Posts tagged travel

Letters from Azerbaijan: Lahij, place where dreams are made of copper…

Hello my dear travellers, welcome to new post on the Mr.M blog. How are you doing today? Has something interesting happened to you today? Some people are back from vacation, while some lucky ones are just getting ready to start their journey. In the past few days, I read on the social networks comments from some people, like: “Why we call our vacation “annual leaving”, if it only lasts for 2,3 weeks… It is not fair!”. I agree with them, but what to do it looks like it’s another “wrong” name, such some terms like “final discounts”, and in the store you will find the maximum of 20% discount… Sweet “white” lies which we just love and want to believe.

In the previous two posts you had the opportunity to get to know Baku and see where the cradle of Azeri culture – Gobustan National Park. In today’s post you will meet an interesting village, which is located in the most beautiful part of Azerbaijan, at the heart of the Caucasus.

Of course, before I start today’s post I would like to thank the National Tourism Board of the Republic of Azerbaijan for its excellent organization, as well as other partners of this project who made our stay in Azerbaijan unforgettable!

Tural, our guide told us the opinion of the local people in Azerbaijan, which is that they consider that the road to Lahij village is one of the most beautiful in Azerbaijan. You can see how nature has adapted to climate and you have the great opportunity yo enjoy the view of mountains, plains and sea.

I must admit that usually when traveling somewhere by car, I try to rest and get some sleep because press trips can be extremely stressful at times and I use every free moment for rest and relaxation. However this time was different, the trip was different and I decided to show you these beauties of nature to people who may choose to visit Azerbaijan one day!

The people of Azerbaijan are simple, kind and frank. The language may be a small barrier, but because of its close proximity to Russia, many people know Russian. Maybe this fact helps from Balkan region like me because the Russians can understand some of Serbian words which makes it easier for some basic communication. Of course a lot of people speak English as well, but we are talking about older generations who lives in rural areas.

Tural explained to us the geographical location of Azerbaijan and some basic things about places where we are going, so this trip passed so fast for us quickly. Of course we took a couple of breaks, maybe the trip was a little longer, but we learned a lot about Azerbaijan.

At the first break, I used the time to take a picture by the sea… Well, I went well all way to far away Azerbaijan, I guess I deserved to have at least one nice picture with my best friend, I’m most afraid of – water. Strange, but very interesting love!

Shortly after these breaks, we came to our first stop on this short car trip. My hosts wanted to show me their oldest and largest mosque in Azerbaijan – the Juma Mosque. According to legend, it was built in the 8th century when Shamakhi was chosen as the residence of the Arab Caliph. This is why Shamakhi Juma looked like one of the oldest mosques in the Caucasus region. The architecture of this large complex is as follows – the huge prayer hall is divided into three independent sections that are connected with wide open arches.

Each part has its own separate mikhrab and an entrance. After considerable destruction of the mosque during wars and earthquakes, it was repeatedly reconstructed and restored. The current appearance of the mosque was formed in the early 20th century. The mosque was practically rebuilt on an old basis without losing the basic principles of its structure. There are still three halls. In addition, the central hall is covered by a huge dome and the other two smaller domes.

Below the central dome is a window belt. The windows are decorated with bars. The whole facade is decorated with tracery lattices. Built more than 1,200 years ago, the Shamakhi Juma Mosque remains one of the largest cult structures in the Caucasus region.

Mikhrab in the main Hall.

It was a great honor for me to visit this holy place and learn more about the history of this part of Azerbaijan. I was particularly attracted to the harem of the mosque (this word has different meaning, but also it is the name of the enclosed courtyard of the mosque) at the entrance to the mosque, as it was arranged as a small green oasis of peace and happiness.

We had to continue our journey, because we had a long way to go to Lahij village, and we had a few more things to see. We got in the car and continued our trip. Of course I got my camera ready, the photographer fell asleep from the heat, so I had to do some of his work. Nobody knows my “blogging” troubles on the trip when I have different roles to play at the same time…

You are maybe wondering why we headed to Lahij village? Lahij is a remote village located in the Ismaiilli area of Azerbaijan, on the slopes of the Greater Caucasus. About 2,000 people live in this village, mostly belonging to a minority ethnic group that speaks Tat.

Lahij is one of the oldest permanently populated places in the world. Moreover, the sewerage system of the village dates back to 1000 years ago, which during this time you must admit was very unusual and commendable. For example, large European cities such as Paris and London did not have sewerage system until the 13th – 14th centuries. Incredible, isn’t it?

The facilities and master plan of the village are very unique. As a result of frequent earthquakes, locals have developed sophisticated and authentic construction techniques. Traditionally, people used the ground floor of houses as workshops and workrooms. The houses here are characterized by flat roofs. In addition, some houses have balconies overlooking the street.

The history and story of the village, are associated with many legends. According to one legend, many years ago there was a town of 36,000 inhabitants called La. One day a major earthquake happened and La was leveled to the ground. There was no town afterwards, but the place name changed to La-hec. “Hec” in Azerbaijani means nothing or zero. Over time, people came to live in this settlement again. At that time, La-hec changed to Lahi.

According to another legend, the Persian Shah Kai Khosrov killed a prominent ruler of a city, which caused great unrest in his country. Finally, after some power and throne struggles, the defeated chess decided to flee the country to save his life. He later found refuge in the mountains near modern Lahi. The Shah servants established the village of Lahij for their families. Eventually Kai Khosrov died there, but gradually the small village expanded and turned into a settlement.

This is the way how locals consider themselves to be descendants of Kay Khosrov’s original court. Moreover, they claim that the name of the village comes from a place called Lahian in Persia. A tomb with a tombstone belonging to Kai Khosrov was found at the Zavara cemetery in Lahij along with other tombstones dating back more than a thousand years.

In the medieval period the village became an important center of craftsmen in Azerbaijan. Lahij’s artisans have started to become very popular throughout Asia and Europe. In the 18th century, the city gained a reputation for producing cold steel weapons and copper. Many of them, such as copper pots and lamps and weapons, still adorn famous European museums, especially the Louvre and the Hermitage. Today, the village and its entire heritage are protected, but open to tourists. The spirit of medieval times and the path of ancient silk is still found in Lahij.

Also, there is one interesting museum in this picturesque place called the Museum of Local History of Lahij and you can find many interesting exhibits in it and learn more about the history of this unusual village.

The museum was opened in 1985 within the Lahij Historical and Cultural Reserve. Initially it was part of the historical and cultural nature reserve, but since 1992 it has the function of an independent cultural object of significance. The museum itself is housed in a building known in Lahi as the “Aghaoglu Mosque”, which was built in 1914.

The exhibit of the museum consists of more than 1000 exhibits in 10 different sections. The exhibits date from ancient examples of crafts, including ceramic specimens, specimens more than 2000 years old, bellows made in the 18th century for copper smelting and other livestock and trade related parts, as well as information on the city’s underground irrigation system operating since 15th Century!

The development of international tourism, together with some new knowledge about people and cultures, has resulted in a gradual interest in the cultural diversity of the region. Lahij has attracted the attention of many world tourists in recent years and as a result Lahij village is now included in the tours of several leading travel agencies.

The time for move came and we continued our journey, we had an amazing time in Lahij village, but Gabala is calling us! Gabala (Azerbaijani: Kəbələ, also known as Kabala, the capital of the Kabbalah district) The municipality consists of the city of Gabala and the town of Kusnat village. Previously, the city was known as Kutkashen, but after the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the city was renamed in honor of the much older city of Gabala.

The geographical location and mountainous relief of the city greatly influenced the formation of complex climatic conditions in the vertical arid region, as well as the density of the river network and the richness of land and vegetation cover.

The facilitated and humid climatic conditions of the Gabala region led to the formation of a dense river network in the area. The city is rich in chestnut and hazelnut trees. The flora and fauna of the district are very rich. Deer, wild boars, rabbits, bears, wolves, foxes and numerous birds can be found in the forest.

Gabala is an ideal tourist destination due to its combination of unusual spring climate, mountain scenery and diverse fauna. There are many world-class hotels and resorts, much of the Kafkaz hotel chain. The region’s natural climatic conditions create opportunities for summer and winter tourism development in the region. The northern side of Gabala belongs to the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, the central part of the Alazan-Haftaran Valley, the southern part of the Ainohur Mountains.

In addition, Azerbaijan has the highest mountain peak in Azerbaijan – Bazarduz Mountain (4466 meters). Also in Gabala is the Ieddi Gozel waterfall. In translation, it means ‘seven beauties’ because of its seven phases of decline, but it also depicts the classic story of Nizami Ganjavi. The city also contains the Gabaland Amusement Park, a skating rink and Greek-style theater built specifically for concerts and outdoor events. Gabala also has several malls. The city is home to the Tufandag Ski Resort, which is rated as the best ski resort in Azerbaijan and one of the main in the Caucasus.

My dear adventurers, 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 National Tourism Promotion Bureau of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan Airlines for this incredible adventure and Qafqaz Thermal & Spa Resort Hotel Yengija for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.

How do you like this post about National Park Gobustan? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Azerbaijan before? I would like to share with me your experience! In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Azerbaijan, and I will show you one interesting Lahij village which I visited during my visit. 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

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

This post was sponsored by National Tourism Promotion Bureau of Azerbaijan and the national airline company Azerbaijan Airlines and Qafqaz Thermal & Spa Resort Hotel Yengija. I also thank my friends from Loro PianaMakia Clothing and Picard Lederwaren for amazing outfits 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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Letters from Azerbaijan: Gobustan, the Cradle of Azeri Culture…

My dear travellers, how are you today? Before I begin with today’s post, I would like to thank you for the wonderful comments which you have sent to me for previous post about Azerbaijan. I am glad you liked Baku and I sincerely hope you will enjoy the post I have prepared for you today. For anyone who has not arrived yet to read my story from Baku or you would like to remind of some details, you can visit this LINK.

Have you ever wondered what the world looked like 20,000 years ago? What kind of people were then? What was their culture and religion customs? Has their consciousness been developed as it is today? Which language did they speak? We can find answers to all these questions from experts in archeology and history, but so far it all comes down to interpreting certain assumptions.

In today’s post, you’ll have the opportunity to see the cradle of Azeri culture, I’m taking you to Gobustan National Park. This trip was a whole new experience for me as I learned a lot of new information and had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of this lovely country.

Before I begin today’s post, I would like to thank the National Tourism Board of the Republic of Azerbaijan for this wonderful and exceptional experience. It has been a huge honour for me to get to know a completely different culture and I hope that I will be able to go there again and continue my adventure during my lifetime.

Gobustan National Nature Reserve, located just few kilometres west of the city of Gobustan, was founded in 1966, when the region was declared a National Historic Landmark of Azerbaijan in an effort to preserve ancient carvings, mud volcanoes and gas rocks. Gobustan National Park is very rich in archeological monuments, the reserve has more than 6,000 carved stone paintings depicting primitive people, animals, paintings of fights, ritual dances, boats with armed paddlers, warriors with spears in their hands, camels, images of the sun and star. These paintings are thought to be on average 5,000 to 20,000 years old.

Gobustan National Historical and Cultural Reserve gained national status in 2006. In July 2007, the Gobustan National Couple was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The carvings and petroglyphs in this place depict fascinating images of prehistoric life in the Caucasus. Well-preserved paintings depict ancient boat-traveling populations, antelope men and wild bulls, while some depict women dancing. Well-known Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heierdahl returned to Azerbaijan several times between 1961 and his death in 2002 to investigate the site in his work “Search for Odin”.

The language of the ancient population of Gobustan is partly controversial, but the petroglyphs still provide information about the lives of prehistoric people who lived here. More than 4,000 pictures of animals, humans, certain life experiences, hunting and dancing have been carved over thousands of years. Most petroglyphs are found on large cliffs, and in some cases are carved on larger older rocks. The first carvings depicted natural figures of humans and animals, often irregularly, but over time they began to increasingly resemble the dimensions and proportions of their subjects, including such details as the muscles of the feet of humans in the hunting scene.

The heads of human figures are usually small and carved with no nose, mouth, eyes or ears. However, experts do not interpret this lack of facial features as an indication that Gobustan artists lack technical skill, as some carvings show a greater degree of complexity and detail. Many scenes from tribal life have been shown among the petroglyphs, and pictures from the “Seven Beauty Cave” indicate that women may have been involved in the hunt.

I have to admit, it’s an amazing feeling when you see all those pictures in stone that who knows when done by people who lived there thousands of years ago. The pictures prove that they had an awareness of all the things that surrounded them, that they had a particular religious cult that they believed in and studied the stars.

The natural world of Gobustan is much more convenient than other regions of Azerbaijan. However, the natural conditions of these places were completely different 20-25 thousand years ago. From the drawings of animals and human figures on Gobustan, the rocks appear to have been under a warm climate of 10 to 12 thousand years. Men wore light clothing, men tightened their limbs, and women wore short leather dresses. Due to the constant warm weather, greenery and large amount of water, these places were the habitats of wild animals: bulls, horses, deer, goats and other animals that lived in Gobustan.

From stone drawings and archaeological writings, wolves, tigers, foxes, jackals and other wild animals were found in this place in ancient times. In 1968, when they cut a layer of stone about 3 feet in size near Atbulah, large bones of an unknown animal were accidentally cut off. The workers informed the Ministry of Culture of the Azerbaijan SSR, not knowing what those bones were. After examining the discovered bones, it was determined that these bones were the remains of a “Southern Elephant” that lived in what is now Gobustan.

Perhaps during my visit to this national treasure of Azerbaijan, weather was one of the aggravating factors, but I enjoyed the beautiful view that stretches along the region.

Due to the temperature and the landscape, I had the impression that I was going on a safari and that I would see a giraffe soon, but that was just my imagination!

It is estimated that 300 of the world’s 700 mud volcanoes on the planet are located in the Gobustan, Azerbaijan and Caspian Sea. Many local and world-renowned geologists have come to study this natural phenomenon called “Mud Volcanoes” such as Firuz, Gobustan, Salian Crater and have come to some discoveries where they have stated that mud from these volcanoes has healing purposes.

After we finished our tour of Gobustan National Park, our guide took us to see some more interesting sights, one of which is another natural phenomenon that attracts tourists who come to visit Azerbaijan, called Yanar Dag.

Yanar Dag (translated from the Azeri language, meaning “Burning Mountain”) is a natural gas fire that burns constantly on the slope of the Apsheron Mountains in the Caspian Sea near Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. You may remember when I mentioned in my previous post how Azerbaijan was known as the “Land of Fire”. Flames can reach up to 3 meters in the air from a thin, porous layer of sandstone.

Yanar Dag officially belongs administratively to the Absheron region. Unlike mud volcanoes, the Yanar Dag flame burns fairly steadily, as it uses a continuous outflow of gas from the underground.

It is claimed that the Yanar Dag flame was only noticed when it was accidentally ignited by a shepherd in the 1950s. No mud or liquid can be seen, which distinguishes it from the nearby volcanic muds of Lokbatan or Gobustan. In the territory of Yanar Dag, by the Presidential Decree of May 2, 2007, a State Historical, Cultural and Natural Reserve was established, which is under the control of the State Tourism Agency of Azerbaijan.

After a major renovation that lasted almost 2 years (2017-2019), the Yanar Dag Museum and the Yanar Dag Cromlech Stone Exhibition were launched in the area of this unusual reserve.

Our next stop – the Temple of Fire! I know this may not mean much to you at first sight, but remember the fact that Azerbaijan is a “Land of Fire”, so it is quite logical that they have a “fire” temple.

Baku Ateshgah (Azerbaijani: Atəsgah), often called the “Baku Fire Temple”, is a religious temple similar to a castle in Surakhani city. Based on the Persian inscriptions the temple was used as a Hindu, Sikh and Zoroastrian place of worship. “Atash” (ạtsẖ) is a Persian word for fire. The Pentagonal complex, which has a courtyard surrounded by cells for monks and a tetrapillary altar in the middle, was built during the 17th and 18th centuries. This temple was abandoned in the late 19th century, probably because of the diminishing Hindu population in the surrounding area. The natural eternal flame extinguished in 1969 after nearly a century of oil and gas exploitation in the area, but is now lit by gas from Baku.

Baku Ateshgah was the pilgrimage and philosophical center of the Zoroastrians from the northwestern Indian subcontinent, who were involved in trade with the Caspian region via the famous “Great Road”. The four sacred elements of their belief were: ateshi (fire), badi (air), abi (water), and heki (earth). The temple ceased to be a place of worship after 1883 with the erection of oil plants (industries) at Surakhani.

The complex was turned into a museum in 1975. The Ateshgah Fire Temple was nominated for a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, and on December 19, 2007, by the decree of the President of Azerbaijan, it was declared a National Historic and Architectural Reserve.

My dear adventurers, 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 National Tourism Promotion Bureau of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan Airlines for this incredible adventure and Boulevard Hotel Baku for their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.

How do you like this post about National Park Gobustan? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Azerbaijan before? I would like to share with me your experience! In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Azerbaijan, and I will show you one interesting Lahij village which I visited during my visit. 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 National Tourism Promotion Bureau of Azerbaijan and the national airline company Azerbaijan Airlines and Hotel Boulevard Baku. I also thank my friends from Loro PianaMakia Clothing and Picard Lederwaren for amazing outfits 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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Letters from Lapland: Santa Claus, the great hero of children’s dreams…

My dear travellers, how are you today? Maybe today’s post will be quite inappropriate because we will talk about the man who is the main symbol of the winter fairytale, but I’m sure you will enjoy as much as I do. I believe that we all of us have one little child who reminds us and teaches us some small things, but very important life lessons that make life better and more interesting.

Santa Claus, the most beloved grandpa in the world is a symbol of the happiness and winter holidays in children’s hearts. A super-hero with his unusual team which is made up of elves – little assistants and reindeers who help him with his sleds to visit the world and share gifts and happiness to children around the world. There is no such child in the world who has not heard and even “met” Santa Claus.

This post would not be possible without the help of the Tourist Board of Rovaniemi – Visit Rovaniemi and the Finnish national airline company Finnair and other local partners.

My first “meeting” with Santa was when my mom took me to New Year’s celebration in her company, where I started to cry when I noticed that it was actually her colleague who just glued up huge white beard. I guess I experienced it as a great trauma, since I had lived in that belief that it was a real Santa Claus.

My mother who decided to “save” my childhood tells me that real Santa Claus lives in the North Pole and is busy and sometimes can not visit all the children in this world, he “asks” his friends in every country to help him. He gives them a special permission to replace him and share gifts and joy with children, while he is on his Christmas tour.

As far the years passed by, little Marko decided to check all these information and on the Internet I found that the real Santa is living in a village of Rovaniemi in the north of Finland, in the area known as the Lapland.

Almost 25 years later, Marko finally got a chance to meet Santa Claus, a superhero of children’s dreams. No matter the years, Lapland will awaken the little child in you. Do not think that only parents with children come to Rovaniemi, there are elderly people who have remained small children in their souls, so they decided to get to know the superhero who marked their childhood even in their golden age…

When you come to Santa Claus Village you have the feeling that you are in fairy tale. It’s a fantasy that lives 365 days a year! The village is adapted to all ages, so that no one will feel neglected at some point during the visit.

In this village, Santa has its own special North Pole post that receives thousands of letters daily, the farm of reindeers and its office where he receives all visitors.

When you enter Santa Claus office, you will see elves who are busy storing presents because less than 200 days are left for this holiday season! Everywhere you can see a lot of lockers full of gifts and ready for delivery!

You can also see the gift packing process and how elves do it with a lot of love and patience.

You can also see a wall of celebrities who came to visit Santa, Claus so you will have the opportunity to see some music star or a serious politician who came to visit this unusual superhero.

Just a couple of minutes and a cheerful elf that led us to Santa Claus, I completely lost myself with the great excitement I met the superhero of my childhood dream. After I passed through one of the doors, I expected to see a continuation of the “Wall of famous people” who had the opportunity to meet Santa Claus. Instead of the wall, I went into the living room where Santa was sitting. Just behind the Christmas tree, I saw the world’s most famous hero with a long, white beard. As I heard those most famous words “Ho ho ho”, I think I wanted to cry out of luck and excitement.

No matter how old you are, this place will surely bring you back to childhood in those nice, carefree days when you believe in the magic of New Year’s holidays and Christmas. It just happened to me! Reality was different it was the summer season, but in this living room with a fireplace and the Christmas tree I had the feeling that the holiday season has already come!

I spent a little more than half an hour with my favourite superhero, I think that Santa Claus realized that a little five-year-old Marko came to him in the body of an adult man. I was interested in how looks like one of his working days. Also, I wanted to check some myths about Santa, so he was more than happy to answer on all my questions.

In this unusual village, you can meet the reindeers, who help Santa Claus every year to visit the world as soon as possible and share the joy along our planet. Not far from Santa Claus’s office there is a small farm of reindeers, where I had the opportunity to see the albino reindeer for the first time in my life! He is a real attraction here in Lapland.

My photographer and I got some herbs with which we can more easily get in touch with animals. I must admit that they are socialized and act like domestic animals. How cute was an irresistable baby reindeer who I wanted to take home with me, but there are minor problems with the transport of animals across the borders of Europe! 😀

For the first few minutes, I was a little scared because I saw that they had very big horns, but after you see that these horns are “coated” with small hairs, you have the impression that they are so fluffy! Reindeers are very lovely animals, until they get a little better knowing you, they still will want to bite you a little. Do not worry, after a few moments when you show herbs as the sign of the friendship, the reindeer will follow you along the farm and will be very jealous if you try to get close to another reindeer on the farm. Believe me, they are very jealous!

This visit brought me back to childhood and I’m glad that I managed to meet the favorite superheroes of my dreams. Perhaps it was so judged, and after 20 years I finally got the opportunity to use my moment of sleep!

After meeting with Santa Claus and visiting the Reindeers Farm, my photographer and I sent postcards to our loved ones from a special post office located in the North Pole. Maybe I’ll get a special letter from Santa Claus this holiday season, but we’ll see! Everything is possible! Maybe I’ll get a bike with the letter, who knows…

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 one interesting outfit which I did in collaboration with famous luxury street wear brand Makia. 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 Santa Claus Office, Santa Claus Reindeer farm 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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Letters from Finland: One interesting day in Rovaniemi

My dear travellers, I think now is just a perfect time to read another letter from Finland. I sincerely hope that you are doing good to and you are on some vacation, whether if you have been able to travel somewhere or relax at home, vacation is a very important thing to people who works, they need to relax! First of all, I would like to thank you for the wonderful comments you sent me for the previous post, as well and the wonderful messages and questions that you send me to the Instagram about Azerbaijan.

Today on the blog we continue our adventure in Finland, but I promise you that within a few days we will officially “start” our adventure in Azerbaijan! In the previous post, you had the opportunity to meet my new furry friends – Huskies with whom I had the opportunity to hang out. If you are interested to remind a little or you have missed a chance to read my previous post from Lapland, please take time and click on this LINK.

Of course before I start today I would like to thank the team from the Rovaniemi Tourist Board – Visit Rovaniemi as well as the national Finnish airline company Finnair on this wonderful trip. This trip was an incredible experience, which I will for sure remember, for a lifetime.

Today I have set myself a special task, which is to prove that Rovaniemi and Lapland are not only the land of Santa Claus and the cute Reindeers, but that there is also something else that this area is known for. Also, some of you have sent me the questions: “Is it worth it to go to Finnish Lapland in the summer time? Is there anything special and interesting to be seen? ” In a way, for us from the Europe, Finland is one cold Northern European country and rather unexplored country, but that does not mean that it is a country where 365 days of snow and that it is only known by Santa Claus. My shortest possible answer to the previous questions would be: “Yes, there is a lot of interesting things to see!”.

To understand what I’m talking about, I think you should read this post till the end. Have you ever wondered how daily life in the Finnish part of Lapland looks like? How to live in the Arctic? What is the Arctic Circle?

To find out something new and by the way maybe to provide answers to all these questions, the first station in Rovaniemi would be the Arktikum – Science Center and Museum.

Arktikum is a science center and museum located in the center of the city and with its modern look, attract views of tourists. This is the perfect first “station” you need to visit because it will help you to get to know Rovaniemi and the Arctic area better.

The first interesting thing you will notice at the entrance to this museum is a beautiful glass dome over the main hall, and if you look better, you will see a finger-shaped dome that “shows” to the North Pole. At the Arktikum Museum, you always have interesting and educational exhibitions that are interactive, so that they have made every effort to enjoy, while discovering some new interesting facts about the Arctic.

The first exhibition which I visited was dedicated to the history of the city of Rovaniemi, as well as the regions themselves. In addition, you have the opportunity to learn about Saami people. Saami are indigenous inhabitants of the Arctic region of the Sapmi, 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.

In addition, you can find out a lot of historical facts related to Rovaniemi, such as what happened to the city after the Second World War, as well as the remaining animal and plant species found in this region.

Rovaniemi, like the whole of Lapland, had an interesting history. The city developed until the Second World War when it was literally completely destroyed, and after that the city was completely rebuilt out of the ashes again. Only a few objects have “survived” the attack, and one of them is the building of today’s Korundi, a gallery of modern art. I promise that I will write about this art gallery about this extraordinary treasury of contemporary art.

It is believed that this region was a settlement 7,000 years ago, when the first representatives of the Saami people who came to these area. They developed some basics of the exchange of goods, which were just the roots of some trade systems that we know today.

In my head it goes like this: “Buyer: Hello, can I get these boots for 4 salmons? Seller: It’ ok! (or seller wants to bargain and raise the value of his goods).

This exhibition is really incredible because you have the opportunity to experience the cold Arctic in another way and just to see that life is happening there in a similar way as it was in other parts of Europe and the world.

Of course, in addition to learn more about the progress of society, you also realize that nature is also the most important thing which need to think about and take care. This region has an extremely rich herbs world and Arctic animal breeds.

I personally saw one beautiful owl and some other animals in just one day, but that does not mean you will not meet a wolf or a polar squirrel. Who knows, everything is possible!

I must admit that the Arktikum was one of the most interesting museums that I had the opportunity to visit in my whole blogging career. It’s simply incredible how much a person can learn something new and useful through some interesting exhibitions in the museum.

Lapland is a place where you can find some reindeers and mooses more than people! (of course that is one local joke) I am sure that this land has more than one species of these deers than dogs, and this is a sign that nature is in the strong connection with the people in Lapland.

After the story of the history of this city, as well as of the entire Arctic region, you continue your journey to the second part of the Arktikum museum, where there is an exhibition that explains some of the natural phenomena.

In this part of the world, there are known natural phenomena that occur in various seasons. For example, in the winter, polar light appears. Today, this is just a beautiful colours on the pictures on Instagram, but in some past times people were afraid of this incredible phenomenon.

There are more legends, but one of the most interesting is the myth of Polar Fox. “When the winter comes, the fox can’t be calm, she jumps through the sky, and with the tip of her tail, she forms certain parts, and thus, those unreal rays of green color appear in the sky. It was not a good sign, ghosts are not happy! ”

The natural phenomenon I must admit most of all is the phenomenon known as “Midnight Sun” that occur in the summer months from the beginning of June to the middle of July, and during that period the Sun does not go down at all.

Imagine seeing the sun at midnight or at 1 o’clock in the morning… Oh yes, there is no sleeping at all! I think that this part of the world is ideal for us bloggers, because we can work literally 24 hours a day, just to take photos of our outfits and finally little Marko can finish all the work on time! 😀

In addition to these famous phenomena, you can find out more about the effect of “Greenhouse Effect” and the problem of the melting of ice on the poles. These are extremely huge problems and we have to treat them all as humanity if we want to survive.

Nature helps us, we can help her and continue the normal flow, and we all live in harmony with nature. So we need a little bit of happiness, why should we ruin it all?

Well, after we have a little thought about our current state as humanity and if we have awakened the consciousness, I think that it requires a cultural upbringing. If you remember, I mentioned to you that Rovaniemi during the Second World War had literally been destroyed and that a couple of buildings had survived the attack.

One of these buildings is today’s building, which is home of the Korundi Modern Art Gallery. Korundi is a real treasury, where you can find exclusively some master-pieces of modern art.

A few years ago, Rovaniemi city administration has decided to help young artists and encourage their work. For some time they thought how to help develop creativity and keep young hopes and Korundi opened its doors to all young artists.

As an ordinary observer, who really does not understand the true value of these works, I enjoyed conversation with my guide, who was trying hard to explain their way of working.

New art workshops were opened, young artists opened their art schools, and I had the opportunity to see how a young artist taught some seniors how to develop their talent for painting, completely free!

I thought that artist can not live normally, but it seems that it’s just about how much consciousness is developed about the need for art. Maybe I do not know the value of all these artworks, but I realised that I was staying in front, while I was sitting and watching some kind of modern art, I was calm down in some unusual way.

Maybe I do not understand art, but that does not mean that I can not understand how to enjoy their beauty. Still the beauty of the work itself is in the eye of the observer.

My day in Rovaniemi was fulfilled and I did not feel any special tiredness, I think this was a form of educational vacation where I learned a lot of new things that I was interested in, so maybe that’s why I’m excited as I write this post now.

Of course, this blogger must have something to eat, so I received a recommendation from the Rovaniemi Tourism Board to try some local cuisine in Rakas restaurant. My photographer only love this part of our trips when we are going to eat, so the team from the tourist board and the restaurant itself wanted to prove their culinary skills…

My photographer is more of a type of “meat” lover person, but I decided to eat some vegetables this time because this blogger got a little weight up, so there was something wrong with the jeans, so I had to go on the diet.

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 introduce you with the most beloved man in the world – Santa Claus! 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 Arktikum Science Centre and Museum, Korundi Art Gallery, Rakas Restaurant 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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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 Valletta: My second day on Malta Fashion Week

Hello guys, welcome to my new post! I hope you are doing well and you are ready for your vacation because I know that July and August are usually the period which people mostly use for a vacation, just to relax with their family and friends. I hope that you have booked some nice trip, it’s not important a destination where you are going, but a person simply sometimes just need to change his environment at least to take some stress away. That’s why traveling is a great way to relax, in the midst of your thoughts, and recharge the batteries for new the new working victories.

Before I start my today’s post, I would like once again to thank the Malta Tourism Authority for the invitation and I had an amazing opportunity to attend on such important fashion event, such as Malta Fashion Week.

Today, we will continue my “fashion” adventure in Malta and I will show you my outfit which I wore during the second day at Malta Fashion Week. When you go to the sea or to coastal areas, in most cases you imagine that your swimsuit (for women), and even shorts (for us men) and generally your outfits which you prepare for your “vacation mode” will be some bright colors. Of course, I am a huge fan of bright colors, but I decided because it is a formal, important event that I need to have at least my one own “black” moment to shine.

I put on my black trousers, thank God for at least I found some good model of trousers, because otherwise I belong to that group of men who have a visually longer upper part of the body, than the lower extremities, read it as in the phase Mother nature wasn’t been sooo good to me! 😀

After all those years, I learned to camouflage my little “disadvantages” and by the way I became proud of them, and this time I was proud of myself that I managed to reach the best version of me. I’ve got a lot of compliments that night at Malta Fashion Week.

I can only say there are no things in the life that would give me more satisfaction for me that evening, than the reward that I managed to at least to look good “just for 5 minutes”. Of course, for my natural look, I will give the credit to the temperature of 35 degrees, where I had the opportunity to think in moments of all my mistakes in my life and also to get that famous blush, stylish effect of “wet” hair that turned out to look not so bad on me!

Taking some photos in a nice outfits at 35+ degrees is reserved only for people who are on the last day of their vacation or for us bloggers who have learned to take a photos at -10 in a sweater or to boil nicely on 40 degrees like professionals, it’s something that you just need to do! 😀

Imagine when my poor little camera turned off with the message that it was necessary to cool the system, you can imagine how much I wanted to throw myself into that water, although I can not swim… Bloggers do not have problems in their perfect world? THINK AGAIN! 😀

The picture you have the opportunity to see above was taken right after we made a sweet break where we (my photographer and I) ate an ice cream, then little Marko with a smile could continue to take pictures. (the natural effect of this happiness ended after half an hour…)

You are not familiar with pieces of this outfit, because I have tried to make an interesting new combination with my Italian friends from Loro Piana and Seventy. Right now, while I am writing this post and posting this photos here on the blog I can see that we all together did one amazing job!

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

T-Shirt: Seventy

Trousers: Loro Piana

Backpack: Louis Vuitton

Sneakers: Loro Piana

In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Europe. This time we will explore Sardinia and I can’t wait to share all those beautiful photos with you. Also there is one more fashion outfit post from Malta and that post will be the last one from this series of posts from Malta.

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)
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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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 Malta: The Mediterranean Love at First Sight…

My dear travellers, how are you today? Finally, these sun rays today proved that for us in Serbia finally begins June and summer is officially ON. I honestly do not remember when was the bad weather condition of the previous years, but this year is obviously full of surprises.

It’s still strange to me, and I can not get used to these changes in time, so I’m sorry that my adventure in Malta did not last for at least few more days… Okay, maybe this new series of posts from Malta will help me just to remember how nice it was there. I’m writing to you today my first post about Malta. This series of posts about Malta will be a little longer because there will be a little more travel posts, and of course, as you have been used to, and special fashion posts where I will tell you about my adventures. So let’s start!

The Republic of Malta is a small, but densely populated island country made up of an archipelago in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea in the south of Europe. Malta, otherwise geophysically, forms part of North Africa, but this country is geopolitically located in southern Europe. It has an important geographical position on an important road to the central part of Sicily and Italy as well. Malta is a Mediterranean pearl located somewhere between Europe and Africa.

The climate is Mediterranean with extremely mild winters, which is one of the main benefits for a pleasant holiday for most of the year. The culture of Malta is a blend of many cultures that have been in contact with the island for centuries, which makes my trip an interesting adventure.

This spring I received a kind invitation from the National Tourism Organization of the Republic of Malta to come to Malta and visit their biggest fashion event – Malta Fashion Week. Since I have been planning to come to Malta for a long time because I heard it was a land of knights and lost dreams, I thought this was an ideal opportunity to explore Malta and finally to check out all those legends about knights.

At the end of May this year, little Marko and his photographer headed to this Mediterranean paradise. I have to admit after the cold of Russia, Malta was the perfect next fashion station for Mr.M, but this adventure is a little bit warmer, because of the Mediterranean climate which I really love.

In collaboration with the Tourist Organization of Malta, I visited the capital of Malta – Valletta, Sliema, Birgu, Mdina, Marsaxlokk and, of course, the sister’s island of Malta – Gozo. This incredible adventure lasted for 6 days and I think that for 7 to 10 days it is quite enough to explore this island without any rush.

According to the plan and program, the first stop was: Sliema. The city is located on the northern coast of the island and is not to far from the capital city, about ten kilometers away. Otherwise, Sliema is known as a major residential and commercial area and a centre for shopping, bars, dining, and café life. There is the largest shopping mall and retail complex – The Point Shopping Center. Since I was able to visit a couple of stores, I can tell you that as far as prices are concerned, almost as much as in other parts of Europe, such as Italy and France. It was time to find my car and to go to my next destination – Birgu.

P.S. For all lovers of Zara, the prices of products of this famous street style brand are the lowest in Greece and Malta, so now you will know where you can buy some of the fashion pieces of your favorite brand. I believe that some of you will say after this: “Thank you Marko!”, I will only say, “No worries!”.

Birgu or Vittoriosa is one of the official 11 cities in Malta. Have you heard the famous legend of the “Three Cities” in Malta? The three cities represent a collective description of the three fortified cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua in Malta. The oldest of these cities is Birgu, which exists since the Middle Ages. The other two cities, Senglea and Cospicua, were founded by the Knights of St. John in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Birgu is a very old locality with its origins reaching back to medieval times. Prior to the establishment of Vallettaas capital and main city of Malta, military powers that wanted to rule the Maltese islands would need to obtain control of Birgu due to its significant position in the Grand Harbour. In fact, it served as the base of the Order of Saint John and de facto capital city of Malta from 1530 to 1571.

When the Order of Saint John first settled in Malta in 1530, all of their administrative divisions were based in Birgu, so the Church of Saint Lawrence was used as the Order’s first conventual church in Malta. It served this purpose for 41 years from 1530 to 1571 until the Knights were transferred to the new capital city Valletta. The foundation stone of the present church was laid in May 1681 by Bishop Molina, it was completed in 1696. The church was inaugurated by Bishop Davide Cocco Palmieri on the feast of St Lawrence, August 10, 1697.

In January, 1941 the church was bombed. Both the sacristy and the chapter hall were destroyed. They were both re-built in 1949. In March of the same year the chapel of the blessed Sacrament was destroyed and in April, 1942 the dome of the church was destroyed. The chapel was re-built in 1951 and the dome was re-built in 1952.

The architecture of this church is incredible and I must be honest that I did not expect something like this in Malta. After this visit to this lovely island country, the picture of Malta in my head is totally different. Of course, due to the legend of the “Table of Knights” and the Knight orders of Malta I imagined completely different. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to visit this country.

Birgu is still rich “in heart” just because of beautiful facades, whose architecture shows historical heritage, despite the damage that it suffered during the bombing during World War II. His other name Vittoriosa was awarded as a result of its winning position in the Great Siege of 1565.

After this wonderful walk around the streets of Birgu, my photographer and I were headed to another important city in Malta – Mdina.

Mdina is a fortified city in the northern part of the island, which served as the island’s capital from antiquity to the medieval period. The city is still confined within its walls, and has a population of just under 300, but it is contiguous with the town of Rabat, which takes its name from the Arabic word for suburb, and has a population of over 10,000 people.

Its mixture of medieval and baroque architecture, the fortifications walls and its position make it one of the most beautiful cities on the Malta.

Today, Mdina is one of Malta’s major tourist attractions, hosting about a million tourists a year. There are no cars (other than a limited number of residents, emergency vehicles, wedding cars and horses) are allowed in Mdina, partly why it has earned the nickname “the Silent City”. The city displays an unusual mix of Norman and Baroque architecture, including several palaces, most of which serve as private homes.

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.

Bye, bye my dear Mdina, for now see you again next week! Now I just want to warn you to prepare on time for the most colourful village on the Malta. Welcome to Marsaxlokk! Marsaxlokk is a small, traditional fishing village in the southeastern part of the island. It has a harbor and tourist attraction famous for its incredible landscapes, fishing and history. In March 2014, the village had around 4,000 inhabitants. The village is also known for the famous Marsaxlokk market, which is mainly a large fish market, which is held almost every Sunday along the whole coast.

This colourful and lovely village is still inhabited and known since antiquity. Marsaxlokk had an important role even with the ancient Phoenicians and Cartagines making business with local harbour, and also has the remains of the harbour from the Roman era. It is known for its traditional and colorful ships “Luzzus”. The village is also popular among locals and tourists for walking around the coast and the harbor, restaurants, as well as because of its large areas which are reserved for swimming.

The Blue Grotto represents a number of sea caverns on the south east coast of Malta, a short distance off the fishermen’s harbour of Wied iz-Zurrieq. The location of the caves, combined with the rays of sunlight, lead to the seawater mirroring and showing numerous shades of blue on the cave walls and ceilings. Several caverns also mirror the brilliant colours of the underwater flora and fauna, whilst other caverns show a deep dark shade of blue.

Underwater, different colors of red, green, orange and yellow give an impressive and most beautiful photo to its visitors. The Blue Grotto is a popular destination for tourists with boat trips visiting the caves running almost all days of the year, depends on weather condition. Scuba diving and snorkeling on the coastline walls, together with rock climbing, are the most popular activities practiced in this area.

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 Malta? Have you ever visited this island? Did you enjoy in the story of the interesting Mediterranean pearl of Europe? I would like to share with me your opinion!

In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Malta, you will find out more about this island and amazing city Mdina! 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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Grace Patricia Kelly: The Glamorous Journey to Monaco

My dear adventurers, how are you today? I hope you are ready for the weekend because I have a new interesting story for you! You know that I always try to keep my promises so here I am today with the new travel story. Today I will present to you the second smallest country in the world – the Principality of Monaco. All who followed my adventure this month on Instagram had the opportunity to see some pictures and enjoy the beauty of this small, but lovely country on the Mediterranean coast. Of course, the first neighbor is France, but this country is also located near the border with Italy.

What is your association for Monaco? Is it only story about luxury and famous casinos or Monaco has something more to offer? There is always more, but for the Principality of Monaco only one woman was enough to mark the history of this small principality in Europe.

I’m sure that at least once in your life you heard her name: Princess of Monaco – Grace Patricia Kelly. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA), on November 12, 1929. Grace Kelly is considered one of the greatest actors and fashion icons of all time. The woman, who radiated with her beauty and grace, began her first acting steps  in the theater, and then she got first her roles in the TV series and thus “moved” her career on television.

Shortly thereafter, she also received her first role on the “big screen” in the film “Fourteen Hours” after that film, for everyone it was clear that another great star was born in Hollywood. During her rich acting career, she won the Golden Globe and the Oscar, which have always represented the prestige and value of the best actors. The last film she recorded in her career was the “High Society” in 1956.

That same year she decided to end her acting career and marry Renier III, Prince of Monaco. Grace Kelly may have fulfilled the dream of many girls who dream to marry a prince, but is it a guarantee of happiness? Can the true prince contribute to the happiest and caring life and to be happy for the rest of your life?

Like every question in life and these questions give you a space for numerous answers, but the Princess of Monaco has chosen her own path. There are various sources who claimed that Grace Kelly was unhappy in marriage, that she had been trying togo to Paris and try to at least somehow return to her acting career… The truth is somewhere out there!

The Princess of Monaco was a huge fashion icon, so one of the most renowned French fashion houses, Hermes, just named by Grace Kelly one of their legendary handbag models – Kelly. This bag today represents a real status symbol and if you decide to buy it, just keep in mind that you need to be ready to pay a little fortune for that nice, fashionable bag.

Her coming to the royal family, Grace Kelly changed the public picture of the royal life. She always tried to actively participate in humanitarian actions and she became a mother. The princess of Monaco with Prince Renius III had three children – daughters Caroline and Stephanie and son Albert.

How this interesting love story began? Aristotle Onassis, a wealthy Greek shipowner, bought a casino in Monte Carlo in 1953, but the Monaco economy began to slip. Onassis talked about it with Gardner Kauls, the publisher of the magazine Luke, who noted that Prince’s marriage with a Hollywood star could attract wealthy tourists to Monaco. Kauls suggested to Marilyn Monroe, whom she really liked this idea.

However, Prince Renius III met Grays Kelly at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955 and thought she would be the ideal wife and Princess of Monaco. Prince, otherwise, had to marry because of inheritance, if he did not accidentally succeed in securing the heir to the monastic throne, his principality would belong to the Republic of France. With serious intentions to marry Ms. Kelly, the Price visited her on filming set of the movie “The Swan”, a few days later he visited her family in Philadelphia.

Because of this marriage, Grace Kelly gave up on her acting career. Shortly after their wedding, Prince Renius III presented her with a full list of strict rules which, as a princess, had to follow. Soon afterwards, the prince forbade the screening of his wife’s films in Monaco.

In 1962, Alfred Hitchcock gave Grace a lead role in his movie “Marnie”. Although she really wanted to return to the movie screen and her acting career, Prince even allowed her to make this film, but the people of Monaco protested because people didn’t want their princess to interpret the figure of kleptomaniac or to record love scenes with Sean Connery. Later she returned to television, reading poetry and doing narration for documentaries.

Grace of Monaco on her return from France to Monaco, along with her daughter Stephanie, had a car accident. The cause of the accident was a stroke, in which Grays Kelly lost control of her car. She died one day later at the hospital and she was buried on September 18, 1982, in her 52 years of age. She is buried in the family tomb of Grimaldi in the cathedral of St. Nicholas (you can see the picture of the cathedral in the picture above).

Prince Renius III, who never married again after her death, passed away in 2005 and was buried next to her. The funeral of the Princess of Monaco was attended by about 1,000 people, most of whom were from political life and members of royal families. Television broadcasts of the funeral were watched by millions of people.

Monte Carlo is a city dedicated to a woman who marked it’s history – Grace Kelly. Interesting fact, there is almost no store in Monte Carlo that does not have a picture of the royal family. There is also a beautiful portrait in the shop of the famous French brand Louis Vuitton. I tried in various ways to make some photos, but the pictures did not turn out just the way I planned, so I decided not to share those images with you on the blog.

The monument which you see in the picture above is located near the Prince’s Palace in Monte Carlo and erected as a sign of gratitude to Prince Albert I of Constant Roux, who was father of the Prince Renius III. Today’s prince of the Principality of Monaco, was named after his grandfather.

Monte Carlo is an interesting, vibrant city that never sleeps. There are always the best parties, beautiful expensive yachts, a city where the famous Formula 1 races are held, better known as Monaco Grand Prix. Of course, there are still many interesting events, that’s Monte Carlo! ?

It is a fact that the Principality of Monaco is one of the richest countries in the world because there is no tax and this is one of the main reasons why rich people want to obtain the citizenship of this small country. In Monaco there is no property tax, inheritance or donated property for direct heirs. To become a citizen of this country, you will need a lot of things… ?

My dear ones 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 the post, I would like to thank my friends from Air France for this incredible adventure and Tourism Board of Monaco that made my stay pleasant and I felt like at home.

How do you like this post about Monaco? Have you ever visited Monte Carlo? Did you enjoy in the story of the life of one Hollywood diva and suddenly who became the princess? I would like to share with me your opinion!

In a couple of days we will continue our adventure across Europe, you will find out more about Malta and amazing event called Malta Fashion Week! I can’t wait to share all those beautiful landscapes 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 Air France company and Visit Monaco – Tourism Board of Monaco. I also thank my friends from Sony who made it possible to enjoy in these beautiful photos made with the Xperia XZ3.
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