Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

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Looks pretty awesome in the lightbox


This is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. We had no intention of going to Abu Dhabi. In fact, we'd no real intention of doing to the United Arab Emirates, but here we are.


This will probably make much more sense if I start from the very beginning.


Myself and Greg thought we'd go to China as part of our continuing plans to travel all around the world and take photos. When investigating flights, I found a great deal from Emirates that allowed a free stop-over in Dubai. I booked this and luckily Greg agreed. So there we were in the UAE, on-route to Beijing. Sitting in the hotel one day, we looked through the guide book and I spotted a photo of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. We have to see that I thought.


Then Greg pointed out that it wasn't in Dubai, but rather Abu Dhabi. He then found out that the capital was only a few hours bus ride away from us and didn't cost that much. Ergo, off we set. We were driven to the bus station by the very kind Mr Manly, where we promptly missed the first bus, as it was too full. Ever-learning, we were early for the next bus and claimed our seats. But a few hours later we caught sight of the SZM and I was actually speechless.


It is quite possibly one of the most amazing buildings I have ever laid my eyes on and I have seen some awesome buildings around the world.


We spend several hours here getting travel photos, candid portraits, architectural shots, you name it! Eventually the face-melting 46 degrees celsius got the better of us and, after our eyes stopped sweating, we headed back to the bus station.


Here, we found a dodgy man who gave us a lift back in his car with a brother and sister from the Philippines. They were a lovely couple, if a little strange. I think the girl really liked me, because she giggled, said something to her brother and a few seconds later he leaned forward to me and asked, "Do you think my sister is beautiful?"


Now, this put me in quite the predicament. If I go one way and say, "Yes, she's a right tasty piece of chicken", the brother might take offence to me liking his sister and defend her honour. On the other hand, if I exclaim she was a hideous troll and I couldn't stand to look at her, then I'm pretty sure he'd also take exception to that. Whilst thinking about replying with some sort of above average 'quite pretty' comment, which she actually was, the taxi driver interjected with some comment that I couldn't quite make out and the brother and sister laughed. Embarrassment averted. Not entirely sure what Greg made of the whole incident.


So, in honour of those siblings, this photo is dedicated to my lovely Filipina friend, fellow photographer and queen of sunsets, Mariá Concepcíon.


Prints of this available on SmugMug:


No images in comments please.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II / ISO 100 / f/8.0 / 17-40mm @ 17mm / HDR

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Taken on May 20, 2012