An Exciting Trip
When I reachedAbha, my heartiest desire was to perform Umrah.The first thing in my mind was to visit the Holy city of Mecca.By the grace of God, just two months after my arrival there, I went for my first Umrah.That lucky day came in the Holy month of Ramadan.On 21stRamadan we left for Mecca by Saudi Public Transport Co. (SAPTCO) bus. (SAPTCO provide public transport across Saudi Arabia and some parts of neighbouring countries.) We boarded the bus at about 4:30 pm.I was feeling very excited and continuously asking many questions to my father aboutUmrah as he had already performed one before.After about 15 minutes the bus started, the bus was very comfortable. After about an hour later, there was an announcement in the bus regarding Maghribprayer time and asking all the passengers to have our Iftaar and break the fast. As we were travelling, couldn’t hear MaghribAzaan, the timing to break the fast was announced by the guide in the bus. The bus authorities had provided Iftaar in a box. After travelling for some more time, the bus stopped at a refreshment point.There are several refreshment points on the highway between Abha, Jeddah and Mecca.A typical refreshment point has some eateries, wash rooms, fuel service station and a mosque.We got down from the bus and offered our Maghrib prayers and had some food.After spending about half an hour there, the bus resumed its journey towards Mecca. After travelling 3 hours non-stop, the bus stopped again.This time for some more refreshment and Isha prayers .We had our dinner and performed Isha prayers.The bus stopped for more than one and half hour before it started its journey again. We reached the Meqaat (place for assuming ihram) at about 1:30 a.m.Meqaat area is divided into two large blocks – one male and one female.There were countless bathrooms and wash area in both the blocks.Here we take bath and put on our Ihrams. My father told me that after getting ready with my Ihram, I should wait for him...
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