Posts tagged adventure

Letter from Russia: St. Petersburg, a golden fairy tale on the banks of the Neva…

My dear travelers, welcome to the Mr.M blog. I sincerely hope that you are well and that you are ready to spend this weekend with me in St. Petersburg well known also as Sankt-Peterburg or Leningrad. We will agree later on how we will call this beautiful golden city, which is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia, while for some people it is also the most beautiful city in the world!

When I announced on social media channels on the day of my departure for Russia that I was on my way to the tsarist Russian empire, most people were shocked where I plan to go to snowy Russia in the middle of winter at minus 20 degrees. My hosts from the Tourist Board of the city of St. Petersburg sent an interesting invitation where they briefly evoked the winter magic in this imperial city. My desire for adventure, as well as my suitcase that craved airport tracks with the first dose of the vaccine received, I decided to embark on a new unusual adventure!

St. Petersburg, formerly known as Sankt-Peterburg, and later as Leningrad, is the second largest city in Russia. The city is located on the banks of the Neva River, at the very top of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. This imperial city today has about 6 million inhabitants.

Interesting information that St. Petersburg is the fourth most populous city in Europe, and at the same time the most populous city on the Baltic Sea, as well as the northernmost city in the world with over a million inhabitants. St. Petersburg is considered one of the most important Russian ports in the Baltic Sea.

Lakhta Center (Gazprom Tower)

The city was founded by Emperor Peter the Great at the beginning of the 18th century on the site of a occupied Swedish fortress, and was named after the apostle St. Peter. St. Petersburg is historically and culturally connected with the birth of the Russian Empire and Russia’s entry into modern history as one of the greatest European powers.

It served as the capital of the Russian Empire during the period from the beginning of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century (replaced by Moscow for a short period between 1728 and 1730). After the Great October Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks moved their government to Moscow.

St. Petersburg is known as the “Cultural Capital of Russia” and today is considered an important economic, scientific, cultural and tourist center of today’s Russia and Europe. The historical core (old part of the city) of St. Petersburg and related groups of monuments are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

St. Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world, the center of Lakhta (Gazprom Tower), the tallest skyscraper in Europe and was one of the host cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

As you are used to, I always try to look back at the history of the creation and development of a city. According to the interpretations of the first written documents on the territory of modern St. Petersburg, the first human settlement can be traced back to the time of the last melting of the glacier that covered this territory.

About 12,000 years ago, the ice receded, and people went further north because of the ice. Data on the Slavs are known from the 8th to the 9th century. They were engaged in agriculture, animal husbandry, hunting and fishing and carried out armed attacks on other peoples. At the beginning of the 9th century, these lands became part of the Old Russian state, forming part of the territory of Veliky Novgorod called Vodskaya Pyatina, the area on the right along the Neva was called the Karelian Land, on the left – the Izhora Land.

As a result of the defeat in the war with Sweden due to the Stolbov Peace Treaty in 1617, the territories along the Neva River became part of Swedish Ingermanland, whose trade and administrative center was the city of Nien near the Nienskans fortress, built in 1611 on the Landskrona site.

As a result of the Northern War of 1700-1721, the Neva River Valley was conquered by Sweden and became part of the Russian Empire under the Nishtat Peace Treaty. At the beginning of the 18th century, at the mouth of the Neva, not far from Nien, the city of St. Petersburg was founded.

In the first quarter of the 18th century, the name was written as San (k) t-Peter-Burh. When the city was built, no special act was adopted defining the name of the city, but in the letters of Peter I and the official newspaper Vedomosti, the name “San (k) t-Peter-Burh” is almost always mentioned in accordance with the Dutch version. St. Pieter Burch). The spelling “St. Petersburg” was first recorded in the newspaper “Vedomosti” in July 1724.

In the first ten years of its existence, the main part of the city was the City Island (modern Petrogradski Island), there were Gostinji Dvor, Trinity Church, many service buildings, craft settlements and military units. The first industrial company was the Admiralty shipyard, where the Galija shipyard, the Winter Palace and the Summer Palace of Peter I with the Summer Garden were later built.

Peter and Paul Fortress (St. Petersburg Fortress) is the oldest architectural monument in St. Petersburg. Located on the island of Hare, the historic heart of the city. It was never used in any battle, and from the first quarter of the 18th century until the beginning of the 1920s, it served as a prison. Since 1924, this fortification has been turned into a state museum.

The Peter and Paul Fortress is a monument of Russian architecture, on which numerous architects worked. The modern fortress houses numerous architectural monuments and museums: the Cathedral of Peter and Paul, the tomb of the Grand Duke, the Botan House, the Commander’s House, the Engineering House, the Mint, the Museum of the History of Technology.

The fortress belongs to the historical part of St. Petersburg and, together with the complex of monuments, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The model of the fortress of Peter and Paul has become a symbol of the city and occupies a key place in its panorama. From 1873, an artillery signal shot was fired from Naryshkin’s bastion of the fortress every day at 12 o’clock, which was not carried out from 1934 to 1953.

It is a historical symbol of the city together with an angel on the tower of the Cathedral of Peter and Paul together with a boat on the tower of the Admiralty and a monument to the Bronze Horseman.

The Cathedral of Peter and Paul is an architectural monument, the tomb of the Russian imperial house of the Romanovs. The wooden church of Peter and Paul appeared on this site in 1703. In its place, 1712-1733, according to the project of the architect Trezzini, a stone cathedral was built in the style of the early Russian Baroque.

In the middle of 1756, due to a fire, the wooden tower, the roof and the upper layers of the bell tower burned down. The building was renovated until 1780, with some minor architectural changes to the plan. After the fire, a great storm occurred which tilted the cross and tore off the image of an angel from the cross.

The bell tower is 122.5 meters high. A bell clock has been placed on the bell tower since 1776. From 1708, the burial of members of the Romanov family began in the Cathedral of Peter and Paul. At the beginning of March 1725, the coffin with the body of Emperor Peter I was placed in a temporary wooden chapel, and in 1731 it was buried again in the iconostasis of the cathedral. During the 18th century, until the beginning of the 20th century, all the emperors and empresses of the Russian Empire were buried in the cathedral, with the exception of John VI and Peter II. In 1998, the last Tsar Nicholas II was buried in Catherine’s Palace.

During 1918, church services in the church were stopped and all church valuables were confiscated. Currently, the cathedral is under the jurisdiction of the Museum of the History of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a cultural center of world importance, it is often called the “Cultural Capital” of Russia. The city has over 8000 places of cultural heritage (historical and cultural monuments), including 4000 places of cultural heritage of federal significance, which is almost 10% of all monuments that the state protects on the territory of the Russian Federation.

There are over 200 museums and their branches (including the Hermitage (about three million works of art and monuments of world culture), the Russian Museum (the largest museum of Russian art), the Central Maritime Museum, the Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts, the Museum of Modern Art and Sculpture, St. Petersburg History Museum). , Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of Peter the Great (Kunstkamera), museums-palaces and parks Peterhof, Oranienbaum, Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk, art Pushkinskaya 10 Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Erarta, Sverdlovsk Museum of AS Pushkin, Museum of Defense and Siege of Leningrad and others, exhibition complex Lenekpo.

There are more than 70 theaters in St. Petersburg, including the Mariinsky Theater, the Alexandria Theater, the Mikhailovsky Theater, the Bolshoi Drama Theater named after GA Tovstonogov, the St. Petersburg Academic Comedy Theater named after NP Akimov, the Small Drama Theater (Europe Theater), the Lensovet Academic Theater, the Baltic House , VF Komissarzhevskaya Academic Drama Theater, Litsedei Clovneri Theater, St. Petersburg Bolshoi State Circus and many others).

Saint Isaac’s Cathedral

Da li ste znali da je Sankt Petersburg dom više od 1000 biblioteka (najveće među njima su Ruska nacionalna biblioteka (javna), Biblioteka Ruske akademije nauka, Predsednička biblioteka Borisa Jeljcina).

Sankt Petersburg je kulturna prestonica Rusije i Evrope, bez obzira na period godine kada se odlučite da posetite grad imaćete priliku da uživate u raznim kulturnim i umetničkim manifestacijama.

When we finished with the most important sights and getting to know the city, my hosts from the tourist organization sent me a nice form, what would I like to see in St. Petersburg? The list included botanical gardens and aquariums. Since I haven’t visited aquariums for a long time, I decided to visit the St. Petersburg Oceanarium.

Oceanarium” is a kind of “underwater museum” with living exhibits – the inhabitants of the aquatic environment. It is located in the shopping and entertainment complex “Planet Neptune” in St. Petersburg.

The total area of the Oceanarium is about 5000 square meters. There are 59 aquariums, and the largest aquarium has an underwater tunnel 35 meters long. The unique exhibition of the Oceanarium allows you to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world because more than 2,000 specimens of freshwater and marine fish, aquatic invertebrates and mammals live here.

Here you can spend a few hours observing the inhabitants of the underwater world. Colorful fish, frogs, graceful sharks will calm you with cheerfulness, and clumsy seals and curious faces of Asian otters will make you laugh to tears!

Every visitor can not only dive into the atmosphere of the underwater world, but also become a spectator of interesting “shows” in which the actors are sharks, numerous fish and seals. Performances with these amazing residents are held every day except Monday.

After the adventure I had in the wilderness of the underwater world, the tourist organization prepared a surprise for me, so we just went a little further from St. Petersburg, where we had the opportunity to hang out with unusual inhabitants of this part of the country – European Bison (Wisent).

Zubrovnik Park, a nature reserve located near St. Petersburg, you can enjoy nature, winter sports and socializing with European bison.

European Bison

The “Zubrovnik” family vacation and ecotourism park is one of the largest suburban complexes in terms of area and the only facility in the Leningrad region specialized in ecotourism.

Zubrovnik Park can provide you with interesting walks and excursions to beautiful places, contact with the wild and leave an incredible impression that you will remember for a long time.

The Wisent or European bison is a European type of cattle (Bovini). Wisents were found in the primeval forests of western, central and south-eastern Europe until the early Middle Ages. Their habitat are temperate deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests.

Wisents are herd animals, but only to be found in small groups depending on their habitat. Typical herds include 12 to 20 animals and consist of cows and young animals. Sexually mature bulls only stay with the herds during the rutting season. The outwardly similar American bison (Bos bison) can be crossed with the bison without restriction.

In addition to getting to know the bison, I had the opportunity to feel the adrenaline and be in contact with nature while riding a snowmobile where you have organized tours. A unique experience, I have to admit that it is one of the more extreme things I have done in my life so far.

Believe me, you don’t even notice the cold over time, for the first 3 days I couldn’t imagine spending more than 5 hours outside, but after that my body got used to the environment and I easily spent a few hours outdoors and in nature. It is amazing how quickly a person gets used to the weather conditions in Russia. The immunity of the Russians is good and they are one of the healthiest nations in Europe.

My dear travelers, we have reached the end of this special post from Russia, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Tourist Board of St. Petersburg, an institution that allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of the former tsarist Russian capital and share my impressions of this unusual city. The Baltic Sea on the banks of the Neva River. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the national Russian airline Aeroflot for the wonderful trip.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global COVID-19 health crisis.

I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the very top in the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to feel the beauty, culture, spirit and hospitality of tsarist Russia in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about St. Petersburg? Have you had the opportunity to visit this city in Russia so far?

A model of what a house in St. Petersburg looked like

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

With love from St. Petersburg,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the City Tourism Board of St. Petersburg and Aeroflot airline.

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Letters from Germany: Hanover, a Green City in the Heart of Lower Saxony

My dear travelers, welcome to the Mr.M blog! At the very beginning, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year and Merry Christmas holidays and wish you a lot of health, happiness and love. I hope that the New Year will bring us only beautiful moments and that the old year will take all the negative things with it tomorrow, and tomorrow at midnight you will wish yourself and your loved ones a lot of beautiful moments and give each other the most precious thing – your time.

In the previous months, I received your messages saying that you miss my “letters”, so I decided to give you something nice for the end of this year and take you for a walk through the green city in the heart of Lower Saxony. Welcome to Hanover!

Hanover is the capital of the German state of Lower Saxony. The city is located in the southern part of the northern German lowlands on Leine and Ihme and was first mentioned in written documents in 1150, and the status of the city was officially announced in 1241.

At the beginning of 1636, Hanover became the royal city of Welf, from 1692 the residence of Kurhannovers, and in 1814 it became the capital of the Kingdom of Hanover, after the annexation of Prussia in 1866, the provincial capital of Hanover and after the breakup of Prussia in August 1946. is the capital of the state of Hanover.

By merging with the Free States of Braunschweig, Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe in 1946, Hanover gained the status of the capital of the German province of Lower Saxony. Today, Hanover is one of the 15 most populous cities in Germany.

Hanover is a major European traffic “crossroads”, as it crosses important road and rail routes north-south and east-west. Hanover was a Hanseatic city in the period from the 13th century to the middle of the 17th century and is a member of the Hanseatic League, which was symbolically re-established in the 1980s until the end of June 2019.

A monument in honor of the famous German surgeon George Friedrich Luis Stomeyer

There are eleven universities and several libraries in Hanover. The letters of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and the document Golden Letter are documents kept in the library of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hanover is an important economic and business in Lower Saxony. The cultural scene is considered diverse, with numerous, and in some cases internationally renowned theaters and museums. Numerous international theater, music and dance festivals are held every year in this city of music and art.

Hanover has been a city of music on the UNESCO list since 2014. The city plan of urbanism is characterized by numerous public green areas, high density of street art and numerous architectural monuments, including representative buildings of various styles such as: North German brick Gothic, Hanoverian school of architecture, expressionism brick, Art Nouveau and classical buildings Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves.

Holocaust Remembrance: A Monument to the Jewish Victims in Hanover

While post-war buildings dominate the interior of the city, many parts of this city still possess a significant number of old buildings and maintain the identity of the city of Hanover.

The Hanover Adventure Zoo, Maschsee and Herrenhausen Gardens are famous throughout Germany. An unusual curiosity is the arched elevator in the New Town Hall, which I must admit is a real world rarity. With the world’s largest exhibition center and numerous leading international fairs, Hanover is one of the leading congress and fair centers in Europe.

Memorial sacral monument: Tower of the Aegidienkirche church in Hanover

The cultural content in Hanover is diverse. To understand the richness and development of culture and art, I would like to mention that there are about 40 museums and galleries in Hanover, of which eight are the main city museums:

The State Museum of Lower Saxony has three sections: the art section on one side shows the state gallery with European art from the 11th to the 20th century, including a collection of German and French Impressionism, and on the other a rich collection of coins of former kings of Great Britain. A natural section showing zoology, botany, geology and a vivarium with 2000 species of fish, insects, amphibians, spiders and lizards.

The section on the history of mankind shows the prehistory and early history of Lower Saxony, as well as cultures from all over the world, including Japanese culture. The origins of the museum date back to 1856, while the building of today’s museum was built in 1902.

Kröpcke-Uhr

The Historical Museum is a “witness” who can tell us more about Hanover from the medieval settlement of Hanover to the royal seat and the current location of the fair. One of the focuses is the time between 1714 and 1837, when the electorate of Hanover ruled in close communion with the British Kingdom.

The neighboring Begin Tower is connected to the museum and is accessible. The museum was opened elsewhere in 1903 as the “Patriotic Museum” and moved to the current building in 1966.

History of the Kröpcke clock in the heart of Hanover

The Herrenhausen Palace Museum opened to the public in 2013 and is part of the History Museum. In this palace you can see settings where people from the Welfenhaus and various garden architectures are presented, and it illuminates the connection between the social and intellectual preconditions of the Baroque and the villa garden design. The third part of the palace shows the development of the Herrenhausen gardens from the Enlightenment to the present day.

The August Kestner Museum, opened in 1889, displays 6,000 years of applied art in four eras of art collection: ancient culture, Egyptian culture, the largest collection of coins in northern Germany with about 1,000 pieces, and applied art.

One of the central streets in Hanover

The Sprengel Museum was opened in 1979 and represents modern art of the 20th century. The focus is on classical modernism with the collection of Kurt Schwitters, works of German Expressionism and French Cubism, the Cabinet of Abstracts, Graphics and the Department of Photography and Media. The museum also displays special examples of abstract, conceptual and minimal art,

The Wilhelm Bush Museum, the German Museum of Caricature and Drawing Art in Herrenhausen, displays permanent collections about Wilhelm Busch and caricature and critical graphics. In addition, exhibitions (cartoons, comics and caricatures) of contemporary artists from the country and abroad are constantly changing. The museum was founded in 1937.

The Kestnergesellschaft was founded in 1916 and displays exhibitions of classical modernism and contemporary art. The focus is on film, video, contemporary music and architecture, and extensive installations and comprehensive presentations of contemporary painting, sculpture and video art are on display.

Kunstverein Hannover, founded in 1832 as one of the first art associations in Germany, is based in the Kunstlerhaus Hannover. Six to eight internationally oriented monographic and thematic exhibitions are presented each year.

Hanover has long been considered a mediocre and boring destination. The prevailing opinion was that the city center was impersonal and soulless, while the inhabitants of the surrounding municipalities of the city, some of which were large old buildings, developed some of their way of life. The city has a relatively large amount of open space and green areas, which is why some tourists attribute its small “stress due to density” and relaxation in everyday life.

In 2018, the accommodation booking portal Booking.com listed Hanover as one of the ten new tourist destinations in development due to the “large number of museums, parks and cultural events”.

The Leine-Heide-Radweg long cycle path, the Kulturroute cycle path, the Gruner Ring cycle cycle and hiking trail, Lower Saxony Muhlenstrasse, the Via Scandinavica pilgrimage route and the European History Gardens route, the Council of Europe’s cultural route, escape routes of the greatest tourist importance. city of Hanover.

Today’s old part of the city is significantly different from the original old city before the Second World War. The center of Hanover was 90% destroyed, including the old town. Therefore, a kind of traditional island was created around the market church. For that purpose, the main landmarks were renovated, such as the market church, half-timbered houses and other buildings moved from other parts of the city, and post-war buildings were created as part of the reconstruction that harmoniously blended into the old part of the city.

Today’s gates of the old town are the Marstalltor Louis Remi de la Fosse. It is the preserved central portal of the Hofmar stables on the Hohe Ufer. As already mentioned, in the center of the old part of the city is a market church, built in the 14th century, with a market square and a market fountain in Hanover. Together with the old town hall, it is a testimony to North German brick Gothic.

Broihanhaus, Hanns-Lilje-Haus and Georg-von-Colln-Haus are located near the Marktkirche. The Kreuzkirche in the Kreuzkirchenviertel has a precious altarpiece by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Opposite it is the Kreuzklappe restaurant. The oldest preserved half-timbered house in Hanover from 1564/1566 is located at Burgstrasse 12. Ballhof, built between 1649 and 1664, has long been the largest event hall in the city, and is now one of the places in Lower Saxony – State Theater.

On Holzmarkt with the Oscar Fountain, next to the Nolta house, which was built shortly before 1900, there is a house with a Renaissance facade of the Leibniz house, which was reconstructed in 1983 (originally built in 1499 in Schmiedtstraße).

Of the medieval city defense towers, only the initial tower in the History Museum has been completely preserved. The old town is bordered by the Hohe Ufer der Leine, where the Leineschloss and the promenade along the coast with cafes and restaurants, which was redesigned in 2018, are located.

Martin-Neuffer-Brucke runs from the old town to Calenberger Neustadt. And this suffered serious destruction in World War II. However, there are numerous representative buildings and sandstone churches here.

The Baroque Neustadter Church with Leibniz’s tomb and St. Clemens’ Basilica, the first new Catholic church building in Hanover after the Reformation, and the Evangelical Reformed Church, whose bells were donated by Britain’s Queen Victoria, still give an idea of why Calenberger Neustadt was called “Freedom Island”.

Even then, all denominations and beliefs were allowed. The State Archives of Lower Saxony and the Ministry of the Environment are also located in Calenberger Neustadt, in front of which is the Duve Fountain, in the middle of the Leibniz coast.

Everywhere in the city center, but also in some parts of the city, there are buildings of master Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves. At the beginning of the 19th century, the planning and design of the city of Ernst-August-Stadt, which is today part of the district of Mitte, began.

Its largest buildings in Hanover include the Opera House, the Waterloo Column, the Vangenheim Palace and the Laveshaus opposite the New Town Hall.

He renovated the Leineschloss on the edge of the old town (today the seat of the state parliament of Lower Saxony) and expanded it, among other things, with a portico in Leinstrasse. Other Laves buildings include the von Beckedorf Chamber House summer house, Villa Rosa and various bridges.

In the middle age, until the end of the 19th century, the Hanover School of Architecture created its own direction of form with clinker brick buildings in the neo-Gothic and arched style (for example from the Kunstlerhaus Hannover, 1855), which had an influence outside Hanover and shaped the face of the great residential districts.

Due to the many green areas in the city, Hanover is one of the greenest cities in Germany and has a special epithet called “green metropolis”. On the ranking list Meinestadt.de in 2011 came in first place in Germany, but not on other rankings, because other cities have more green space in terms of area (total or proportional), and some rankings do not count only public green areas. However, Hanover is particularly sustainable in terms of its urban development.

The new town hall in Hanover is the town hall of the capital of Lower Saxony and the seat of the city administration of Hanover under the administration of the mayor. Wilhelmina, a magnificent palace-like building in an eclectic style, was built between 1901 and 1913.

The new city hall is located in the most beautiful part of the ten-hectare Maschpark on the southern edge of the city center, outside the historic center of Hanover. The square in front of the north-northeast facing the north wing is now called Trammplatz, it was created especially in connection with the town hall building and was named after Heinrich Tramm, the then mayor. The south side of the building faces Maschteich.

During the expansion of the city with industrialization, especially from the early days of its founding, the scattered administration of the city of Hanover grew, so that at the end of the 19th century a new larger town house was necessary. The driving force behind this was the city director, Heinrich Tramm, who had been in office since 1891, and under whom the building was to become “the pinnacle of bourgeois self-expression.”

Initially, there was talk of Goseriede north of the old town. The finally determined location on the then southern outskirts of the city took into account the planned expansion of the city to the south (“Sudstadt”), in combination with the “Rathauspark (Maschpark) which stretched there as the center of new public buildings”.

The town house, 97.73 meters high, about 129 meters long and about 67 meters wide, was built on 6026 beech piles according to the plans of architect Hermann Eggert. The main hall of the town hall was 30 meters long, 21 meters wide and over 30 meters high. The construction material, the sandman claims, was brought from the Mehler quarry.

I advise you that due to the difficult current situation in the country, if you want to go out into the fresh air, take a walk and clear your mind, feel free to do so, but do not go to places where there are a lot of people and create crowds.

Travel is currently disabled, but I sincerely hope that with the start of vaccination of the population in Europe and the world, the measures will be relaxed.

My dear travelers, we have reached the end of this special post from Germany which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Hanover Tourist Board and the Tourist Board of the German State of Lower Saxony in cooperation with the German National Railway DB – Deutsche Bahn which allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty the city of Hanover and the German federal state of Lower Saxony and to share my impressions of this unusual city in Germany.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global COVID-19 health crisis.

I would like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the care and protection of yourself and your loved ones. Let’s prevent the spread of the Corona virus and try to make this one day just one bad dream that we have successfully forgotten!

I understand that people need to go out into the fresh air for physical activity and mental health, and you can do that by walking around the city in the open air every day, using the busy streets. Of course, you can walk through the park and other types of green areas or along the promenades along the rivers, but stick to the prescribed physical distance and use disinfectants and wear a mask.

I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauties of the German state of Lower Saxony in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about Hanover? Have you had a chance to visit this city in Germany so far?

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

With love from Hanover,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Tourist Board of the City of Hanover, the Tourist Organization of the German state of Lower Saxony and the German national railway Deutsche Bahn.

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Letters from Germany: Greifswald, Hanseatic city on the Baltic coast…

My dear travellers, how are you today? I hope you are ready for a new adventure, because today I present you another jewel of Germany, which is located on the shores of the Baltic Sea. In the previous post, you had the opportunity to get to know Halle, a charming city in Germany that is well- known for its art and design. If by any chance you missed it or want to enjoy the beauty of this unusual city near Leipzig again, you can do so with one click on this link.

Greifswald is the capital of the district of Vorpommern-Greifswald, located in the northeast of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania region. This university and Hanseatic city lies on the river Ryck which flows into the Baltic Sea spatially between the islands of Rügen and Usedom.

An interesting fact is that Greifswald received the city charter of the city of Lübeck in the middle of the 13th century. The University of Greifswald, was founded in the middle of the 15th century and is the second oldest university in the Baltic region.

The city has almost 60 thousand inhabitants, which makes it the fifth largest city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Together with Stralsund, Greifswald forms one of the four regional centers in the province.

Greifswald is approximately equidistant from the two largest cities in Germany, Berlin and Hamburg. The nearest major cities are Stralsund and Rostock. The coastal part of Greifswald at the mouth of the river Ryck, called Greifswald-Vieck, originated from a small fishing village. Today there is a small beach, a marina and the main port that belongs to Greifswald.

How did Greifswald get its name? The original name of this settlement, which eventually developed into the independent city of Greifswald, is not known. The only written evidence that exists is a letter from Duke Vartislav III. which dates from the 13th century. is also the first documented mention of today’s name of the city.

In the feudal era during the reign of Vartislav III. in the 13th century, there is his explicit statement that Greifswald is called Gripeswald in Low Saxon German, which suggests that this area originally had a different ethnic population: Slavic, Danish and German as well.

There is no official evidence for the theory that the original name was Danish based on Gripscogh, the name of a forest located near the town of Esrom in Denmark.

Greifswald – contains the word “griffins” which represents the legendary heraldic animals of the Pomeranian dukes. “Wald” means forest. The griffin and the forest can also be found in the coat of arms of the city of Greifswald. Since 1990, the city has again become a Hanseatic city and is now described as a university and Hanseatic city.

The Hanseatic League (Hanseatic League of Cities) is an alliance of trade guilds, which established and maintained a trade monopoly in the Baltic Sea and most of northern Europe between the 13th and 17th centuries. German cities have achieved a dominant position in trade in the Baltic with incredible speed over the course of a century. Lübeck became a central hub in all maritime trade during that period.

Due to its size, Greifswald has a rich cultural and tourist offer for its visitors. The largest cultural institutions in the city are the Vorpommern Theater and the Pommersche Landesmuseum (Pomeranian State Museum), a museum housing paintings by the famous painter Caspar David Friedrich, a native of Greifswald.

More than 10 million euros have been set aside for this project and it was founded out of a great desire to document the life and work of this “romantic” and his artistic environment. This project was funded by the city of Greifswald, the region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, as well as the federal government.

The town hall of Greifswald, which was built in 1915, has been completely restored and together with the adjacent theater building, represents the central complex of the old part of the town of Greifswald.

City architecture has styles from almost all eras, from medieval brick, Gothic to modern forms of architecture. The older buildings of the city are especially characterized by the style common in northern Germany and the Baltic Sea region, which can also be found in other Hanseatic cities such as Lübeck and Wismar.

Of course, the architecture of classicism and the beginning of the Wilhelmin era also left a significant mark in Greifswald. During the GDR era, large parts of the northern part of the old town were demolished and prefabricated apartments were built there. Since 1990, great efforts have been made to restore and restore the historical architecture of the city.

Old town

The central market square, unique in size and shape in northern Germany, is truly imposing. The 13th-century Gothic-Baroque town house of Greifswald is located in the market square. The two medieval Hanseatic town houses Markt 11 and 13 in the famous brick-Gothic style are especially significant in terms of the architectural history of the town.

At the corner of Muhlenstrasse is the white, classicist building of the Pomeranian State Museum’s painting gallery, designed by Johann Gottfried Kuistorp.

There are also various important historic town houses in the old town, for example near the main churches and along the east-west direction of Schuhhagen or Muhlenstraße and Lange Straße streets.

The northern part of the old town in the direction of the port was significantly destroyed due to the design of the old system, although it was spared during the war and replaced by prefabricated buildings, only a few old buildings, such as the city library in Knopfstrasse, were spared this destructive measure.

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of the special blog post from Greifswald. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Greifswald Tourist Board – Greifswald Marketing GmbH (GMG) and Deutsche Bahn for this incredible German adventure.

Once again, Deutsche Bahn recognized the quality of my work and they wanted to be part of this amazing project. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern German state in a completely different way.

How do you like this story about this German gem of Baltic called Greifswald? Have you maybe had a chance to visit this lovely city? I would like to share with me your experience! See you next week with another interesting story!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page. Also, I am kindly inviting you to enjoy in the rest photos of Greifswald in gallery below.

Best,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Greifswald Marketing GmbH and the Deutsche Bahn German National Railway.

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Cyprus and Malta: Two priceless Gems of the Mediterranean Sea…

My dear travellers, welcome to my new post. Honestly, I hope you are doing well and that we all look forward to some better days that are characteristic of this period of the year after this lockdown. June is usually a month when people go to the sea or plan their summer vacation, but this year was an exception. Due to the new situation caused by the Coronavirus, people are prevented from planning summer vacations and maybe postponing their travels for the autumn season.

“Hello? Can you hear me? Can I change my travel dates for the Summer holidays, please?”

I was glad that many of you remembered my blog and a large number of readers have approached me via email and private messages on social media in the past few weeks asking for advice on where you could go on a “summer” vacation in the fall season.

What are the destinations that interested you the most? The people from Europe region were most suggested by the following destinations: Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Tunisia, Morocco and Malta.

The Central street city of Valletta, the capital of Republic of Malta
Central street in the heart of Valletta – the capital of Malta

MALTA

The Republic of Malta is a very small and densely populated island country made up of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. This unusual island country is located south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, so geographically Malta belongs to North Africa, but from a political point of view, this country belongs to Europe and is a member of the European Union.

It was a great honor and pleasure for me to feel the charms of this island country in collaboration with the tourist organization of the Malta Tourism Authority. Before I start with the post I would like to inform you that MTA expressed satisfaction at the announcement of the reopening of the airport and the resumption of commercial flights to and from Malta as from July 1st 2020.

Republic Square is located in the city center of capital of Malta - Valletta.
Wonderful Republic Square in Valletta

The first group of destinations that are being reopened for travel comprises: Germany, Austria, Sicily, Cyprus, Switzerland, Sardinia, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Israel, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg, and Czech Republic. More destinations will be announced in due course, once clearance from the health authorities is received. For more information about entry rules and reopening please visit the website of Malta Tourism Authority.

The capital of the Republic of Malta is Valletta. Due to its specific geographical location, Maltese culture is an unusual combination of many cultures that have been linked throughout history. These are mainly the nearby neighboring Mediterranean countries or the cultures of the countries that ruled Malta before gaining independence. The Maltese Islands are one big open-air museum, as 7,000 years of Maltese history, heavily influenced by the Phoenicians, Arabs, Romans, Knights of Malta and the British, can still be seen today.

The Tritons Fountain is a fountain located on the periphery of the City Gate of Valletta, Republic of Malta, Europe
Tritons’ Fountain in Valletta, Malta

Malta is an exceptional tourist destination, no matter what you expect from your vacation, whether you are a fan of active vacation or pure hedonistic relaxation, the possibilities of this island are countless. For lovers of culture and art, there are numerous museums and galleries.

On the other hand, for all gourmets, Malta is a real little paradise because you have the opportunity to enjoy the unusual specialties of this Mediterranean island.

Malta also has a large number of natural beauties such as numerous caves, coves and natural monuments. Don’t forget when you’re done touring the sights and enjoying the many delicacies, don’t forget to do your shopping or take a walk along the promenade in Sliema and Bugibba in the evening.

Mdina is a fortified town in the northern part of the island, which throughout history in the period from ancient times to the Middle Ages served as the capital of the island. The city is still fortified inside the walls and has a population of just under 300 people, but next to the neighboring town of Rabat, which is named after the Arabic word for suburbs. According to the latest data, the two cities together have just over 10,000 inhabitants.

Mdina still remained the center of the Maltese nobility and religious institutions. Assets are still largely passed down from generation to generation. The city never managed to fully regain its significance that it had until 1530, which also led to the popular nickname “Quiet City” by natives and tourists. Mdina is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is currently one of the main tourist attractions in Malta.

Vilhena Palace also known as the Magisterial Palace and Palazzo Pretorio, is a French Baroque palace in Mdina, Republic of Malta.
Vilhena Palace is open to the public as Malta’s National Museum of Natural History.

Today, Mdina is one of the main tourist attractions of Malta, which annually hosts about a million tourists. You can experience the city as an interesting mix of Norman and Baroque architecture, including several palaces, most of which are privately owned. In the period from 2008 to 2016, a major restoration of the city walls was carried out.

Cathedral and Monastery of St. Peter in the heart of Mdina, Malta.

During my visit to Malta, I visited Valletta, Mdina, Rabat, Sliema, the small traditional fishing village of Marsaxlokk (Marsa-Shlok) and the island of Gozo. This interesting island country has left an impression on me and I sincerely hope to visit Malta soon.

Posts about Malta that you had the opportunity to read on the blog:

  1. Letters from Malta: The Mediterranean Love at First Sight…
  2. Letters from Malta: Mdina, Silence speaks more than Words…
  3. Letters from Malta: My glamorous Escape to Valletta
  4. Letters from Malta: Gozo, your new happy place!
  5. Letters from Malta: Stylish and Fashionable Summer on the streets of Valletta (fashion outfit post)
  6. Letters from Malta: My second day on Malta Fashion Week (outfit)
  7. Last Letter from Malta: Dear Diary, it was amazing! (outfit)
Marsaxlokk is a small traditional fishing village in Republic of Malta.
Marsaxlokk is a small traditional fishing village known for its colorful boats “Luzzus”

CYPRUS

The Republic of Cyprus is an island country located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Due to its geographical position, Cyprus represented a crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa, and many traces of ancient civilizations are still present, such as Roman and Byzantine.

One interesting fact that I learned from the representatives of the National Cyprus Tourism Office is that Cyprus is actually the warmest island in the Mediterranean. It is also called Aphrodite’s Island, because, according to one of the many legends, the Greek goddess Aphrodite was born here from sea foam. The most visited summer resort in Cyprus is Limassol, a city famous for its unrealistically beautiful beaches.

TRAVELING AFTER COVID-19: Cyprus is now ready to welcome travelers from several countries. Having successfully dealt with the Covid-19 epidemic, that you can explore this beautiful island once again. For further info regarding traveling please visit the official portal of Cyprus tourism.

Aphrodite's Rock, a landmark located near Paphos. Republic of Cyprus, Europe
Aphrodite’s Rock, a landmark located near Paphos.

Nicosia is the right place for fans of the combination of modern and traditional. The capital of Cyprus has adorned the old part of the city since the 12th century with an unusual promenade and cobblestone cafes. A place where history intertwines with the modern world.

The Liberty Monument in Nicosia

Larnaca is a few kilometers away from the largest international airport in Cyprus. The city is located on the southeast coast and is the oldest city on the island. In addition to Limassol, Larnaca is one of the most luxurious resorts whose port is visited by visitors from various parts of Europe and the world with new models of yachts.

The building of the administration of the Larnaca region, which is located in the center - Europe Square near the main Promenade. Larnaca, the Republic of Cyprus
The building of the administration of the Larnaca region, which is located in the center – Europe Square near the main Promenade.

Larnaca has modern equipped sandy beaches rated with high marks, which contributes to the development of tourism. The city is known for its landscaped promenade, which is located along the coast, along which there are rows of palm trees. One of the most famous sights near the promenade is the church of St. Lazarus.

Posts about Cyprus that I shared with you on the blog:

  1. Letters from Cyprus: Everyone needs a little Vitamin Sea
  2. Letters from Cyprus: Nicosia, City of History and Freedom
  3. Letters from Cyprus: Everything you need to know about Limassol and Paphos
  4. One Little Red Postcard from Cyprus (fashion outfit post)
Church of St. Lazarus in Larnaca

My dear travellers, we have reached the end of this special post where I briefly tried to compare the beauties of these two unusual island countries in Europe. This is just the beginning of this special series of posts where I will try to describe some of my other observations that I forgot to share with you while I was writing previous posts about those destinations and of course you will have the opportunity to remind yourself some of my previous posts and all together “renew” the material.

Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit some of these gems of the Mediterranean? What are your experiences? Did you like Malta or Cyprus more and I would like to hear your reasons. I would really like to hear some of your experiences and I would be happy to read your impressions in the comments.

Harbour in Larnaca

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page. See you soon with another interesting story about Belgrade!

Best,
Mr.M

Morning in Limassol

This post is my gift to all my loyal readers who wants to learn something new about tourist destinations. The post is for informational purposes only and is not sponsored.

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Letter from the Middle East: Dubai, the Center of Modern Oriental Luxury…

My dear travellers, how are you today? Today is the perfect day to start a new adventure, so this rainy Tuesday is perfect time for a new post! Journeys are truly gift to a gloomy everyday life and one has the opportunity to have fun and at least for a few days forget about daily problems. When it comes to travel it doesn’t matter the destination, the most important thing is that the person doesn’t go alone and to make a good plan of the program of the trip where everyone will have fun and have a nice relax.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the flydubai airline and the Dubai Tourist Board (Visit Dubai), which made it possible for my photographer and I to experience the beauty and charm of a center of modern oriental luxury such as Dubai.

When the flydubai airline began operating in 2009, the goal was to connect with their passengers and transport them to as many destinations as possible daily. Today, flydubai flies to more than 90 destinations and is constantly adding new destinations to their “sky” network.

Over 70 million travelers have given their trust and with flydubai they have visited the largest and most famous city in the United Arab Emirates – Dubai, making them the second largest carrier in UAE. The vision and support of the Dubai government created new opportunities for travel, tourism and commerce and improved connectivity by increasing access to Dubai and connecting with the rest of the world.

With increasing demand and an daily-expanding sky network, flidubai has added a number of new destinations in its offer. Having already opened routes to Africa, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, the goal is not only to expand the network of destinations, but to make the route as efficient as possible, with more regular flights, direct flights and new aircraft with which will make every trip unforgettable.

Flydubai Business Class offers a more comfortable, relaxed and completely new flying experience. At the airport, you will have benefit from faster check-in and priority airport services, including a special check-in desk, boarding and bus service. You can also relax before your trip in the business lounge at Terminal 2 Dubai International Airport, and if your flight departs from Terminal 3, you can use one of the many Emirates business class lounges, of course, and the ability to enjoy lounges at airports around of the world using the affiliate networks of the airlines to which flydubai belongs.

On the board, you will be able to enjoy the personalized, professional and superior service of crew members who are in the service of business-class passengers. Choose a delicious meal from the menu where you can find specialties from a variety of international cuisines. My recommendation is to try Arabic cuisine specialties and I am sure you will enjoy the undiscovered flavours so far!

The flight from Belgrade to Dubai takes about 6 hours on average and I believe that your flight will be comfortable and fun, whether you choose to travel economy or business class with flydubai. Friendly staff, landscapes you’ll encounter along the way and who knows, you might meet someone on the flight.

I was able to meet an interesting lady in her late years who is visiting her daughter in Dubai. I have learned so many interesting things about this quaint modern city and received first-hand recommendations what I should not miss in Dubai!

Dubai is the most populated city in the United Arab Emirates and the capital of Dubai. Located in the eastern Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf coast, Dubai has occupied the central business center of Western Asia. It is also the world’s premier transportation hub for travelers and goods. Oil revenues helped accelerate the development of the city, which was already a major trading hub.

Today, less than 5% of the Emirates’ revenue comes from oil. Research from the Center for Regional and International Trade shows that, since the early 20th century, Dubai’s economy has largely relied on revenues from trade, tourism, aviation, real estate and financial services.

The history of human settlement in the area where the United Arab Emirates is now located is unusual and very complex. A large number of historical records point to the closely related trade links between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia civilizations.

Archeological sites in the emirate of Dubai, especially in Al-Ashoosh, Al Sufouh, and extremely rich sites from Saruk Al Hadid, show settlement through the periods of Ubaid and Hafit, the Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suk periods, and the three Iron Age in the UAE.

This part was known to the Sumerians as Magan and was a source of metal ores, especially copper and bronze. The area was covered with sand about 5,000 years ago as the coast receded inland, becoming part of what is now the city’s coastline. The great find is pre-Islamic pottery found in the present-day city of Dubai, dating from the third and fourth centuries.

Before the introduction of Islam in the area, people in this region worshiped Bajir (or Bajar). Following the spread of Islam in the region, the Umayyad Caliph of the Eastern Islamic world invaded Southeast Arabia and expelled the Sassans. Excavations at the Dubai Museum in the Al-Jumairah region (Jumeirah) have found several artifacts from the Umaiyad period. The Venetian pearl dealer Gasparo Balbi visited this city in 1580 and mentioned Dubai (Dibei) which was significant at that time because of the pearl trade.

Dubai is thought to have been established as a fishing village in the early 18th century and by 1822 it had acquired the status of a city of between 700 and 800 members of the Bani Ias tribe and was subject to the rule of Sheikh Tahnun bin Shakhbut of Abua Dhabi . However, in 1833, after a tribal altercation, members of the Al Bu Falasah tribe separated from Abu Dhabi and settled in Dubai.

The Abu Dhabi exodus was led by Obeid bin Saeed and Maktoum bin Butti, who also became supreme authorities in Dubai until Obeid died in 1836, leaving Maktum in a bid to establish a new Maktoum dynasty.

Dubai signed the General Maritime Treaty of 1820 and together with other countries, following the British criminal expedition against Ras Al Khaimah of 1819, which also led to the bombing of the Gulf coastal communities. This led to a permanent maritime truce of 1853. Dubai, like its neighbors, also signed an exclusivity agreement in which the United Kingdom assumed responsibility for the security of the emirates in 1892.

Throughout the 1970s, Dubai continued to develop thanks to oil and trade revenue, even as an influx of immigrants fleeing the Lebanese civil war. Border disputes between the emirates continued after the formation of the UAE. In 1979, a formal compromise was reached that ended all disagreements. Jebel Ali Harbor was established in 1979 and JAFZA (Jebel Ali Free Zone) was built around the port in 1985 to allow foreign companies unrestricted imports of labor and capital.

Dubai Airport and the aerospace industry also continued to grow at a high rate of speed. Unfortunately for the 1990 Gulf War, Dubai experienced a major negative financial effect as major investors withdrew their money and chain stores closed their stores, but afterwards the city recovered in a changing political climate and managed to overcome all political and financial problems.

Later in the 1990s, many foreign trade communities – first from Kuwait, during the Gulf War, and later from Bahrain, in times of Shia unrest – moved their business to Dubai. The city had bases for filling up Allied forces in the Jebel Ali Free Zone during the Gulf War. The massive rise in oil prices after the Gulf War encouraged Dubai to continue to focus on free trade and tourism.

The number of tourist attractions and activities has increased significantly in recent years. There are many more options now than before, because all the activities were part of many hotel chains because the city did not have tourist attractions. Just the opening of the large Dubai Mall and the construction of the heart of the city (Dubai Downtown) have helped to expand the number of tourist attractions that make Dubai one of the most recognized in the world today.

The most striking attractions that have certainly changed the look of the city are the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain.

Burj Khalifa is known as the tallest building in the world. Visitors can take a special elevator to the 124th floor, which is known as the most beautiful vantage point from which Dubai can be seen in the palm of your hand. The Dubai Fountain, on the other hand, is the largest music fountain in the world that you can always visit for free, and it is part of the Dubai Mall.

Of course, besides the fountain at Dubai Mall, you can enjoy the winter magic at the spacious ice rink, aquarium and KidZania which is designed as a modern children’s playroom, believe me you have never had such a chance to see in your life. Honest to not be 27 years old, I would go play there all day long without break!

Bastakiya is known as a neighborhood marked in all travel guides and magazines as the old part of Dubai with a soul in which to keep the old city spirit and heritage. It was built at the end of the 19th century thanks to the Persian merchants who were attached to Dubai because of the easy and easy way to trade, and this is why this part of the city is named after the city of Bastak located in the south of Iran.

Many renovated buildings in this part of the city today still have special air conditioning systems called “Wind Towers” which was an interesting concept for the air conditioning of homes and commercial buildings. Today, most of the buildings in this part of the city are privately owned – homes and there are buildings of great cultural and social importance such as:

  1. Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Center
  2. The Museum of Dubai
  3. Arabian Tea House (formerly Basta Artistic Cafe)
  4. Majlis Gallery where works by local and international artists can be found.
  5. Ostra Gallery where you can find works of contemporary modern art and sculpture

Exactly 7 years ago, in February 2013, the Dubai Miracle Garden, a 72,000-meter flower garden, opened as part of the Dubailand complex. It is the largest flower garden in the world. The garden has a total of 45 million species of flowers maintained through a special irrigation system that uses wastewater that has been treated and plants are irrigated using a drip irrigation system.

During the summer from late May to September, when temperatures can be extremely high, with an average temperature of around 40 degrees, the garden is closed to the public.

Seeing the garden in full bloom with its 150 million flowers arranged in colorful bows, patterns and the myriad of shapes it forms is truly a magnificent experience for all your senses. Dubai Miracle Garden won two Guinness World Records for the largest vertical garden in 2013 and the largest flower sculpture in the world, shaping the shape of the 2016 Airbus A380.

The distinctive sculpture in this park is a masterpiece 18 meters high and is also the first Disney flower display in the Middle East and is made of almost 100,000 plants and flowers and weighs almost 35 tons. Every year, Dubai Miracle Garden changes its look and shows visitors a whole new concept and design experience. This unusual garden is visited by more than 1.5 million visitors a year.

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of the special blog post from Dubai. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Dubai Tourist Board – Visit Dubai and flydubai for this incredible adventure and Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home. Also I would like to say huge thank you for this great adventure.

This time, flydubai recognized the quality of my work and they wanted to be part of this amazing project. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of Middle East in a completely different way.

How do you like this story about this oriental luxury centre of the Middle East called Dubai? Have you maybe had a chance to visit United Arab Emirates? I would like to share with me your experience! See you next week with another interesting story!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,
Mr.M

This post was sponsored by Visit Dubai and flydubai airline company. I would like to say thank you to Four Seasons Hotel DIFC for having me. This trip was an extraordinary experience for me!

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Letters from Egypt: Alexandria, the City of great Charm…

Dear adventurers, welcome to my blog. I hope you have successfully completed all your commitments and that the preparation for a good weekend fun can begin! Today we continue our adventure in Egypt, after Cairo and Giza it is time to introduce to you the cradle of Hellenism and the amanet of Alexander the Great – Alexandria!

There are few cities in the world with such a magnificent, long and interesting history as Alexandria has. This interesting city, which lies on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, was founded by Alexander the Great, dating back to 331 BCE, and is named after him. But long before the arrival of Alexander the Great, the famous Greek poet Homer wrote with great enthusiasm about this part of Africa in his Odyssey, most notably the island of Pharos.

The only remnants of the prehistoric harbor, which Homer also mentions, were found on the shores of Pharos Island. Opposite this island, on the mainland of Egypt, was a small village, fortified exactly where Pompey’s pillar stands today. As ancient Egyptian civilization developed mainly along the Nile River, very little is known about Pharos Island.

In the 4th century BC Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia, came to Egypt. When he came to Memphis, the Egyptians greeted him with enthusiasm, because they despised the authority of the Persians. Alexander the Great was extremely young and at the age of 25, already was a celebrated conqueror, who began his long journey through Greece, Asia Minor and Syria, defeating and with great ease defeating all the Greek and Persian forces got in the way. He had plans for a much longer trip to Persia, Central Asia and India.

But first he had to visit the oasis of Siva and consult with the prophecy of Ammon. On his way to the oasis, Alexander the Great watched with admiration the landscape between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Mareotis, as well as the nearby island. He ordered the establishment of a city to be the capital of the region. This location was ideal because it was located “in the middle” of Greater Greece, opposite the Mediterranean Sea, and the rest of Egypt. At that time, the Nile was connected to the Red Sea by a single channel, so Alexandria could also serve as a gateway to the Indian Ocean.

The city plan was made by the Greek architect Dinokrates, and the exterior walls of the city were marked by Alexander the Great himself. Thus, on April 7, 331 BC, the new capital of Egypt, Alexandria, emerged. The city was named after Alexander the Great, although he immediately left the city and did not see any of the buildings erected there. However, when he died, Alexander the Great was returned to Alexandria and buried there. After Alexander the Great’s death, none of his successors appeared to inherit the united kingdom.

Before taking the city tour, my photographer and I, along with a team from the Egyptian Tourism Authority, settled into a hotel. I just got those two hours to freshen up and make sure I could start exploring Alexandria. As you can see my first impressions of the hotel are wonderful because I got a beautiful room overlooking the sea…

Today, Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt and a major economic center, extending about 32 km along the Mediterranean coast, in the north-central part of the country. Its altitude in the Nile Delta makes it very vulnerable and sensitive to the very rise in sea level. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from the Suez Canal. Alexandria has also become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Egypt today.

Since the late 18th century, Alexandria has become a major hub for the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading hubs in the world because it has profited from the light land link between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, and the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton.

Born in Hellenism, Alexandria was virtually nothing from one of the largest, if not the largest, cities in the world. During the first three Ptolemies, the city transformed from the sand of the Mediterranean coasts into the world’s largest scientific and intellectual Mecca. Of the heritage of Ptolemy, many sights remain: the lighthouse on Pharos, one of the wonders of the old world; a large library; Heptastadion; the temple of the god Serapis; numerous palaces…

It is well known that in Egypt at that time everything was not just “honey and milk”. Apart from the earliest period, taxes in Egypt were highest in the Old World. The Royal Palace was the center of royal intrigues and family scandals, including homicides. But it must still be said that the first three Ptolemies marked the golden age of Alexander’s city.

In the photo above, you can see the Pompey’s Pillar, the Roman triumphal pillar in Alexandria, the largest of its kind built outside the imperial capitals of Rome and Constantinople. The only known free-standing building structure in Roman Egypt. Pompey’s pole is one of the largest ancient monoliths and one of the largest monolithic columns ever erected.

Someone might think that Pompey’s Pillar is the only notable landmark in the archaeological site. It certainly looks like it, but the reality is a little different. Aside from the two sphinxes that guard the pillar, the rest of the area looks like a little more than just a ruin.

As you move away from Pompey’s Pillar and continue down the marked path, you will notice that the discarded wooden boards lead the way back to the pillar itself. It seems odd, but if you follow it you will see a small partially hidden path. Here you will find the “Daughter of the Library of Alexandria” and the Serapeum Temple.

The daughter of the Library of Alexandria was a small extension of the main library in Alexandria. Over 7000 files are preserved here. Today you can explore the interior of the remains of the library and it’s probably not as impressive as one might imagine. If you are a fan of Egyptian history, like me, visiting this library will only bring you unparalleled happiness and joy because you have learned something new!

Serapeum Temple is probably one of the most magnificent buildings in the Pompey Pillar archeological complex. Today you could walk past it without noticing it! The temple is located right next to the “Daughter of the Library of Alexandria”. Today you can still find a replica of the bull statue where the original was originally placed. This landmark was most destroyed during the attacks of Christians during their struggles aimed at eradicating paganism. Only Pompey’s pillar, two sphinxes and the remains of the daughter of the Library of Alexandria and the Serapeum Temple are left.

After visiting this archaeological site, we continued our tour of Alexandria and the famous modern version of the Library of Alexandria – Bibliotheca Alexandrina, since the previous one we can only imagine and magnify in our imagination was completely destroyed in a great fire.

The Alexandrina Library is the main library and cultural center located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Alexandria. It is also the only memory of the Library of Alexandria lost in ancient times and an attempt to recreate some of the splendor that represented this center of study and erudition. The idea of reviving the old library dates back to 1974, when the board that set up the University of Alexandria selected land for its new library. Construction work began in 1995 and after about $ 220 million was spent, the complex officially opened in October 2002.

Today’s modern library has shelves for nearly eight million books, with the library’s main reading room occupying an area of nearly 20,000 square meters. The newly opened complex also houses a conference center, specialized libraries for old maps, multimedia, four museums, four art galleries for temporary exhibitions, 15 permanent exhibitions, a planetarium and a manuscript restoration laboratory.

The reading of the scripture is fully adapted for the disabled (visually impaired, blind and deaf people) and also wheelchair-bound people can enjoy this modern cultural complex without any problems.

You can see interesting permanent exhibitions and exhibitions on Egyptian history at the Museum, located within the new modern complex of the Library of Alexandria. You can always learn something new and get the opportunity to learn something new about the culture and lifestyle of peoples in Ancient Egypt.

The dimensions of this complex are really impressive, the library has a shelf space of eight million books with a main reading room covering 20,000 square meters (220,000 square meters of the entire complex) at eleven cascading levels.

The complex also houses a conference center, specialized libraries for maps, multimedia, a special center for the blind and visually impaired, a center for young people and children together with libraries, four museums, four art galleries for temporary exhibitions, 15 permanent exhibitions, a planetarium and a restoration laboratory. of the manuscript.

The architecture of the library is equally striking. The main reading room is located below the roof with glass panels over 30 meters high, sloping toward the sea like an umbrella. The walls are of gray Aswan granite, with carved figures from 120 different scriptures. The collection housed in the Alexandrina Library is donated from almost every corner of the globe. The Spanish donated documents detailing their period of Moor rule. The French also made their contribution, donating to the library documentation relating to the construction of the Suez Canal like many others.

The most interesting museum in this complex is the Sadat Museum. Older generations who were interested in the political scene in the world must have once heard from Anwar Sadat, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

The Sadat Museum is the first museum in Alexandria dedicated to the late President Anwar Sadat. Located on an area of 260 square meters. The museum is part of an effort to document the history of modern Egypt. Before entering the museum, visitors have the opportunity to watch a show about President Sadat. It is also available to watch 12 hours of video content donated by Egyptian national television. These recordings include numerous speeches by President Sadat, an account of all the documents on the Egyptian-Israeli peace process and the October War, and a collection of recordings never aired in Egypt or the Arab world.

This museum also exhibits a collection of Sadat’s personal belongings, such as his radio, desk, and his personal library, which contains a collection of very rare books that have been donated to him by many influential people and other politicians. In addition, visitors will find a large number of Sadat’s portraits along with a collection of Arab swords, memorial shields, his personal stick, pipe and special national costume that he wore whenever he visited his hometown, Mit Abul Kom, located in northern Egypt.

The museum contains numerous decorations and honors bestowed in Egypt and other countries on President Sadat at various stages of his life, along with numerous gold, silver, bronze and copper decorations that he and Mrs. Jehan Sadat received as a gift.

Here you can see an interesting collection of President Sadat’s civilian and military suits, the most important of which is the military suit soaked in blood he wore on the day of the October 6, 1981 assassination.

One day was fulfilled and we learned a lot about interesting things about ancient and modern Egypt. Alexandria is a big city and you cannot visit all the sights in just one day. My recommendation is to set aside for Alexandria 2 to 3 days, if you can and more because you will be able to find out more.

Citadel of Qaitbay is a 15th-century defensive fortress located on the Mediterranean coast in Alexandria. It was built in 1477 by Sultan Al-Ashraf Sef al Din Din Qa’it Bay. Qaitbay Fortress in Alexandria is considered one of the most important strongholds of defense, not only in Egypt but along the Mediterranean coast. It formed an important part of the fortification system of Alexandria in the 15th century.

This citadel is located at the entrance to the eastern port at the eastern point of Pharos Island. It was erected in the exact spot of the famous Alexandria Lighthouse, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The lighthouse continued to operate until the time of the Arab conquest, then several disasters occurred and the shape of the lighthouse changed to some extent. The reconstruction began in the period of Ahmed Ibn Tulun. During the 11th century there was an earthquake that damaged the octagonal part.

The foundation survived the impact, but could only serve as a tower, and a small mosque was built at the top. In the 14th century a very devastating earthquake occurred and the entire building was completely destroyed.

Sultan Qaitbay traveled to Alexandria, along with several other Mameluke princes, to visit the site of the old lighthouse and during this visit ordered the construction of the Citadel. In the month of Shaban, Sultan Qaytbey traveled to Alexandria again when construction was completed. He secured the fort with a brave legion of soldiers and various weapons. He also, as Ibn Aias mentioned, dedicated several vakufs from which he financed construction work as well as the salaries of soldiers. During the Mameluke period, and because of its strategic position, the Citadel was well maintained by all the rulers who came after Sultan Qaitbay.

The citadel was neglected for some time, until 1904 when the upper part of the fort was rebuilt by the Ministry of Defense. King Farouk wanted to turn the Citadel into a royal holiday home, so he ordered a speedy reconstruction. Following the 1952 revolution, Egyptian naval troops converted the building into a Maritime Museum. The largest restoration work dates back to 1984, when the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities made ambitious plans to rebuild the fort.

My dear adventurers, once again we have come to the end of our third special post from series of post from my Egyptian adventure. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Egyptian Tourism Authority for this incredible adventure and Mediterranean Azur Hotel their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.

How do you like this story about Egypt? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Alexandria? I would like to share with me your experience! See you soon on some other interesting destination!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,
Mr.M

This post was sponsored by Egyptian Tourism Authority. I would like to say thank you to Mediterranean Azur Hotel for having us. The flights were like on the magic carpet thanks to Austrian Airlines. I also thank my friends from Sony who made it possible to enjoy in these beautiful photos made with the Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera with Sony FE 24-70 mm lense from special G Master series of professional lenses.
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Letters from Egypt: Lost Kingdom somewhere between priceless Treasures of Egyptian Museum in Cairo…

My dear travellers, how are you today? I sincerely hope you are well and ready for another new story from far away Africa. In a previous post, you had the opportunity to get to know the capital of Egypt – Cairo and the suburbs of Giza, where the only remaining world wonders of the ancient world are located – The Pyramids.

If you have not been able to read my previous post from Egypt, now is the perfect moment just to take a few minutes to enjoy the beauty of Cairo and the Pyramids as today’s post will be a continuation of my previous story from Cairo. Specifically, when I saw that according to the plan and program of visits to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, I thought it would be enough to round out with one post just to make the full story of Cairo.

Before I begin my today’s post, I would like to thank the Egyptian Tourism Authority once again for their cordial invitation. It was a great pleasure for me to get to know Egypt and to get the opportunity to bring the cradle of civilization to all my dear readers and adventurers who love to read my travel stories.

After visiting the museum, my photographer and I realized that there would be a lot more material and we decided that it might be best to dedicate a special post to this treasury. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is located in the heart of the city close to famous hotel chains. A person from the Egyptian Tourism Authority told us that due to the crowds, we could see if there was a possibility of early entry into the museum.

When we came to the museum, I could see for myself the river of people waiting to buy tickets and enter the museum. I must admit that I was pleased to see people interested in the history of the ancient great Egyptian Kingdom.

The exhibition of the museum is divided into several epochs and from the very entrance to the museum your story through history begins with the oldest royal dynasties that ruled Egypt during their history dating back to just over 4500 years BC.

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known as the Egyptian Museum or Museum in Cairo, is home to one of the largest collections of ancient Egyptian antiquities. Under one roof you can find about 120,000 items, most of the items are on display, while a smaller part is kept in special sections of the museum, which is closed to the public. The museum building was built in 1901 by the Italian construction company Garozzo-Zaffarani according to the design of French architect Marcel Dourgnon.

This museum is one of the largest museums in Africa. It is believed that with the opening of the new Grand Egyptian Museum in 2020, the new museum will be the largest museum in the world. If I’m lucky enough, we may be reading some news about Cairo’s new museum next year at this time on Mr.M blog, wish me luck! 🙂

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo contains many important parts of the history of ancient Egypt. It houses the world’s largest collection of ancient pharaohs. The Egyptian government established a museum that was built long ago in 1835 near the Ezbekeyah Garden and later moved to the Cairo Citadel. A little later in 1855, the Egyptian government donated all the artifacts to Duke Maximilian of Austria. These objects are currently in the Museum of the Kunsthistorisches in Vienna.

When I captured this photo above, the first thing on my mind was: “Sorry Klimt, but the first Kiss was made in Egypt!”. Let’s continue with our story… The new museum was founded on Boulaq in 1858 in a former warehouse, following the founding of the new Department of Antiquities under the administration of Auguste Mariette. The building was located on the bank of the Nile River, and in 1878 suffered significant damage during the Nile flood. In 1891, all collections of objects were moved to the former royal palace, in the Giza Cairo district.

There, all the exhibits remained there until 1902, when they were last moved to the present museum in Tahrir Square, built by the Italian company Giuseppe Garozzo and Francesco Zaffrani according to the project of French architect Marcel Dourgnon.

15 years ago, the museum received the first female general director of Egyptian Museum – Wafaa El Saddik. During the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, the museum was demolished and two mummies destroyed. After repairing the damage, the workers at the museum realized that several important artifacts were damaged during the invasion of the museum. When they completed the final list of items, about 50 objects were missing. Fortunately, so far, in cooperation with the authorities, the museum has been able to locate and reclaim 25 items. The museum and certain items were restored and were set up in 2013 in an exhibition titled Damaged and Renovated.

Among the exhibited artifacts are two statues of King Tutankhamun, made of cedar wood with gilding, a statue of King Akhenaten, a statue of Ushabti belonging to Nubian kings, a mummy of a child and a small polychrome glass vase.

During this visit I learned a lot of interesting things and memorized some interesting stories that I will share with you today. For example, in the previous picture and in the picture before it, you see statues with a male character. It was women! In ancient Egypt, women who claimed to be rulers had to prove to the people that they were strong enough and able to carry out politics and govern Egypt in a wise way. The sculptures you see are related to an earlier period of the great Egyptian Empire, long before the Cleopatra we all know a lot about.

Its predecessors had to pave the way for women in politics and it was much more difficult because their sculptures initially had a male character to be respected and appreciated by the people and recognised as powerful rulers.

Do you remember the Great Cheops Pyramid from your previous post? It is the largest pyramid in Giza built for himself for the afterlife by the famous Pharaoh Khufu, who was the second pharaoh of the fourth dynasty of the old kingdom.

My guide, who helped me better understand the history of ancient Egypt, asked: “Marko, are you ready to see the largest statue of Pharaoh of Cheops ?!”. I briefly answered “yes” and nodded significantly and wondered if I would be able to make a good photo as some statues were so large that I struggled to capture them… However, we came into the room and the guide showed with a smile a statue of the great King of Khufu that can fit in a slightly larger pocket of a jacket or coat… This is for now the only and largest figure of Pharaoh of Cheops that archaeologists have been able to find. (picture above)

This statue showed that over time the position of women in the society of ancient Egypt changed. The woman has become a strong and stable pillar of the family! Here is a slim and healthy woman who, despite everything, stayed with her husband.

There are various interpretations of the male figure, perhaps the husband was ill from birth or was injured and he is smaller than the woman. If you look a little better, he has two children instead of legs, which in some way completely compensate for his lack, and with a strong wife, their life goes on without any problems. After a long period, this is the first figure where the female character is smiling and firmly holding the man with much love. Such figures have not been made before in ancient Egypt…

Family happiness was also recorded in the royal family. You can see here one Pharaoh spending time with his wife and children. Usually in royal portraits spouses are not close and showed not the slightest kind of affection and kindness. This was the first portrait of the royal family where all members in everyday life can be seen. The direction of the history of Ancient Egypt is changing and we are slowly coming to the new dynasties that ruled Egypt.

Now we come to an interesting part of the exibition of this museum. I’m sure we all remembered some details about the history of Egypt and how the Egyptians were devout had their gods and believed in the afterlife. Since then, social classes were expressed, depending on which one you belong to depend on your ability to adequately prepare for life after death.

Let’s start with the richer ones. The couple from the court who were otherwise ancestors of the famous Pharaoh Tutankhamun, more precisely Yuya was his great-grandfather, while Thuya was his great-grandmother. They lived during the period of the 18th New Kingdom dynasty. At the Egyptian Museum in Cairo you can see their remains, as well as the remains of other pharaohs whose tombs were found in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Until the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, Yuya’s and Thuya’s tomb was one of the most spectacular ever found in the Valley of the Kings, despite Iuia not even being a Pharaoh. Although the burial place was looted in ancient times, many items that were not considered worthy of looting by the robbers remained. Both mummies are largely intact and were in amazing and preserved condition. Their faces have been particularly distorted by the process of mummification and provide remarkable insight into the real and natural appearance of the deceased while alive.

Yuya and his wife were buried in the Valley of the Kings, where James Kuibell discovered their tomb in 1905. Although robbers broke into the tomb, perhaps upset because Kuibell had already found most of the funeral equipment and two mummies that were virtually untouched. As Egyptologist Cyril Aldred noted: Although the tomb was ruptured in ancient times, the funeral repository was largely intact, there was no doubt about the identity of the pair found among the cut canvases inside their tombs.

As they were a couple who lived in the court and the ancestors of the famous Tutankhamun, they are the best example of what the preparation of the wealthier social class in Egypt looked like. Due to administrative problems and the large crowds in the museum, it was necessary to vacate the room in order to make the photos of Tutankhamun’s treasures, but because of the large number of visitors it was not possible at that moment with all the goodwill of the Ministry of Antiquities and the Ministry of Tourism of which I was a guest. and because of our plan and program, I was unable to return before the museum closed and failed to make the photos.

The problem is that otherwise Tutankhamun’s treasure should not be photographed, except for special media delegations when the room is vacated because of the value of the items, it is not possible to make photos in groups, but solely individually and under supervision.

A statue that was found in the Tutankhamun tomb that was a form of protection for the tomb itself. Just over 5,000 items were found in the tomb, including a solid gold casket, an obituary face mask weighing about 11 pounds, thrones, archery bows, trumpets, a lotus chalice, food, wine, sandals and linen linen.

Recent analysis shows that the dagger found in the tomb had an iron blade made of meteorite. The study of artifacts of the time, including other artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb, could provide valuable information on metalworking technology throughout the Mediterranean at that time.

The history of ancient Egypt was turbulent and was marked by many personalities who made their stories to keep the stories of Egypt alive and to be the works that the world will forever talk about. They were advanced in their time, they had faith and their beliefs that led them to the goal.

Today, all these exhibits are part of history and have their own story and attract people all over the world to come to Cairo. The “star of the day” was the God of the underworld and the mummification of Anubis. It was hard to come by, you can see for yourself how many people were waiting just to be able to make photo of Anubis. I’m also sure you may have remembered that all the people who were mummifying wore the Anubis mask on their face during the process.

In the picture above you can see what a mummy of a young female person looked like during the Roman Empire time in Egypt. New details are present and pictures of the deceased are inserted. The mummification technique and the making of the casket have changed significantly. It is believed that this young woman was from a wealthy family by the way the coffin was made.

An example of a New Kingdom death mask in Egypt. It is made for a young male person.

My dear adventurers, once again we have come to the end of our special post from series of post from my Egyptian adventure. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Egyptian Tourism Authority for this incredible adventure and Conrad Cairo Hotel and Marriott Mena House Hotel for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.

I also would like to say huge thank you to employees of the Egyptian Museum and my wonderful guide who did his best to make story about Egyptian history more closer to my readers.

How do you like this story about Egypt? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Cairo and Giza and to enjoy in the beauty of the incredible pyramids? I would like to share with me your experience! See you soon on some other interesting destination!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,
Mr.M

This post was sponsored by Egyptian Tourism Authority. I would like to say thank you to Conrad Cairo Hotel by Hilton and Marriott Mena House for having us. The flights were like on the magic carpet thanks to Austrian Airlines. I also thank my friends from Sony who made it possible to enjoy in these beautiful photos made with the Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera with Sony FE 24-70 mm lense from special G Master series of professional lenses.
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Letters from Rovaniemi: One day with Furry Friends…

Dear My travellers, welcome to the new post on Mr.M blog. As I promised you today, we are starting a new adventure somewhere in Northern Europe, more precisely in the north of Finland – Lapland. At the very beginning, I would like to thank the national Finnish airline company Finnair and the Rovaniemi Tourist Board – Visit Rovaniemi for this wonderful experience.

Have you ever wondered how looks like daily life in Lapland? Lapland is a cultural region in Finland, which is known as the home of the world’s most desirable grandpa – Santa Claus. In addition, Lapland is known as the Saami country that settled this land 7,000 years ago. The first inhabitants were exclusively engaged in hunting and fishing.

In addition to hunting and fishing, the process of domestication and raising of reindeers has begun. Saami people are inhabitants of the Arctic of the Sapmi region, which includes today’s space of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola peninsula in Russia. They are the only remaining autochthonous people of the European Union who lived in Lapland even before the national borders were established and their history was nearly 7,000 years old.

I must admit that when I received an invitation from the Rovaniemi Tourist Board to come and visit the heart of Lapland, I felt a great satisfaction and special feeling of happiness. I am honored because I have the opportunity to be one of the ambassadors of the city and share my stories on the blog of this charming town in Lapland.

Today’s post will be dedicated to lovely beings who love us unconditionally, regardless of everything. Our most sophisticated four-legged furry friends who do not leave us when it comes to the worst periods of our lives, who don’t know the value of money and seek only for love, little food, a warm space when it’s cold and rainy, and in return you will get incredible love for the lifetime…

Valentijn is the person who dedicated most of his life to the Husky, a breed that has always fascinated him. The Husky is a dog which is totally different from all other breeds because of its excessive love for running. “It’s a special dog that is not for every owner!”, This is the first sentence I’ve heard from Valentijn, a man who for almost 20 years loves this incredible breed of incredible dogs.

This breed for centuries has been used exclusively for sledding and racing, and today they attract attention with their beautiful fur and incredible color of the eyes. During my visit to Bearhill Husky kennel, owned by Valentijn and his family, I learned many new things about this breed of dogs, as well and some of his wishes and dreams that he plans to achieve in the future.

The Husky is a fast, powerful and agile dog, a real athlete who simply has an incredible desire to run. Some people would have thought it was too much of an effort for the animal, but as I just mentioned, Husky is a breed that has been used for sledding and racing as well.

Dogs, like humans, have their own desires and needs. Each dog is a personality for itself, you have those dogs who are simply born to be leaders and lead others in the team and those who need someone to lead them and direct them in the right way. This is also one of the most basic rule in raising this breed of dogs.

In Bearhill Husky kennel, Valentijn and his team build with all dogs a relationship that will be beneficial to the dog, while meeting all the basic needs of the dog to be happy and satisfied. Valentijn, alongside his family, has another large four-legged furry family of more than 100 members. Beside the fact that he had the opportunity to grow up in Africa, most members of his furry family are named after by the tribes, rivers and lakes in Africa.

All members of this furry family have some of their responsibilities, younger members carelessly enjoy the charm of growing up and childhood while coaches work with them to learn some of the basic commands such as sit, lay down, turn around. I have to admit that it was so sweet to see the youngest members of the furry family who are confused looking at the coach and the older dog who is there to properly train them. Depending on the age of the dog, the tempo of training is properly individually adjusted.

The youngest members – puppies 2,3 months old exclusively stay in the “dog nursery” with their mother and all initial trainings are done with the help of their mother who shows them basic commands as the best model. In this way puppies easier to learn commands more quickly.

The first more serious trainings for young dogs start when they are 7,8 months old where the dogs reach a certain age and strength they need to work and train. After that, young adolescents dogs successfully direct their attention and energy and easily overcome new tasks.

I attended the training of young puppies who are currently learning the first and most important command – to return home. After 14 years, I again had the opportunity to see so many cute puppies on one place so much amount of sweetness in one place, since it was 14 years now when I chose my best furry friend – Bebi (Labrador – Golden Retriever). I was a kid and it was my first time to see so many little souls in one place. After so many years, with a little help of the Tourist Board of the city of Rovaniemi, I again felt that excitement in Bearhill Husky kennel!

Now you will understand a quote “the dog is the best man’s friend”, that is really one big truth. Dogs do not care if you are rich or poor, he will always give you love, and as your best friend, you will become his whole world and help him to connect with the rest of the world.

When you bring a dog into your life, you need to know the fact that it is not a toy, it is a living being that feels it all. Dogs, like humans, are afraid of being alone and being rejected, so always before you take a pretty and cute puppy, keep in mind the fact that puppy will grow up and become an adult dog, and after a senior dog then you have to help him when he is the hardest time. So you need to be aware of all those important thing before you get a dog or any animal.

Dogs may not be able to speak, but they can show you the love with their unselfish gestures just to show their devotion which is priceless. Each owner has to help his dog understand some things, without any use of violence of any form, as this can affect the dog. Like humans, not all dogs are over-intelligent. Some dogs need more time to master some commands and rules, while some dogs need significantly less time to learn the commands.

If you don’t teach your dog or hire professionals to help your dog, your dog will not be able to behave and to learn some things then you must be prepared to understand some things and you wouldn’t have to be angry at your furry friend, because he didn’t have opportunity to understand you what you really want.

Valentijn equally loves all members of his furry family, but only slightly shows love to the youngest members of his community, while on the other hand those oldest members who have more than 10 years show love after training. Regardless of age, every dog likes to cuddle and play with his owner.

These dogs are not trained to be pets, but they build a fair and friendly relationship that helps the dog to properly develop his personality, to meet all his basic needs and to keep the dog in good shape. Husky is a dog that love sledding and racing is absolutely in its blood, it is a true four-legged athlete who raise a lot of love for running. Running for this breed is not an effort, it is the joy of life that other breeds of dogs do not capable to do the same.

After I had the chance to see how looks like one day in a dog kennel where over 100 members each have something to “say”, you realize that this is a big mess, but also a cute noise. Valentijn patiently waited for us to feed together the youngest members of his furry crew, since after breakfast they go to training and on a small holiday where almost all puppets are going to sleep.

After the noise and distress, the rain distracted us, so we continued the story of his life and work in the Bearhill Husky kennel with tea and cookies in his interesting cabin.

Valentijn as a little boy, was raised with huge love for this dog breed. Since this job requires a lot of investment, it was necessary to pass a certain period of time and finally managed to open his kennel after more than 15 years of hard work.

Every kennel’s owner dreams to have the best dog team for sledding and race. Valentijn told me his biggest dream is to go to Alaska, where the biggest snow sledding race is held, where only the best dog kennels come from the whole world with their sledding breeds. This race is not at all naïve, it lasts for a couple of days, there is a specially defined route with which dogs must pass, but they also take great care of their safety.

Specifically this sledding race itself lasts for several days and each team has at the beginning 14 to 16 dogs in their teams. Of course, due to unforeseen circumstances, some dogs do not finish the race because of their effort, they stay quarantined until the end of the race, depending on where the owner left them.

For this race, all kennel owners are preparing for years because the dog needs a certain racing experience besides the strength, so before this big sledding race, dogs go to less difficult races where they just get some experience and learn some rules of racing.

This race itself is very difficult both for dogs and for the owner who goes with them because only one person can go with the dogs in the team. Which means that the owner is there to feed the dogs, wearing them special jackets that are needed for these weather conditions and preparing the dogs for a successful continuation of the race. During the race there are certain places (smaller cities) in which each team can take a break, during which it can take food and water for dogs and other necessary equipment. There are also veterinarians who check the health condition of the dogs, so that everything is organized in the best possible way that dogs can do what they like most, TO RUN!

In these sledding races, the most important thing is to have dogs that simply have the cheerful spirit and who are always ready to continue their journey and in that way motivate other dogs in the team to continue the race. The more dogs like these you have you have a better chances of winning. After a couple of hours which I spent with this wonderful and very intelligent dog breed, my photographer and I continued to discover the beauty of Lapland, so we went to the hills with special bicycles.

I have to admit that for some time I was not active, although as I was as younger, I was constantly riding a bike around the mountain because my father insisted that in a healthy body you can find a healthy spirit. That is why my grandfather, grandmother and my father decided to buy a house on the mountain so that they could raise my awareness of the importance of sports and healthy mountain air in my sister and me as well.

My father still one sportive active guy, who is riding a bike around the mountain, while my sister and I decided to replace it with city transport! What my grandmother would say “Guys, your mission has failed!”. After a few years, little Marko again sat on a bicycle and with the help of Johannes, the guy who is one of the founders of the Roll Outdoors mini company, which allows all visitors to a slightly different way awaken their adventurous spirit and that with bikes of new generation with engines easier overcome obstacles and enjoy the nature of Lapland.

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of our post. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Visit Rovaniemi for this incredible adventure and Arctic Light Hotel for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.

How do you like this post about Lapland? Have you ever visited Rovaniemi? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Finland before? I would like to share with me your experience!

In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Lapland, and I will show you how you can spend quality time in Rovaniemi! I can’t wait to share all those beautiful photos with you. Stay tuned!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,
Mr.M

This post was sponsored by Visit Rovaniemi Tourist Board and the main partners of this project Finnair National Finnish airline company and Arctic Light Hotel. I also thank my friends from Bearhill Husky kennel, Roll Outdoors and my friends from Sony who made it possible to enjoy in these beautiful photos made with the Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera with Sony FE 24-70 mm lense from special G Master series of professional lenses.

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Postcard from Sardinia: Cagliari, Metropolitan city with a soul!

My dear travellers, how are you today? I hope you are ready for a new adventure, because after Malta it is a time to visit a “neighborhood” – Sardinia. Today’s post will be dedicated to the capital of this unusual Italian island – Cagliari, where I had the opportunity to spend a few wonderful days.

Before I start with today’s post, I would like to thank the organizers of this trip – the Regional Tourism Organization of Sardinia which normally belongs to the National Tourist Organization of the Republic of Italy. Without their help this journey would not be possible and I would not have the opportunity to share my impressions and the beauty of this interesting town today with all of you.

When you think of island tourism in Italy, people often think of Sicily. What people mostly forget is the beautiful pearl of the Mediterranean – Sardinia. Always wondered about the famous question which the island is better and why. The answer to this question is difficult to give, because it all depends on the personal preferences and needs of the passengers. Some say Sicily is better because it has more to show and that Palermo is a significantly more developed city, while on the other side for Sardinia travelers say that there are more beautiful beaches and that the jewel of Sardinia – Cagliari is also full of interesting touristic sights and that it can be equally with Palermo as well.

It’s a “fight” that will always be up to date, but my advice is to visit both islands and to feel the difference yourself. I had the opportunity to visit both islands and personally think that Sardinia is better because it has more natural beauties and if you want to provide yourself a real holiday without crowds, it is a perfect place to spend your holidays in Sardinia.

Cagliari (Sardinian: Casteddu) is the main, and also the largest city on the island. If by any chance we want to translate its meaning from the Sardinian language, its translation is extremely simple – CASTLE. Cagliari has about 160,000 inhabitants, while taking into the whole metropolitan area with other surrounding municipalities, this city boasts nearly 450,000 inhabitants. Cagliari is 26th place by size all over Italy and is the largest city in Sardinia.

Of course, this time I tried to find some interesting historical facts. Cagliari is an ancient city with a long history, experienced the rule of several civilizations. In the foundations of the buildings of today’s modern city, there are evidences which confirms the claims of scientists and historians that the first human settlement of this part of Italy began around five thousand years ago, from the Neolithic time to the present.

Historical sites that include the prehistoric house Domus de Janas, a large necropolis (a cemetery) from Cartagena, a Roman amphitheater, a Byzantine basilica, three towers from the time of Pisa and a powerful fortification system that has made the city a core of Spanish Habsburg in the western Mediterranean. The main natural beauties are natural sheltered port in Cagliari, a strong fortress Castel di Castro and a modern Casteddu city (Cagliari).

Cagliari was the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1324 to 1848, when Turin became the official capital of the kingdom (which in 1861 became the Kingdom of Italy). Today, the city is a regional cultural, educational, political and artistic center, famous for its diverse Secession architecture and several monuments. It is also known as the economic and industrial hub of Sardinia, which has one of the largest ports on the Mediterranean Sea and an international airport.

During the Second World War, the Allies bombed Cagliari in February 1943. To escape the danger of bombardment and difficult living conditions, many people have been evacuated from the city. After the war, large losses of human life were identified, and about 80% of buildings were damaged. After the war, the city itself won the gold medal of military courage.

After a ceasefire with allies in September 1943, the German army took control of Cagliari and the island, but soon retreated calmly to strengthen its positions in continental Italy. The US military then took control of Cagliari. After the war, the number of inhabitants of this lovely city began to grow again and numerous important facilities were built.

I will tell you some special useful information that you should know if you go to Sardinia. The international airport is located near the city, so you can reach the city center by train in only 5 minutes and the price of the ticket per direction is 1.30 euros. Also, in the very center of the city there is a supermarket at the square where are prices the cheapest in Italy.

The whole city can be reached by foot and from the main square to the sea coast you can reach quickly and easily because everything is relatively close and it is not necessary to use public transport. Of course, if you want to go to the beach you need to use public transport services, because some of the beaches are not close to the centre of the city itself.

The cathedral in Cagliari is a cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the Holy Cecilia. This is the seat of Archbishop of Cagliari.

The church was built in the 13th century, having received the status of cathedral in 1258. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the cathedral was restored. In the 1930s, it finally got a facade that we now have the opportunity to see in the neo-Romanesque style, inspired by the cathedral in Pisa.

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of our travel adventure. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Regional Tourism Board of Sardinia for this incredible adventure and for their huge efforts to make my stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.

How do you like this post about Sardinia? Have you ever visited this lovely island? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Cagliari before? I would like to share with me your experience!

In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Malta, and I will show you my last outfit which I wore on Malta Fashion Week! I can’t wait to share all those beautiful photos with you. After that we will together find out how looks like the North of Finland – Lapland, the land where lives the most beloved grandpa in the world – Santa Claus. Stay tuned!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,

Mr.M

This post was sponsored by Regional Tourism Board of Sardinia. I also thank my friends from Sony who made it possible to enjoy in these beautiful photos made with the Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera with Sony FE 24-70 mm lense from special G Master series of professional lenses.
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Letters from Malta: Gozo, your new happy place!

Dear my travellers, welcome to another new post from Malta. This series of posts from Malta was one of the longest I’ve ever worked on, but also one interesting experience. Certainly you would not expect one person who is afraid of water and does not know how to swim, while having extremely sensitive skin on sunlight, so he is protected from the sun as best as he knows, and besides all that he adores the seaside places. This person I described in the previous sentence is real ME, I was always delighted with Malta, and for years I had planned to go there, but my wish finally came true.

Today I will show you a natural oasis of peace, located not far from the island of Malta. Before I start with today’s post, I would like to thank the team from the Malta Tourism Authority, who made the most effort to present Malta at the best possible way and that I was able to feel all the beauties of this wonderful paradise island in the Mediterranean. Thanks again!

Gozo is the island of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, the island belongs to the Republic of Malta. After Malta, it is the second largest island in the archipelago. This island is totally different than the southeastern “neighbor”, Gozo is rural and famous for its picturesque hills, which make the relief of this lovely island.

The island of Gozo has long been linked to the island of Ogygia, the homeland of Calypso’s in Homer’s Odyssey. In this story, Calypso is nymph who possesses great supernormal powers, is fondly in love with Odyssey, holds him captive for several years, until finally she frees him to continue his journey home.

Since March 2015, nearly 40,000 inhabitants live on this island, and its inhabitants are known as Gozitans (Maltese: Għawdxin). Gozo possesses an extremely rich culture and history, which is of huge significance, such as the temples of Ggantija, which, along with other megalithic temples of Malta, are among the oldest natural existing structures in the world.

Gozo is mostly rural character and is not so developed and urban like Malta. It is well known for its Azure Window (natural sedimentary arc), a natural port that was an extraordinary masterpiece of nature, which unfortunately was destroyed in 2017 due to a natural disaster. The island has other significant natural sights, including the Inland Sea (lagoon) and Wied il-Mielaħ (natural sedimentary arc).

On the island there are many beaches, as well as coastal resorts that are popular with locals and tourists as well, and the most popular are Marsalforn and Xlendi. Gozo is considered one of the best diving destinations in the Mediterranean and the best natural center for water sports.

Of course, as always, I tried to find out some interesting facts about this unusual island. Gozo was inhabited from 5000 BC (before Christ), when farmers from nearby Sicily settled the island. Due to an interesting discovery of similar ceramics originating from the Gār Dalam era, it is believed that the first settlers of this island were from the area of ​​Agrigento, but it is currently not known where the farmers from Sicily came from. They are believed to have lived in caves on the periphery of today’s place on Gozo – San Lawrenz.

Gozo was an important place for cultural evolution, and during the neolithic period, the temples of Ggantija were built, which are among the oldest freestanding natural structures in the world, as well as the oldest religious facilities in the world. The name of the temple is in Maltese, due to “belonging to the giants”, because the legend in the Maltese and Gozitan folklore says that the temples were built by giants.

Another important Maltese archaeological site on Gozo, dating back to the Neolithic period, is the Xagra stone circle. Also, unconfirmed myths that were passed from generation to generation, some ancient Greek historians (especially Euhemerus and Callimachus) claim that Gozo is an island Homer which described as the island of Ogygia, the home of the beautiful nymph Calypso.

The Gozo was occupied by the Carthaginians, who erected a temple in Astarte on the island. It is believed that the island was merged with the Great Roman Empire around 218 BC, where the first bronze coins in the 1st century BC were also minted. On them there was the head of the Astarte in the form of a half-warrior, a star and legend Gaulitn.

In 1551, the Ottomans, led by Sinan Pasha and Dragut, attacked and devastated Gozo and seized most of the inhabitants, about 5,000, who were forcibly taken to Libya. The island of Gozo was resettled between 1565 and 1580 by the people of Malta, the period when Malta was under the leadership of the Order of St. John – the Maltese knights.

The history of Gozo is strongly linked to the history of Malta, since the island of Gozo was ruled by Malta, with a short period of autonomy after the uprising against the French forces following Napoleon’s conquest of Malta, between 1798 and 1801.

How can you reach the island of Gozo from Malta?

Tourists and local people can reach the island by ferry. There are regular daily departures between Mġarr port on Gozo and Keirkewwa on the northwestern coast of Malta. Departures are arranged so that every 45 minutes during the summer and during the winter you can enjoy the beauties of the island of Gozo. The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes in each direction. The service is used by travelers (locals, including students of Gozitan studying at the University of Malta and tourists), and is also used to transport goods between the island.

At the end of the 20th century, the first proposal was made to build a special underwater tunnel between Malta and Gozo. After some time, a feasibility study of the project was carried out where it was concluded that tunnel construction between these two islands is possible, but would have a negative impact on the environment. Of course, this project would allow people to go and visit the island whenever they want, but on the other hand, Gozo might have lost even the most valuable – natural beauty. We will see what will happen, I am sure that their leaders will make an appropriate decision that would contribute to the preservation of this natural treasure.

My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of our travel adventure. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Malta Tourism Authority for this incredible adventure and for their huge efforts to make my stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.

How do you like this post about Gozo? Have you ever visited this lovely island? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Malta before? I would like to share with me your experience!

In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Malta, and I will show you my other fashion outfits which I wore on Malta Fashion Week! I can’t wait to share all those beautiful photos with you.

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,

Mr.M

P.S. If you want to know more about Malta you should read my other posts, I am sure you will find plenty of interesting tips and information about this incredible island.

  1. Letters from Malta: The Mediterranean Love at First Sight… (Travel Post)
  2. Letters from Malta: Mdina. Silence speaks more than Words… (Travel Post)
  3. Letters from Malta: My Glamorous Escape to Valletta (Travel Post)
  4. Letters from Malta: Stylish and Fashionable Summer on the streets of Valletta (Fashion Outfit Post)

This post was sponsored by Malta Tourism Authority. I also thank my friends from Sony who made it possible to enjoy in these beautiful photos made with the Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera with Sony FE 24-70 mm lense from special G Master series of professional lenses.
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