We went out early for Fajr prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque. A comical sight as we saw Ustaz in a black polo shirt and wearing bright red gloves. He had to borrow his wife’s gloves.
That walk along the Lions’ Gate took us pass the Golden Dome first.
What a sight. The shining golden dome. Walk past it. It was truly humbling. I imagined our beloved Prophet (sa , walked down the stairs and we see the Masjid Aqsa.
We toured the Golden Dome.
We also visited the Western wall aka the Wailing Wall.
Along the way we actually encountered some European men trying to enter the Aqsa compound but was stopped by the IDF soldiers. One was pretty persistent. IDF Soldier: You can’t go in. European guy: Why? I want to go in. I am a tourist. IDF Soldier: Are you Muslim? European guy: Yah. IDF Soldier: Read. European guy: Read what?! IDF Soldier: You are not a Muslim. European guy: I can be a Muslim. Why not. At that point, I actually said Ameen. May you be a Muslim one day. Interesting to note here is that the IDF soldiers are actually protecting the Aqsa compound.
After the Western Wall, we headed for the Dead Sea. The Neve Mid-Bar Beach.
And Makam Nabi Musa (alaihi salam).
We did a trip to Cameron Highlands with friends and families.
We drove up the “famous” Tapah winding roads. Two out of 11 of us actually “merlioned”.
“Merlioned” is a Singapore slang for vomit, just like how you see the Merlion statue spouting water out. Actually only one of us. The other one actually “merlioned” 1km after we left the toll junction. She actually had too much of the crackers. Must have been a pretty slow trip for her…munching non-stop.
The Butterfly garden which was a beauty. Though, many butterflies seems to have been trampled upon on the floors. The reptiles and insect section seems to be a hit with the kids.
A late relaxing afternoon high tea at Cameron Highlands Resort.
Slept for the night at Strawberry Park Resort and off we go to the Tea Centre the next day.
We spend the last 3 days of 2012 in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Specifically at the 2012 Twins of Faith Family Festival organised by Mercy Mission. It was a weekend well spent, and it did provide us with a real dose of Iman booster.
Alhamdulillah, thank Allah swt for making our journey to Putrajaya smooth and safe, although it was executed the last of minutes.
Various people we learned from, the sheikhs, lecturers on stage and the volunteers and even the audience we around we made friends with. Got to love the atmosphere.
Got to admit, we both have never heard from any of the listed speakers before this. Maybe a bit of Tawfique, but that’s it. So, we were both lapping it up, dividing the main venue talks and the plenary sessions with each other, vigorous note taking (mine shorthand…or sort of). Various topic about God, love, family….everything. There was even a speaker from Singapore, the Suchi group bosses about teenage parenting. Even consumerism was touched on via the Art segment.
Probably, if I was 10yrs younger, could have joined the skate too. And, definitely the kids corner was amazing. The whole organization of the event and dedicated volunteers truly amaze me. I doubt Singapore will be able to pull something of this scale or even 50%, if anyone wants to do it, count me in.
Oh! I even had the chance to chat with Abdurrahman Chao while we were waiting for our transport back to the hotel. His tummy wasn’t feeling too well, and stupid me…talk about Taiwanese Beef noodle. Dang!
Some shots taken…
Not forgetting the beautiful opening montage.
We had to leave Putrajaya, Malaysia on the eve of 2013, had to give the Countdown party a miss and hope to be back in Dec 2013…..In sya allah.
We contemplated staying a night in Sentosa Island, checked out the rates and found the prices exorbitant. Unsatisfied, we challenged ourselves to a 4D3N trip to KL, costing less than 2D1N in Sentosa, Singapore.
Bus to KL
We left home at 8:30 am via the MRT, alight at Kranji and transfer to SBS 170. The immigration looked crowded on both sides, but we cleared quickly. Took SBS 170 to Larkin, arrived and in 5 frantic minutes we somehow managed to grab an egg McMuffin and purchased tickets to board the 9:30 am Konsortium bus to KL. Phew! It cost RM 31.20.
The Super VIP coach stopped at Skudai to pick up some passengers and off we go to KL (TBS) without a single pit-stop or even a pee-stop.
Hotel in KL
We decided to do a budget this time around. Instead of the SG$150-$180 which we normally go for. We booked a $60 per night, no swimming pool, no breakfast, no fridge….but with a good location.
When one is in Osaka, a definite must do besides Tokyu Hands is Shinsaibashi. It is a covered shopping street, a long stretch.
We had lunch at a halal Turkish restaurant named Nazar right in the middle of Shinsaibashi. It is on the side lane which have Nike and Krispy Kreme.
The street has a nickname: “European Street” Osakashi Chu-Oku Higashi Shinsaibashi 1-16-13 matsumura Biru-F2
Staying just across Kyoto Station is unbelievable. Hokke Hotel was reasonably priced. Can you imagine staying like across City Hall in Singapore, the price we have to pay? So, in Kyoto, we could walked across to Kyoto Station for the huge Isetan Mall, something like 9 levels of it. We also raid the supermarket below in the evening for its food clearance sale. Yes, they clear their stocks daily at about 6pm. We could buy salmon and crabsticks and salads for a knockoff price. Among other things, is the bus station, easy to use and acts as a base for us to travel in the lovely city.
We did Arashiyama, check out the Bamboo Forest and do our favorite train ride…this time will be the Sagano Romantic Train.
First stop, the Tenryuji (天龍寺, Tenryūji) Garden and inevitably the temple too. The garden I was told was relatively in its original settings unlike the buildings which was destroyed and rebuilt due to wars and fires.
We stayed in Hotel Nikko, located across Sogo mall in Osaka, Japan.
A good location, with Shinsaibashi startion access from the hote basement, which also link to the Sogo in Shinsaibashi which also has an exit to the shopping street.