Today is the last day of 2022. Reflecting back across the year, I didn’t have any grand plans at the start but it feels like it’s been an eventful one. I was finally able to travel abroad after a very long time and I managed to gain some new qualifications after a lot of hard work. There was also an addition to the family in my new little nephew. I hope the year was a fulfilling one for all of you, whatever you did.
Here are some of my favourite photos from the year gone by and as we move into 2023, I hope it’s a year full of good health and happiness, and everything we all want it to be. Happy New Year.
On my visit to Istanbul I went to The Blue Mosque also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. It was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. It was being renovated so there was lots of scaffolding and parts covered up but you could still see how beautiful the visible parts were. It was really busy but I managed to take a few snaps.
We didn’t stay too long, and after praying and looking around I moved onto the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque which is opposite The Blue Mosque. Walking across the square the time for prayer came around and it was beautiful to hear the two mosques sounding the call to prayer in turn.
The Hagia Sophia was originally built as a Greek Orthodox church 1453. It served as a mosque until 1935 and then was converted into a a museum. In 2020, the Hagia Sophia became a mosque again.
Inside there were lots of circular chandeliers to brighten up the space and on the walls were plaques with Allah, Muhammed (PBUH) and the names of his closest companions written in Arabic. It was quite beautiful to take in the embellishment and architecture of the building.
Something I found interesting was that you could still see Christian embellishments in some parts like the walkway to the exit depicting what looked like Mary and Jesus and images of angles around the ceiling dome.
We stayed a while, soaking in the atmosphere and taking pictures. Again this mosque was very busy so we didn’t stay too long. It was really nice to have spent time in both The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Both are quite beautiful and I hope to come back again one day.
I don’t often get to travel, in fact I have been abroad for a very long time, so when the chance arose I grabbed it. I went to Istanbul for a few days with my mum and sisters and we made the most of the time we had.
We went to Topkapi palace which was home to all the Ottoman sultans. The palace was huge it took a few hours to get around. There were several throne rooms and reading rooms, each with beautiful mosaic embellishment all around.
I loved some of the ceilings, just so beautifully and intricately detailed.
Every room was covered in tiled and mosaics and I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved these tiles where the same colours were used but they each had a different design.
There was one special place within the palace that we were all keen to visit. It was a room that held holy relics of Prophet Mohammed (SAW), of his companions and also other Prophets. We weren’t allowed to take photos, but there was Prophet Moses’ (AS) staff, Prophet David’s (AS) sword, Prophet Mohammed’s(SAW) footprint and hair strands. It was quite astonishing and moving to see belongings of Prophets that we all revered so much.
Having walked around most of the palace we decided to get some lunch. I really enjoyed Tokapi palace and it’s a place I would definitely want to come back and visit.
My sister organised a day out for us all this weekend to a farm local to her, to coincide with her daughter’s birthday. This farm was quite big and had all the typical farm animals you would expect but also had several unusual ones too.
It was great to get up close to some of these animals; the sheep, goats and llamas were lively and eager for attention and the animal feed they could see in our hands. I’ve never seen a turkey before and I found the amazing plumage fascinating.
We were able to pet some of the more interesting animals in the farm, namely a snake, which was soft and warm, a Bearded Dragon which was spiky and my favourite, a Chinchilla, known as one of the softest animals in the world and I can see why with fur that’s as soft as a cloud.
The other animals I was excited to see were the flamingos, ones that were on my bucket list. As the day warmed up they cooled off in the pond becoming more active. The enclosure they were in also had other birds such as peacocks and Scarlett Ibises, which I thought was an interesting mix as they would normally never meet in the wild.
As well as animals to see there were play areas for the kids to enjoy, including a ball pit and mini golf. We also enjoyed a tractor ride around the farm and ice cream in the sun.The farm really reminded me of my visits to Pakistan as a child and playing with the animals my grandfather kept. It was a really fun day out that everyone enjoyed, and we left exhausted but happy.