Tay Explores

Two Days in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

*This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase using my links.* In the beginning of September, I went to Montreal and Quebec City with 3 friends. For the first time, I didn’t really help plan it well in advance because I wasn’t sure that I was going until a week or so before. However, my friend N, who is well versed in traveling and planning, outlined most of it and I was fine following those plans. Plus I figured since we were driving from Harrisburg to Montreal and had 8 hours that we would have some time in the car to look more things up. DAY 1 Mount Royal Our first stop was coffee and hot chocolate at Cafe San Simeon. We took it to go and headed to Mount Royal to take advantage of the clear…

What to do on a Long Layover in Dubai, UAE

*This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase using my links.* As the diary of my trip to Pakistan comes to an end, I wanted to share one last bit of info on the actual traveling part. When we were booking the trip, we were in search for a long layover in Dubai. We figured we could check out 2 places for the price of one! It was also a plus that my brother in law’s uncle lives there so we saved money on pick up, drop off and accommodations. ūüôā On the stop¬†to¬†Pakistan, we only had time for one place which was more than enough for that time as we needed sleep more than sight seeing. We had been on a plane for 13 hours and when we landed all we wanted was a bed! Dubai…

Wazir Khan Mosque – Lahore, Pakistan

*This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on them will not cost you anything.* The last place on our historic architecture tour in Lahore was Wazir Khan Mosque We almost didn’t go here due to lack of time but I’m so glad we did because I absolutely loved it! I think it’s underrated, unfortunately. Badshahi Mosque is usually the more talked about mosque but I think this one deserves just as much praise. Wazir Khan Mosque was commissioned during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan and is considered one of the most ornate decorated Mughal-era mosque. The exterior of the mosque is embelished in Persian “kashi-kali” tile work and the interior is decorated with Mughal and punjabi style frescoes. More on it’s history:¬†http://www.orientalarchitecture.com/sid/573/pakistan/lahore/wazir-khan-mosque Location: Lahore, Pakistan Architecture: Mughal Era The walk up to the mosque through the Delhi Gate was probably one of my favorite experiences this trip. Walking through so…

Shalimar Gardens – Lahore, Pakistan

One of my favorite historic spots in Lahore is the Shalimar Baagh (garden).¬† The construction of this mughal garden began in 1637 C.E. and completed in 1641. It was designed in the lifetime of Shah Jehan and it mimiced the one built in Kashmir by his father, Jahangir. These gardens were laid out as a ‘charbagh’ meaning quadrilateral garden based on the four gardens of Paradise mentioned in the Quran. More on its History:¬†http://www.orientalarchitecture.com/sid/572/pakistan/lahore/shalamar-gardens Location: Lahore, Pakistan Architecture: Mughal Era

24 Hours in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Okay, so I decided to take a break from my Pakistan posts and share with you what I’ve been up to this summer so far. For me, summer started after the month of fasting ended! As soon as it did, I wasted no time in planning a short trip out of Chicago to a place I had been researching about ever since I moved here, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. My nieces were visiting also so it ended up being the perfect little 24 hour family vacation! Strawberry Picking at Apple Barn Orchard & Winery I have also been wanting to go fruit picking for ages and when I looked up things to do near Lake Geneva, this barn kept coming up for apple and strawberry picking. Since we were just in time for the strawberry season, that is what I planned to do first. My nieces love, LOVE strawberries so it…

Lahore Fort (Shahi Qila) – Lahore, Pakistan

*This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission should you chose to purchase using my links.* The next stop on my historic architectural tour in Pakistan was Lahore Fort (also known as Shahi Qila) which is situated right across Badshahi Mosque.¬† This fort has been inhabited from a thousand years and was reconstructed many times over the years by various empires and rulers. What we see today is the design that was built during Emperor Akbar’s time in 1575. It was built to guard the northwest frontier of the empire. Overtime, however, with different reigns came different additions and modifications to the palaces, lush gardens, meeting places etc. The fort is a mix of different styles that each emperor of the time preferred. There are European, Hindu and Persian influences throughout the designs. Booking.com One famous structure, Sheesh Mahal was Emperor Shah Jehan’s contribution. This…

Badshahi Mosque – Lahore, Pakistan

The next stop on our historic sightseeing in Lahore was Badshahi Mosque. This¬†was my¬†second time visiting the mosque and I was as mesmerized by it this¬†time around as I was the first time I saw it. It’s located near Lahore Fort and is probably one of Lahore’s most iconic landmarks.The mosque is a Mughal-era architecture which was commissioned by Emperor Aurengzeb in 1671 and was completed within two years. Its exterior is made of carved red sandstone with marble inlay. The interior also has carved marble and elaborate plasterwork. At the time of completion, it was the largest mosque in the world and now is the second largest mosque in Pakistan itself. You have to climb about 20 or so steps to get to the entrance. From the entrance you have a view of the gate of Lahore Fort (my next stop).After taking in the view of the massive gate,…

Tomb of Jahangir – Lahore, Pakistan

So basically, my trips to Pakistan consist of spending time with my family and eating amazing food. Since we go after many years and for short periods of time it’s hard to do too much sightseeing. However, we did manage to squeeze one day for it, in the city of Lahore. When our driver picked us up, he assumed we wanted to go to all the biggest shopping centers in the city. When we told him we weren’t interested in shopping and instead wanted to see some historic sites, he was shocked. I think mainly because that is what a lot of people like to do when they go to Pakistan, things are a bit cheaper. We saw four sites in one day (with 2 kids under the age of 4)! My family and I have a knack of squeezing too many things in one day! lol Our first stop…

The Streets of Pakistan

As you can tell by the title of this post, I have finally started sorting through photos of my recent trip to Pakistan and I am so excited to share it all with you! This country, which my parents are from is one that is full of diverse¬†cultures, a rich history and delicious food. Although I wasn’t born in Pakistan, I did move here when I was only 6 months old. I lived there for about 6 years in a town called Rabwah (now known as Chenab Nagar) which is located next to the River Chenab in the province of Punjab. The country itself is located in South Asia and is the 6th most populous in the world with over 197 million people! Getting to Chenab Nagar from the airport in Lahore is an experience in itself. Most of the highway is nicely paved, however as soon as you get…

National Cherry Blossom Festival – Washington D.C.

Hello all, I hope your March was spectacular, mine sure was! As you probably know I was off exploring and visiting family in Pakistan. It was a wonderful trip but now I am back and ready to go back to our regularly scheduled program. ūüėČ I know that it probably would have made sense to come back and post about Pakistan; however, I am in the middle of organizing all the photos so you will have to wait a little while longer. When I got back on Sunday morning, I was struggling with major jet lag. And the best way I knew how to tackle it was to avoid sleeping at 3 pm and go out to explore and stay awake! So the following day, I went to check out the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. with my friend, A. Lucky for me the blossoms had reached their peak…

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