Posts tagged summer destination

Last letter from Malta: Dear diary, it was amazing!

My dear fashionistas, welcome to my new post. I hope that you are well and that you are relaxing on some beach and enjoying the sun. Why am I talking about the sun? In previous posts I regularly complained about the heat and begged just to stop more and then I came to my second home – Berlin…

It seems that the Sun in Germany has lost its plan and program, and here at the moment there is a gloomy and rainy weather, so I see more people dressed in some autumn outfits on the streets. I would never say that it’s July, as I said, the Sun has lost its calendar here!

Well, not to be so negative as I constantly complain about something, at least to finish this series of posts from Malta as it suits – in a nice and cheerful mood!

Yes, you read well, we came to the end of this special series of posts from Malta, and this is my 7th, and also the last post from this special series. I hope you learned something new about this beautiful island country. I’ve tried to show you Malta in my eyes and help my adventures to get much easier on this island.

Through this special series of posts, we walked together along the streets of Valletta and the unusual town of Mdina and we saw some of the incredible natural beauties of Malta. It was a wonderful journey and little Marko had fulfilled one more dream from his loooong bucket list.

The fashion outfit that you have the opportunity to see in the pictures in this post I wore during my last night of Malta Fashion Week. This event lasted until the end of May, but due to my obligations I had to come back home earlier.

The last day in Valletta has just flied so fast, it’s always happen on the trip, the time passes like the flash light and, the next day you regret it because time has come to go home, then you are tired because of the trip and so every time we return from some nice holiday.

I decided to wear my beige pants, yes, I know … They are very bright, very sensitive and you have to watch every time you sit down, but … we bloggers must do everything for beautiful photos! 😀

At the end of this fashion “battle”, little Marko came out as a winner because he did not mess his pants, and I must admit to you that wearing light-colored clothes can help you to lose some weight.

I’m sure that you would’t like to see some stains of ice cream or other deacons that can ruin your clothes, so you will lose sugar craving of sweets over time. Now I slowly begin to understand the Italians and the French, because they constantly wear clothes of brighter colours. I think we finally discovered their biggest secret!

Many of you asked me on Instagram and Facebook about this lovely blazer, so finally, I can answer on some of the most frequently asked questions. First, it’s from Zara, the new spring collection – 2019/20, and you can buy it now at summer seasonal sales. As the final downturn is slowly approaching, the price of this blazer is changing so it is not grateful to announce its exact price now. You can check it online on Zara website.

As for other pieces, some are new, others have been in my wardrobe for a long time, and so far you have had the opportunity to see them in some of the previous posts before.

My dear fashionistas, once again we have come to the end of our 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 outfit which I chose for the second day of Malta Fashion Week? Have you ever visited Valletta? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Malta before? I would like to share with me your experience!

OUTFIT

Blazer: Zara

Trousers: Seventy

T-Shirt: Loro Piana

Sneakers: Saint Laurent

In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Europe. This time we will explore Lapland, the homeland of the most beloved grandpa in the world -Santa Claus and 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)
  5. Letters from Malta: Gozo, your new happy place! (Travel Post)
  6. Letters from Malta: My second day on Malta Fashion Week (Fashion Outfit Post)
This post was sponsored by Malta Tourism Authority. I also thank my friends from Loro Piana and Seventy for this wonderful gifts and 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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Letters from Malta: My Glamorous Escape to Valletta

Hello, my dear travellers, how are you today? Summer has officially come in Serbia and I have not yet managed to put off all the wardrobe yet, I still have clothes for the entire 4 seasons around the house. What’s your situation? I hope you are doing good on these tropical temperatures, but today I will try to refresh you with the waves from Malta.

Last week, I promised you a new letter from Malta and I will dedicate this post to the capital of this paradise island – Valletta. This post was made in cooperation with the National Tourist Organization of the Republic of Malta – Malta Tourism Authority and its partners, without this project just would not be possible. I hope you will enjoy and learn something new. Before I begin to want to give you a little friendly tip: take some refreshment and some snacks, you’ll need it! There is a lot a lot to be said about this city!

Valletta is the main capital of Malta. Located in the southeast part of the island, between the port of Marsamxett in the west and the Great Port in the east, Valletta is the southernmost capital of Europe. The city itself has about 6000 inhabitants, while the surrounding metropolitan area has a population of just over 400,000. Impressive numbers, right?

The city architecture is of baroque character, with elements of neoclassical and modern architecture, although the Second World War left great scars, especially because of the ruined Royal Opera House. The city was officially recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.

The cities fortifications, together with the beauty of Baroque palaces, gardens and churches, have led Europe’s ruling forces to give the city a special nickname “Superbissima” – the Italian word that signifies “The greatest pride.”

During the long and tumultuous history of Malta, it was under various influences. Periods:

  1. Malta under the leadership of the Order of St. John the Baptist: 1566 – 1798
  2. Malta as a colony of France: 1798 – 1800
  3. Protectorate Malta (Part of the Sicilian Kingdom, but under the protection of Great Britain): 1800 – 1813
  4. Malta as the British colony: 1813 – 1964
  5. State of Malta (the predecessor of the modern Republic of Malta): 1964-1974
  6. Republic of Malta since 1974, until today

A MONUMENT SIGNIFY AN INDEPENDENCE, WHEN MALTA IS AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY FROM 1964.

The city was founded by Jean de Vallette, the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, after a successful defense from the Turks in 1565. An interesting fact is that the streets all over the city are designed to channel the flow of pleasant wind from the main port. Valletta is a masterpiece of the baroque architecture of the 16th century. After the great siege, the knights of the Order decided to build the city. If you want to know more about history of this charming city, you can visit this link.

Pope Pius IV sent his best friend and best architect of that time, Francesco Laparelli, who worked with Michelangelo on construction of Church of St. Peter in Rome, in the great wish to build a city that will be a fortress for the defense of Christianity, but also a cultural masterpiece. Lapareli designed the city in just seven days, leaving the completion of his work to architect Girolamo Cesare.

Baroque Cathedral of St. John is a masterpiece of Girol Cesare. It is also a masterpiece by the Calabrian painter and knight Matia Preti, who decorated the interior of the Cathedral. The cathedral is the sanctuary of the knights of St. John. There is also Karavaggio’s masterpiece-the work of Capturing the head of St. John the Baptist. On the floor are mosaics, in fact tombs of knights. The interior of the cathedral is extremely rich, as opposed to a simple façade. Preti designed intricate carved stone walls and side altars with scenes from the life of John the Baptist.

Paintings on the ceiling look like for an average human eye as three-dimensional images, but when you look better, you can see that the artist wisely created the illusion of three-dimensionality with little help from the shadows. It should be noted that the carving was done directly in-place, instead of being self-engraved, and then subsequently attached to the walls as it used to be at that time. The Maltese limestone from which the cathedral was built is especially suitable for such kind of art carvings.

I have to tell you that the whole marble floor is an entire series of tombs, in which are about 400 knights and officers of the Order. There is also a crypt that contains the graves of great masters like Philippe Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, Claude de la Sengle, Jean Parisot de Valette and Alof de Wignacourt.

The famous Caravaggio masterpiece with a display of the splitting of the head of St. John the Baptist is also the most famous work of art in the church. It is considered one of the Caravagio’s masterpieces, the largest canvas ever painted with the only painting signed by the painter. The painting was restored in the late nineties in Florence, this painting is one of the most imposing applications of Chararoscuro style, which is best known with a circle of light that illuminates the scene of the cut of the head of St. John at the request of Salome.

The Cathedral contains nine rich chapels, one dedicated to Our Lady of Philermos and the rest dedicated to the patron saints of each of the Order’s eight langues. The following chapels are located on the south side of the church:

The Chapel of Our Lady of Philermos, also known as the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, originally contained an icon of Our Lady of Philermos, which was in possession of the Order since the Crusades. The icon was taken to Russia by Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim when the Order was expelled from Malta in 1798, and now it is found in the National Museum of Montenegro.

Cathedral of St. John is located in the center of Valletta, a short walk from the bus station near the City Gate. The main entrance to the cathedral is located on square St. John, but the entrance for the visitors is from the Great Obsidian Square, which is located in the Republic Street near the main court. The cathedral can be visited every working day and on Saturdays, on Sundays and during the holidays is closed.

We are continue our walk tour through this charming town and soon we come across an unusual park. The Upper Barrakka Gardens was once a private garden of Italian knights. From there, there is a fantastic view of the Great Harbor, the largest and deepest natural harbor in the world, three cities – Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua), as well as in numerous bays and the town of Kalkara.

At the top of the first finger of the bay is Kalkara and the fortress Rikasoli. There was recorded a movie called “Troy”. Next is Vittoriosa. At its top is the Fortress of St. Angelo, the jewel of the Maltese military legacy. On the next finger, Senglea and the Fortress of St. Michael. And between them is the Cospicua. These three cities represent the cradle of Maltese history. In them was the first home of knights when they arrived in Malta.

Below the Upper Gardens of Barrakka is the military cabinet Laskaris. There are tunnels from the 17th century, which during the Second World War were rebuilt into a complex of military rooms. From there, allies planned a deployment to Sicily under the name “Husky”. From the garden you can see the Lower Barrakka Gardens, where is the monument to Alexander Bell, the first British governor in Malta. There is Fort Saint Elmo, nowadays a famous military museum, where faith, one of the three gladiator planes, as well as the baptism of St. George, give Malta for the courage in the Second World War.

In the park there are several monuments dedicated to many prominent figures, including Gerald Strickland, Thomas Maitland and Winston Churchill. In the garden there is a replica of the statue of Les Gavroches (Street Boys) of the Maltese sculptor Antonio Sciortin. The original is in the National Museum of Fine Arts.

The gardens are connected with the lower Valeta valley, where the Lower Gardens of Barrakka and the nearby Lascaris Wharf are located to the Barak lifts. The first elevator on the construction site was built in 1905, but was closed in 1973 and dismantled in 1983. The new elevator was officially opened on December 15, 2012.

What else can I say about this incredible city? Valletta has been declared the European Capital of Culture for 2018. This year was marked by a manifestation called Erba ‘Piazzas (Four Squares), with manifestations that were focused on events in the 4 main squares in the city – Triton Square, St. Gorge, Square St. John and Castille Square.

Valletta is a lovely and irresistible town that will remain for a long time in your heart. You will experience an adventure that you will not forget, and I am sure you will always have enough reasons to return to Valletta and continue your adventure. I am sure that I will return to this city again, there is still a lot things to see, but I have tried to present you my first impression about Valletta.

There is an interesting event – International Festival – Days of Baroque in Valeta is held every year in January. Jazz music in Malta was presented in the Valetta area by Allied sailors during both World War II. The first Maltese Jazz Festival was also held here. My reason for visiting Malta this year was the Malta Fashion Week, which is held every year in May/June. A fashion event that gathers some of the most famous names of the European fashion scene each year.

This year, it was the famous Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, who this year, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of her first fashion show, opened her Foundation and showed her new Autumn-Winter 2019/20 collection at Malta Fashion Week.

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 Valletta? Have you ever visited this lovely city? 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, you will find out more about this island and I will show you my first fashion outfit post which I did in Valletta! It is one simple outfit with the great summer vibe, one of my outfits which I wore for the 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

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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Letters from Malta: Mdina, Silence speaks more than Words…

Dear my travellers, welcome back to my blog! How are you today? I have to admit that this weather is too hard for me, the headache do not allow me to work properly. I am sure, this is because of this change of weather, but what to do, everything I know is that: “Show must go on!”. Today I will keep my promise and I will dedicate today’s post to an unusual town in Malta that delighted me with its architecture. Now, I will officially say – Welcome to Mdina!

This post is also the second post from a special series of posts from Malta in collaboration with the National Tourism Board of Malta. Without their unselfish help, this project wouldn’t be possible. I would like to thank the whole team, the wonderful guides that managed to introduce Malta in a completely different way. This was a wonderful experience, which I will remember for a long time.

Mdina is a fortified town in the northern part of Malta, which served as the capital city on the island from the Ancient Age to the Middle Ages. The city is still surrounded within the walls and in this lovely city lives a little less than 300 inhabitants, but with the neighboring city of Rabat, which was otherwise named after the Arabic word for the suburbs. According to the latest population census, these two cities together have slightly more than 10,000 inhabitants.

It is considered that Mdina has been formed in the 8th century BC (before Christ), and the original name of this city was “Maleth”. The city was founded by the ancient Phoenicians, and later the Romans renamed it to Melita. The ancient city – Melite, was larger than today’s Mdina and was reduced to the present size during the Byzantine or Arab occupation of Malta.

After, the city received its present name, originating from the Arabic word “medina”. The city remained the capital of Malta for almost the entire Middle Ages, until the arrival of the Order of St. John in 1530, when Birgu became the administrative center of the island. Mdina experienced a period of great fall – the dark ages of Mdina, but in the 18th century Mdina managed to regain it’s glory.

Mdina still remained the center of the Maltese nobility and religious institutions till today. The city has never managed to regain its former glory which Mdina had until 1530, which has also led to the nickname “The Silent City” by the inhabitants  and tourists. Mdina is on the “UNESCO World Heritage List”, and is currently one of the main tourist attractions in Malta.

According to law regulations, it is forbidden to use any type of transport vehicles that law does not apply to property owners, and this may be one of the reasons why this unusual small town in Malta got the nickname “Silent City”. I know you always love to find some interesting historical facts so I tried to find out as much as possible about Mdina this time.

Certain historical writings prove that the plateau on which the Mina was built has been inhabited since the prehistory period, and until the Bronze Age it was a “natural shelter” for its position and natural conditions. The Phoenicians colonized Malta in the 8th century before the new era. After the ancient Phoenicians, the Roman Empire took over Malta in 218 year BC and the city was named Melita. At the time of the reign of the Roman Empire, the city was about three times larger than today’s Mdina, including the area of today’s city of Rabat.

Today there are very few remains of Melite, a city from the period of the reign of the great Roman Empire. The most important are the ruins of Domvs Romana, where several well-preserved mosaics, sculptures and other remains were discovered. The remains that are considered to be the foundations of the Temple of Apollo, the remains of the city walls and many more are excavated.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, an additional fortification was built in the city, reducing it to the present size. This was done to make the city core easier to defend, and this phenomenon of “downsizing” of cities was common throughout the Mediterranean in the early Middle Ages. Although people believed that the Arabs built these additional walls, some historians believe that they were built during the Byzantine Empire around the 8th century, when the threat by Arabs increased.

In the year 870, the Byzantine Melite, ruled by Governor Amros, was surrounded by Aghlabid headed by Halaf al-Hadim. He was killed in the battles, and Sawada Ibn Muhammad was sent from Sicily to continue the siege after his death. The real duration of the siege is unknown, but it probably lasted for several weeks or a few months. After Melite fell down from the occupiers, the inhabitants were massacred, the city destroyed, the churches looted. Marble from the church in Melite was used to build a castle in the city of Sousse (Tunisia).

When the Order of Saint John took over Malta in 1530, the nobles handed over the keys of the city to Grand Master Philippe Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, but the members of the Order were placed in Birgu and Mdina lost the status of main capital city. During the 1540s, the walls began to be upgraded, and in 1551 the city successfully sustained the Ottomans attack.

During the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, Mdina was the base of the cavalry of the Order, which was successfully examined by Ottoman conquerors. The Ottomans attempted to carry out the siege of Mdina in September in order to stay there during winter time, but they gave up their plans when members of the Order of St. John attacked the cannons, claiming them to believe that they possessed heavy weapons. After the siege, Maltese military engineer Girolamo Cassar created a plan by which the size of the Mdine would be reduced by half and converted to the fortress, but this was never carried out due to protests by city nobles.

In June 1798, Mdina was occupied by the French forces without much resistance during the French occupation in Malta. The French garrison remained in the city, but on 2nd of September that year a large Maltese Rebellion broke out. The next day, rebels entered the city through the harbor and massacred a garrison of 65 people.

These events marked the beginning of a two-year uprising and a blockade, and the Maltese people formed the National Assembly. The rebels were successful, and in 1800, the French surrendered and Malta became a British protectorate. There is also an interesting fact that between 1883 and 1931, Mdina was connected with Valletta, it was a special railroad and during that period regular railway traffic was established.

Today Mdina is one of the main tourist attractions of Malta, which yearly hosts about a million tourists. You can see that the city has an interesting mixture of the Norman and Baroque architecture, including several palaces, most of which are in private possession. In the period from 2008 to 2016, a great restoration of the city walls was carried out.

As I wrote in the previous post: “Mdina is on the list of the most expensive cities in Europe at the price of a square of real estate, so if you want to have the “smallest palace” in this city you must be ready to pay at least 5 million euros, while for the magnificent palaces you have to pay more than 50 million euros. I promise you in the next post I will dedicate to this unusual town where you will be able to enjoy the architecture of this most expensive “village” in the world.” If you didn’t have time to read my previous post about this incredible island, take your time now and enjoy! I hope you will like it – link.

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 Mdina? Have you ever visited this lovely city? 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, you will find out more about this island and capital city Valletta! 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

Main Square city of Rabat in Malta

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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Letters from Morocco: Essaouira, Blue Diamond of Atlantic Ocean

Hello, my dear adventurers, how are you today? I sincerely hope that you are all good and that you have found a way to relax and find some nice and cool solution to defeat this boring heat. Last week, I promised you the continuation of adventure in Morocco. Today I am continuing the story about Essaouira, an interesting and lovely fishing town on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Are you ready for a new adventure? If your answer is YES! This is the right way to say bye to this very warm July and refresh yourself with this blue refreshing city known as the Essaouira.

 

 

Who had the opportunity to read my previous story from Morocco – LINK, you probably read the story about this interesting city. It’s not a problem I will repeat it again. ?

Essaouira is a lovely fishing town. Due to climatic conditions, Essaouira received a nice nickname “The City of the Winds”. There is a very interesting festival that is organized every year in autumn and is dedicated to all kites lovers. This time I did not have the opportunity to feel that adrenaline, but I enjoyed the beautiful pictures shown by our guides from the Tourist Organization of Essaouira.

I learned a few more interesting things about this unusual city. Did you know that this city was previously named by the Portuguese name Mogador, which in the Berber language means THE WALL, because the Portuguese Mogador was strongly fortified. Just because of these walls, Essaouira has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in Africa in 2001. I would like to say thank you again to my friends from the National Tourist office of the Kingdom of Morocco on this wonderful journey and an adventure that I will remember for a long time!

 

 

This “Blue” city attracts an increasing number of tourists each year with its unusual beauty and history. We spent a couple of days in this city and I have to admit that I loved Morocco because of people and their interesting stories. Not only that, but also their cordiality. Most people, vendors on the streets, fishermen when they heard that we came to the Morocco because  the Tourist Organization of the Kingdom of Morocco has invited us, immediately they offered to help us in any way and of course to try their nice products.

If I had accepted all those who offered me their products, I really do not know how to get back to Serbia. That number of suitcases would exceed all expectations, but thanks to God, I managed to explain to them that I do not have the place to carry those things and I left them to run their little interesting open-air shops.

 

 

 

I couldn’t refuse two people in this city. The first one was an elderly experienced fisherman who gave us fish, it’s a great gift. Thanks to Saul’s knowledge of French, besides the gift, we learned a few interesting things about fishing and about the history of Essaouira. The other person was a kind woman, who sold tea that spotted us in the main street while we were making the photos, she asked us what we were doing and whether if we were in the mood for tea, we could come to visit her lovely shop.

Of course, again, Saul was a life saver, because I understand the French language a little, I remember a bit of what I learned in my childhood, but of course not enough. After a couple of cups of tea and good stories, we continued the exploration of this Moroccan city.

 

 

The walls of this city are incredible, they hide some interesting stories that only wait patient adventurers, eager adventures to “hear” all of them. It’s hard to say that the view from the main wall is absolutely divine, there is the biggest blow of the wind and after that walk for 3 hours I tried to come to myself, but it was definitely worth it. If I need to go there again, I would definitely do that!

 

 

 

This view is absolutely priceless, if you come to Essaouira you must pay a visit there, especially in the morning. The sound of the ocean that passes through clay vases is a magical, unusual melody, a real symphony. After a walk we decided to go back to the hotel and fill our “batteries”.

After a good rest, as you can see, the smile returned to my face. I would like to thank the Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Hotel for hospitality and they were so nice and kind to answer any of my boring questions. Of course, people took my love for pizza seriously, so they made me a special Moroccan Happy Pizza! Happiness, happiness! An experience to remember! Thank you guys, you are the best!

 

 

After relaxing and cheerful time in the hotel our guides decided to take us back to the city to visit one interesting music festival. Gnaoua World Music Festival presents a music treasure that contains elements of jazz, pop and rock music and continues to explore some new music genres. An interesting event that brings together artists from around the world with famous artists who are members of the Moroccan ethnic group of people known as Gnaou or Gnawa. We had amazing time there and we had chance to hear a real music fusion!

 

 

When I got the invitation for this magical journey to Morocco and they also told me that I will have the opportunity to attend one such event where the pure and clean arts are only preserved, where other elements are not involved, which can otherwise spoil the beauty of art, as it is sometimes done by politics. I have to admit that I am not otherwise an expert in music art, but I just wanted to discover something new and to hear those exotic sounds, because I imagined it in my mind in a completely different way.

The Gnaoua Music Festival definitely changed my mind and solved all my concerns about this kind of music. Morocco is a country that has remained faithful to tradition, but with the advent of a new era, they have simply accepted the new things with a smile on their face and with an open heart, and now they successfully interact with their traditional culture and beliefs.

 

Ph. by Saul Aguilar – Instagram: @saaggo

 

 

These unusual sounds made me happy for two nights that I spent in this unusual city of Morocco. Otherwise I have trouble with insomnia when I’m on the trip, but I admit that this time it was not the case and that I slept nicely. Finally, on this trip I didn’t have those dark circles below the eyes, which worry the people around you, so everybody asks you a few times if you’re okay.

In Morocco I also had a nice tan, a good dream, and in one of the hotels I had a phenomenal face cream, imagine when I asked at the reception which cream is that as a simple question, as response I got supplies for a long time. Argan oil is really helpful, it is not some fairy tale story for young children! ?

 

 

The last day in Essaouira was fantastic, after a delicious breakfast, Saul and I decided to say nice Bye to this lovely city and we wanted to use the morning sun, photographers would always suggest that the best pictures are made between 7am and 9am in the morning, if we are talking about summer time and after five o’clock in the afternoon. Whoever did not know, just try the legend that the shadows are in the right place and that the photos are the best. Is there anything else that you can learn useful in my posts? ?

 

 

The soul of this city are small streets that you can notice from the main streets, where you can see that true everyday life in Morocco. This cheerful small street gave some special inspiration to me and this lady asked us to publish pictures where her face is not visible because her dress was very interesting to us. She was very nice and kind woman who wanted to help us and she posed for us for a few minutes and Saul even made a picture in the nearby store that she will have for a memory. I think those tears of joy and happiness were the best indicator how she liked her photo.

 

 

My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of post. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling and we will continue our adventure in Morocco.

How do you like this story about Essaouira? I would like to hear your opinion! 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.

As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!

Best,

Mr.M

Photographer: Saul AguilarInstagram: @saaggo
Cameras: Sony Alpha 7r i Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Ph. by Saul Aguilar – Instagram: @saaggo

 

This post is sponsored by National Tourist Office of Kingdom of Morocco, Tourism Board of city of Essaouira, Gnaoua World Music Festival and Sofitel Magador Essaouira Hotel from Accor Hotels chain. For all these beautiful photos I used Sony Alpha 7r and Saul used Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.
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