Posts tagged summer 2020

Letters from Serbia: Divčibare, the natural kingdom of pine forests…

My dear travelers, welcome to my new post. Today I have prepared an interesting post for all nature lovers and I am sure you will enjoy it. I believe that the pandemic has changed our habits and that we have been forced to change our way of life so far. Worries, nervousness and fear became more and more frequent “visitors” during this pandemic and we need a return to nature.

Our ancestors used to say: “You can always find solutions to all problems in nature… Nature has its power!”. Today I decided to show you the beauties of Divcibare, a natural air spa in the Kolubara district. After this Coronavirus and lockdown situation you can come and #SeeSerbia and #ExploreSerbia.

I remember back in 2001 when my father received a recommendation from one of our family friends to visit Divcibare. My father, who is otherwise known as a great lover of nature, accepted with great pleasure the kind invitation of a friend to spend the holidays together with his family. That 2001, after a week of winter magic, my father decided to look for his second home in this natural paradise.

Year after year, Divcibare as a mountain center, together with the municipality of Valjevo, developed without losing its original, untouched natural beauty. By the time, Divcibare became a famous mountain-tourist place in Serbia and many found their second home there, even some people from other countries like Germany, Austria and other EU countries.

I have heard some stories that even one family from China decided after their visit to Divcibare to buy their cottage here, but to be honest, that story has never not been confirmed by someone who I personally know.

This mountain resort is located not far from the town of Valjevo and is one of the closest mountain complexes to capital Belgrade and Novi Sad. How did this air spa get its name?

Divcibare got its name thanks to the mountain river Crna Kamenica, which still flows through the center of this mountain complex. Based on a legend that is passed from generation to generation, a young shepherdess once drowned in this river during a summer torrent.

Due to this unpleasant situation, the mountain plateau was given the old Slavic name Divcibare, which in our language means “Girls’ ponds”. The name Divcibare itself is very old because it was first used in 1476 as the name of a Turkish village.

Prince Milos Obrenovic was among the first in Serbia to notice the healing and effective influence of the mountain climate of Divcibare on the human, and at the beginning of the 19th century he bought the whole of Divcibare from the Turkish Bali Bey. The locals claim that Prince Milos extremely loved and appreciated this area and gladly stayed here during the summer and winter period.

When we talk about the real tourist development of tourism in Divcibare, the first official forms of organized mountain tourism began at the beginning of the 20th century with the help of the Divcabare Health Association. The society was founded by the then respectable citizens of Valjevo. They built the first accommodation facilities and made the first urban plan for this mountain.

After the construction of the first accommodation capacities, the Ministry of Trade and Industry appointed Divcibare as the first air spa in our area. Tourism slowly but surely began to develop so that many famous families from Belgrade and surrounding cities began to come to Divcibare and this plateau became one of the most famous mountain tourist destinations in Serbia.

In the middle of the 20th century, tourism in this mountain center stopped its development, stagnated until the end of the 20th century when it started to actively promote this mountain center.

Diverse flora and fauna are present in Divčibare and Maljen. When we talk about the flora, coniferous forests are the most numerous and next to them in this area from the coniferous family are present fir, spruce, white and black pine, mountain pine.

Divcibare is known for a large number of forest and meadow natural communities. There are jeremicak, kacun and lincur, and at the end of April, a flower appears which is the symbol of this mountain – Narcissus flower. There is the biggest quake in Serbia on Maljen, and quake ecosystems are very rare on the entire Balkan peninsula. The quakes are “natural writings” from which the history of living nature can best be learned.

Narcissus flower

Numerous forest fruits are present in Divčibare, which are used as a supplement in various human diets, such as mushrooms, natural delicacies of wild strawberries, wild raspberries and blackberries.

The most unusual is the blueberry, which grows in the form of shrubs, mostly in forests. Among other things, in Divčibare you can find a variety of medicinal herbs such as hajduk grass, wormwood, lemon balm, thyme and many others.

Many representatives of wild animals live in this mountain complex, the most numerous of which are deer, besides them there are also wild rabbits, squirrels, wild pigs, martens. Divčibare has a really rich flora and fauna, so during the walk, don’t be surprised if you meet some of the animal families that inhabit this area.

The natural wealth of flora and fauna, mild climate, I believe you will remember this summer if you visit Divcibare. It’s more than nature, it’s your new second home. Fortunately, nature in this area is still intact, so you will be able to be in direct contact with nature. For all lovers of long walks and hanging out with friends in nature, Divčibare is an ideal tourist destination!

I would ask you to protect the nature around you and wherever you go in our beautiful Serbia, do not leave garbage behind. Nature has tried to give us all the best, and it is up to us to try to preserve it.

Special educational boards have been set up in Divcibare, where you can learn more about the natural and animal world. The best example is the “mushroom school” where edible and poisonous mushroom species are indicated.

If you decide to go in search of mushrooms, it is best to look for professional people and not go alone. Edible mushrooms have many good properties that can contribute to strengthening the body, but there are also poisonous mushrooms that are not used for human consumption and should be strictly avoided.

Church of St. Panteleimon in Divcibare

In the very center of this tourist complex there is the Divčibarska church or the church of St. Panteleimon is located and is a religious and cultural landmark of this mountain tourist place. The church dates from 1995, because the wars hindered the previous construction.

My dear travelers, we have reached the end of a special post from the series of posts on my adventure in Serbia. Time always flies when you have a good time! A man is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world around him and I am glad to always be able to explore destinations in a completely different way.

Let’s use this summer to explore the beauties of our countries and to explore some undiscovered places. When this situation with Corona-virus finally comes to its end, you should come to #SeeSerbia and #ExploreSerbia in your own way. I would like to hear your experiences and what you managed to visit in Serbia before COVID-19. Have you made any holiday plans for this summer, is it going to be the seaside resort or the mountain?

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!

Blogger greetings from Divcibare,
Mr.M

This post is my gift to all my dear travelers, who wants to learn something new about Serbia. The post is for informational purposes only and is not sponsored.

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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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