Yeah, this is cooler than things in Cuthbert. I’ll admit it.
I bumped into my friends, the same ones I mentioned before, as they were getting ready to tour the Grand Mosque, and I ended up going with them. (It was free, since Shawn was driving, so I am still saving my fils, in case your wonder) If you’re in the neighborhood and want to see the Mosque, be sure that you take a tour (usually at 11:00am and 5:00pm, but be sure to check their schedule).
You can look up all kinds of information about the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, but I will offer a few neat tidbits: it is among the 10 largest mosques in the world; it contains the largest carpet in the world; it has one of the largest Swarovski crystal chandeliers in the world; it’s an all-around neat place to tour with a guide who is willing to answer all sorts of questions.
The photos following below were snapped with my iPhone, so the resolution isn’t exactly stellar. I look forward to Jenia arriving so that we can get some nice photos with the Canon (there are other reasons I look forward to her arriving, too, but I’ll leave those to you to deduce).
The Mosque grounds are still under construction, although the building itself has been open since 2007.
There are all kinds of marble inlaid into the floor. The domes are topped off with 24K gold.
The columns are inlaid with semi-precious stones.
Looking through the main entrance into the courtyard.
A shot of the floor.
This is one of the small chandeliers. The big one is, well, bigger. Notice the flowers on the wall–they’re made from various kinds of marble, and symbolize the gardens that will be found in heaven.
The carpet was made in Iran and installed in the mosque in one piece.
When we finished the tour, the light outside was simply magical. If only I’d had Jenia’s good camera with that sweet 15mm lens! For the evening’s light alone, I’d recommend the evening tour.
The ladies in the group all wore long skirts and sleeves, and covered their heads with scarves. We had to kill a little time before the tour began, which wasn’t a problem, but by the time we made it inside, that air conditioning sure felt good to them. In truth, they keep it very cold inside. “This light is magical,” I told Shawn as we stepped out and put our shoes back on. “Yeah,” he muttered, holding up his camera–the lens was all fogged up (again–this happened when we first arrived and got out of the car, too) and it took forever to get back to normal. It was worse when he took the lens off, and then the inside of the camera fogged over, too.
The moral of the story: The Mosque is great. But keep your camera in the case and let the temperature adjust before you bother trying to take any photos.