very open which was a huge contrast to the hotel in Mecca where the hotels all seemed to merge with one another. The room was very like that of the one in Mecca, but here the shower did not have a shower curtain, which I also checked in my aunt’s room to make sure it wasn’t just us, so I am assuming that that was a part of the design plan, nevertheless the bathroom was really nice as well as the bedroom of course. The best thing about the hotel though was the roof view where we could see the mosque on one side and mountains on the other side. Both hotels were also within walking distance so we did a lot of walking. We did our shopping at the Taiba Arac suites and to my surprise they had a Baskin Robbins which we visited nearly every day.
On the Friday, me, my mum, dad and little brother went to see some sites which the rest of my family went to see the next day this was because the person who took us was a friend which we knew from my uncle and to be honest we were fed up of drivers not turning up so we asked him to take us to see the sites. He took us to a couple of sites and my favourite site here was a battle site but I loved this because it had small hill nearby which you could go up and I did there was also a market around here and it was just so cute. We also visited a couple other sites which all very beautiful.
The above slide show is of images from the sites we visited in Medina.
Other than this we made regular trips to the mosque to pray and we could pray outside when the sun was setting which was beautiful due to the much cooler temperature in Medina compared to Mecca. We mainly ate chapatti or rice but we did have a couple of KFC’s and Hardy’s in Medina. Then on the Sunday we sadly had to leave this time we left from Medina airport which is new and small but very beautiful.
We flew from Medina to Dubai and there we had a five-hour layover where we did a bit of duty free shopping and then got on the flight from Dubai back home to the UK Manchester which compared to the beautiful sun in Saudi Arabia was abysmal. But I am so glad that I went because my original plan was to not go as I thought I had exams in January and for my family to go during the February half-term but in actual fact my exams happened to be in December and so I took that as a sign to go with my family and I only missed 4 days of school so it wasn’t all that bad.
Thank you all for reading this very long blog post but I hope you enjoyed and also comment down below on what you thought about this post.
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