Thursday, April 7, 2016

My umrah story with a toddler and a baby - Part 5: The kids in Makkah

Read my Part 1 story here, Part 2 story here, Part 3 story here, and Part 4 story here.

Day 5

Day 5 was one relaxing day for us. We stayed in Al-Maqam, 120m away from Masjidil Haraam. Basically, you got out of the lobby, and you could see the grand mosque already. During Friday prayer, there were lots of jemaah that they prayed from the mosque up until the outside of our hotel.

Hotel room in Makkah was a lot smaller than in Madinah. Aisha would get cranky if she stayed too long in the hotel. I would suggest to find out the size of the hotel as well, other than the distance if you bring your kids with you. My friend whom stayed in Hilton said, her room was so big that the kids could even run round. For a week stay, I would say it is worth spending on a better hotel with the kids around for their comfort.

Makkah was a bit hotter than Madinah, it was around 19 degrees when we arrived. Next to our hotel resides an ice cream shop, and everybody was crazy about it. They said the ice cream here is a must. Plus it costs only 1 riyal. So, every other day, the girls were treated an ice cream.

Just outside of our hotel was an area where pigeons and doves hang around almost everytime. You could purchase the bird foods and let your kids feed them. This became their everyday routine in Makkah.

In Makkah, the gates to the mosque close an hour before azan. And during winter, the gap between Zuhur to Asar, then Asar to Maghrib was so short. If not because of the kids, I would prefer to stay from Zohor until Isyak there. Because there are soooo many things you could do and explore in Masjidil Haraam, just don't want to get out.

Contrary from Masjidil Nabawi, I was not so comfortable bringing in the girls during prayer time. First, because it would be too long and secondly because there was not as many kids as in Masjidil Nabawi. The toilet was quite a distant as well, so.. most of the time we took turns.

During my stay, I did not see any strollers inside Masjidil Haraam. Though, I have been told that sometimes they allow, but most of the parents obliged with the rules to leave theirs outside. I, myself honestly did not have the heart to bring the stroller in as I am scared that the wheel of the stroller would stained the holy mosque.

Normally, people would rent the wheelchair and put their kids on it while they do tawaf and saie. For us, we figured they would have more fun walking on their own. Hopefully, by the end of it, they would get tired and we would have a better sleep ourselves.

Every other day, we would bring the kids to shopping malls as not to bore them and to make sure they associate Makkah with fun. And at night, we would buy some snacks and enjoy our picnic Arab style outside the beautiful grand mosque with the breezy beautiful weather. Mashaa Allah, I miss!

Until my Part 6 everyoneee!! :)

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