Thursday, January 6, 2011 – “Be at the bus stop by no later than 8 AM or you will miss the bus” was running through my head as we rushed to get ready for another day full of wonder and beauty.
I think this was the day we got to the bus stop and I realized there was no place open for me to grab a coffee. Teddy and Nahimeh arrived from their hotel across the street to wait for the bus with us. As I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t get my coffee, Teddy decided he had time to grab one for me from his hotel across the street. What a guy! I will always remember that kindness. Thanks Teddy! (None of us missed the bus.)
This was day 4 of our 9 day pilgrimage. On this day, we went to the Mansion of Mazra’ih and the Mansion of Bahji. Each was called a mansion by the original owner of the properties. When Baha’u'llah was living in and around Akka, these were both places where He lived after being allowed to leave the Akka prison. And they were so very beautiful to visit. Photos were easy to take because everywhere I looked, there was beauty.
At Mazra’ih, after we visited the inside of the mansion, we had time to walk through the gardens and orchard. We were allowed to pick oranges and grapefruits from the trees, too! There were so many to pick. Yum.
We left Mazra’ih too soon. I wished I could have stayed all day. Yet, the next stop was just as incredible… going inside the mansion at Bahji. This is the last residence of Baha’u'llah, and it is where He died. Next to the mansion is the Shrine where He is buried and which Baha’is consider the Holiest Spot on the earth.
The shrine of Baha’u'llah was open for us to visit anytime from 1 PM to 8 PM on this day. Pilgrims were invited to take any of the pilgrim buses that were departing at 7 different times to go back to Haifa. We stayed until nearly the last bus. It was so relaxing, so calming, and enlivening to be there, walking the grounds, taking photos with friends, and praying at the Shrine.