Sunday, December 11, 2016

November 3rd: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

When we decided to go to Dubai, one of my definite must-see things was the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. I'd seen pictures of it online and it seemed incredible, so I really wanted to check it out in person. We figured Thursday would be a good day to go, considering some of the other stuff we had planned for the week, so after breakfast we hopped in the car and were on our way. The hour-long drive went by pretty fast, partly because we spent most of the ride listening to the Cubs win the World Series.

We eventually got to the mosque, I covered my head with my borrowed pashmina, and we were in!

It was pretty impressive even before we got inside.

And kind of beyond words once we got inside. It was every bit as gorgeous as I hoped, and everything was so beautifully constructed and cared for. They supposedly had audio tours, but we couldn't find them anywhere so we decided to just wander around and enjoy the scenery.

There was this kind of inlaid mosaic stuff on every single one of those columns.

The courtyard was huge (though this panorama from my phone skews it a bit). The mosque can accommodate over 40,000 people in all of the different areas.

I, of course, took a ton of pictures.

The symmetry and patterns were really cool; those are some of my favorite things about Islamic art.

The courtyard  itself was also a giant mosaic, though they had most of it closed off while we were there.

After wandering around outside for a while, we removed our shoes and went inside.

The inside of the mosque was just as grand as the outside. This chandelier was huge!

The inside of the mosque can hold over 7,000 people, and the carpet is one of the largest in the world. There were lots of inlaid mosaic designs lining the walls, too.

Everything was beautiful and ornate.

Even the windows were fancy!

As were the ceilings.

We eventually finished up inside and went back outside to check out the rest of the mosque.

There were a few workers finishing up some sort of project near the front entrance.

The view of the front of the mosque. This is as much as I could fit in the frame, even with my camera zoomed all the way out.

Mark and I in the courtyard. It was a bit toasty, being fully covered in the 90 degree heat, but that's the price you pay as a lady visiting a mosque. It was totally worth it!   :)

After a little while we had seen as much as they had open to the public, so we made our way back to the car.

I love how this seemed like it went on forever.

There were reflecting pools off to the side. Someday. I'll have to try to get back here at night...I bet it's gorgeous!

We took one last look at the mosque, then went back to the car. I'm really glad I got to visit...the mosque was beautiful!

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