Monday, October 24, 2011

Hajj live blog: first day in Medina (Oct 24, 2011)

Oct 24th 2011:

Everyone looked anxious today - smiling at each other but not mingling at airport, almost comfortable with their own spouses and families. Our group seems like a great mix of ages which is something we were looking forward to.

We boarded from Heathrow airport and flew straight into Medina on Saudi Airlines. It was packed! I was quite impressed with the organisation at Heathrow airport. All the personnel were aware of hajjis and systematically put stickers on their suitcases and extra tags so the luggages don't get lost. I had asked for some good seats (which I understood to mean with leg space and that's my standard line any way) but the guy at Saudi Airline responded and said you will be lucky if your husband and you are sitting together. He did manage to sit us together but what was even better was, he upgraded us to Business class on the way back. I thought not a bad start at all!! :)

We were all worried about Medina airport - had heard so many rumors about delays in Saudi and can wait for hours. Everyone probably packed food and drinks with them for then but it was shocking - we came out of the airport in 5 minutes hassle-free.

Medina was AMAZING. I had always heard my parents and other older people say how much they prefer Medina because of its peace and serenity. I always preferred Mecca because of the buzz and hub-gub. This was actually the first time it really hit me that this actually the land of the Prophet. Our hotel was right opposite Masjid-e-Nabwi, one minute walk for us ladies to the women's entrance and just seeing the mosque welled me up - I thought wow this is what the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) built himself.

Luckily we had our really close friends from London at Hajj too and were staying in the same hotel in Medina. This was the bestest deal I could have. My husband spent time with his friend while I hung out with his wife. She took me to the haram and our journey started

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


1 comment:

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