About two weeks ago we went to Makkah, (or Mecca if you are used to the traditional spelling). Ash and Ammi did Umrah while I did the driving. As I find driving in Saudi cities stressful I did not do Umrah myself. A note for those not familiar, Umrah is the "Lesser Pilgrimage", compared to Hajj, the "Greater Pilgrimage" that most educated people in the West have heard of before.
Anyway, we arrived shortly after night fall. After getting settled in the ladies went off to do Umrah and I found a spot to view the Qaaba and wait. While there I was able to get a few pictures.
The spot I picked was popular with visitors. Many people stopped to take pictures. Other people would slide past the rail to join the inner walkway on the upper level. At one point a girl stopped and spoke with me in English. From Iran, she was surprised to meet a Westerner at the Qaaba. The benefits of pilgrimage - to open your mind to greater possibilities!
The evening was well spent. I was nice to be at the Haram and not actually have to do anything but take in the experience.