What to wear in Malta in…?

by Anastasiia Linnas on September 11, 2016, no comments

November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October

What is the weather in Malta now? What should I wear and take with me? – one of the first questions my friends usually ask me before coming to Malta. Although for summer months the most frequent question is – how hot is it?

In this blog I’ll try to answer these questions and show some of our with Andy standard outfits for different seasons.

Let’s start from winter.

November

In Malta there are actually only 2 seasons – Summer (June to October) and Winter (November till May). Buses, ferries and restaurants’ schedules and opening hours usually depend on these 2 seasons.

November is the first winter month in Malta, but could one actually call it winter? One coming from Northern Europe probably couldn’t. Actually November in Malta can be even much more pleasant than June or August in Sweden, or Estonia.

What is good to know is that – winter season here, means rainy season. So if you decide to come to Malta in “winter”, better have your rain jacket with you.

 

One of the keys is to have several layers, because the weather changes during the day. In the evening Andy would always have a light sweater or pullover and a scarf on top of shirt with long sleeve and jeans or trousers.

Unless you are very unlucky – you would be able to enjoy nice beach weather in November in Malta. There might be several rainy-windy days in a row, but in the end there comes the sun.

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Where to find healthy food in Malta?

by Anastasiia Linnas on January 18, 2016, 3 comments

On this small island of pizza, pasta and Maltese sausage at some point one would crave for some tasty, fresh, juicy and healthy food – but where to find healthy, vegetarian, light food in Malta? Although, Malta is a Mediterranean country in a close proximity to Greece and Italy, you won’t find abundance of salads and fruits here. Actually, salad is something very uncommon for Maltese food culture and it seems that a lot of places keep salads (mix of salad leaves, tomato and cucumber with olive oil) in their menus just for tourists.

Here are some tips on where to find healthy food in Malta.

1. Tourists favourite cafe Mint in Sliema.

This small cafe just near waterfront promenade in Sliema is one the favourite places of tourists and expats. Good location, fast internet, cozy atmosphere and what is even more important – fresh homemade food.

One can find here variety of original salads with pear and blue cheese, or pumpkin and almonds, or quinoa salad. Tasty baguette, quiche, or porridge for breakfast; quinoa, sweet potato, or spinach kotlet (cutlet?) for lunch. Cafe Mint has also good selection of fresh juices (detox, power boost etc), very good coffee (that surprisingly enough is hard to find in Malta as well) and yummy desserts (incl Mint special carrot cake).

2. Soul food cafe in Valletta

This small cafe in the middle of Valletta offers some good vegetarian burgers and panini, as well as salads, fresh juices, soups and pasta.

They have a cozy room upstairs in addition to tables outside and wifi is quite good here as well.

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Malta Aquarium – a good choice for enjoying couple of hours

by Anastasiia Linnas on August 30, 2015, no comments

Malta National Aquarium

(Don’t read this blog if you are planning to go and see Malta Aquarium, cause it’s full of spoilers. Just go and see it :) Entrance for adult is 12.90 & 6 for kinds, there is a parking lot nearby – you have to validate your parking ticket at the counter to get full discount on parking.)

On Saturday we found ourselves wondering, how to spend the day taking into account that it was unbearably hot outside. We didn’t want to go shopping and museums didn’t sound like much fun for a family time. That’s how we ended up in Malta National Aquarium, where we found both fun sea life and nice, cool atmosphere.

Rays “flying” in the water like some ghosts – were just amazing!

Flying ray

Small sharks swimming above you – so gracious among other fish and perfectly shaped.Small shark in aquarium

This funny little creature – a small ray – just made our day! A floating smile 😀
Floating smile - funny little ray in aquarium

Pinocchio of the fish world – Whitemargin Unicornfish aka fish with funny nose.

Whitemargin Unicornfish - fish with funny nose

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Jellyfish sting – what to do?

by Anastasiia Linnas on August 15, 2015, one comment

Mauve stinger

It must have happened eventually, right? I got stung by a jellyfish. I believed it wouldn’t be something new for me, as I grew up on the shore of the Black Sea, but apparently jellyfish in Mediterranean sea is different and much more unpleasant (read: it hurts soooo *** much!). The jellyfish I met was a Mauve Stinger – one of the most widespread jellyfish near Malta shores.

What to do if you were stung by the jellyfish in Malta?

Jellyfish sting, Malta

Jellyfish like Mauve Stinger has small “hooks” on its tentacles that stack in your skin and keep releasing poison even after you get rid of the jellyfish. more →

July in Malta – time of fireworks and feasts

by Anastasiia Linnas on August 2, 2015, no comments

July feast in Sliema, Malta

 

July is a time of feast in Malta! Literally every day there is a feast in one of the cities or localities all over Malta. Each church and parish has it’s own celebration and people are preparing for the event well in advance. Those feast are one of the most awaited for events for locals in Malta – and they are quite fun for tourists as well.

There are couple of drawbacks though (or advantages, depending on how you look at it):

  • fireworks – every day…every night…every morning, starting as early as 7am.
  • closed roads – you would need to go in circles there and back until you find an open way to your locality if there is a feast going on that day/night

Although these fireworks cause some mild discomfort in the mornings and at night when you try to sleep….it’s still is an unbelievable sight , if you are driving at night, somewhere near Mdina or Dingli and you see all these fireworks around you – sparkling, booming, fizzing all around Malta. And all those churches covered in colourful lights. Really beautiful!

It’s also unbelievable how much money is “fired in the air” – imagine New Years Eve firework every day for 30 days! But people love it, so why not :)

Why do Estonians choose Malta?

by Anastasiia Linnas on July 5, 2015, no comments

View to Valletta from Sliema

(Written for and published on Estonian World, 18.05.2015)

With its 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, Malta should sound like a heaven for Estonians, shouldn’t it? We asked the local Estonian community about the pros and cons of living on this tiny Mediterranean island.

If you search Malta online, all these beautiful pictures and postcards pop-up straight away. You might not believe that, in real life, Malta looks the same, but it does – the water is as azure and pure as it can get, the old cities of Medina, Rabat and Valletta look like decor left from medieval movie set and the cliffs are unapproachable but nevertheless picturesque. The shower of sunlight charges your batteries in no time.

But are those only reasons why Estonians choose to stay in Malta?

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Discovering the Two of Three Villages: Lija and Attard

by Anastasiia Linnas on June 7, 2015, no comments

San Anton Garden

Couple of weeks ago we were passing through a picturesque area on our way from Mosta to airport. Somehow during our 8 month on the island we never have come across this old and it seems also wealthy part of Malta. We decided to come back and explore, what happen to be two villages of Lija and Attard.

Lija, Attard, Balzan

Lija, Attard, Balzan

 

We started our walk from baroque Lija Parish Church , where a preparation for bridal spectacular took place, and headed towards San Anton Gardens, which IMHO is the most beautiful garden on the island – swan lake, tortoise pond, peacocks walking around the place, exotic trees, flowers and other plants, sweet scent of flourishing trees and variety of colours.

We made a dining-stop in the Presidents Kitchen Garden – it is a good place to visit with your kids, one can find not only playground, but also small pet-farm, swan/duck pond and fruit/vegetable garden here.

We explored tight streets of Lija with its picturesque and secluded villas and amused ourselves imagining that we travelled through time and ended up somewhere in the middle of 18th century. Our last stop was Villa Bologna, where (as usual) a big wedding took place. Although gardens were partially closed due to the event, we enjoyed a small walk around, nice music and beautiful сrafts of the Ceramics Shop.

Bad Malta and How to Cope with it

by Anastasiia Linnas on May 23, 2015, no comments

I think today I am in the right mood to write about “Bad Malta”. It was a non-pleasant week and although I was trying to stay positive it got through. However, to be fair – the fact that it all was happening in a beautiful setting of Mediterranean island actually decreased degree of annoyance.

So, what unpleasant things can happen to you in Malta…

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Maltese Balconies – variety of shapes, colours and purposes

by Anastasiia Linnas on March 30, 2015, no comments

Vittoriosa Balconies

Inspired by the talk on the origins and evolution of Maltese Balconies by Adrian Strickland, I’ve decided to share several interesting facts and also my humble collection of photos of balconies in Malta.

Talk on the origins and evolution of Maltese Balconies by Adrian Strickland gathered more than 400 attendants

Talk on the origins and evolution of Maltese Balconies by Adrian Strickland gathered more than 400 attendants

Probably the most famous balconies in Malta are Timber balconies, which could be found in aplenty in Sliema. Those are wooden and very colourful balconies that usually match up with wooden doors and window frames.

Timber balconies are beautiful not only because of the colour but decoration of a stone base. One can find crosses, floral ornaments, lions and caryatides.

Unfortunately a lot of ornaments are lost in the process of renovation. Some house owners prefer just cut them off rather than spend on restoration.

Here are some other styles of balconies in Sliema.

Interesting fact: With arrival of British to Malta, locals were introduced to modern invention – WC. The easiest way to build in canalisation was to let pipes go along façades (rather then in the walls), that is why a lot of balconies were converted to bathrooms. Some evidence of that still cold be found in Valletta.

According to a gentlemen from the audience (after the talk), before WC gained wide popularity, at least in Gozo, people would “collect”…hhmm..dump into a bucket and put it outside. These buckets afterward were collected and taken away from the city. People were to buy stamps in post office every week in order to pay for such service :)

Valletta balconies are very diverse – you can find nearly each and every type of balconies and decorations there.

Interesting fact: Some balconies are decorated with faces that show their tongues (tongue-masks). Tongue is a symbol of man power is used in order to protect house from an evil eye. Those mask originated in Egypt, where they portrayed the god “Bes”.  However in Egypt Bes would show other, more manly part of his body, rather than tongue – which would be unheard off in Catholic Malta. That is why the symbol was changed.

The old capital of Malta – Mdina – the silent city holds quite a few treasures of balconies’ architecture.

Not so grotesque and tidy, but nevertheless picturesque balconies could be found along waterfront in Pieta.

I really love walking in the city and observe this amazing variety of shapes and colours of Maltese balconies! Some look ancient, others are modern and simple – and sometimes they stand side by side. For now, one of my favourite cities is Vittoriosa (Birgu) and here are its balconies.

Interesting fact: Around 60 years ago in some parts of Malta a beautiful bouquet or plan on the balcony meant that there is a nice lady living in the house who reached a marriageable age :)

If you happen to be around in Malta on 15th of April (2015) – I advice to visit next even of Malta Heritage “Interpreting the Symbols on the Tombstones and Monuments of St John’s Co-Cathedral, by Dane Munro”.

Don’t forget to check Malta textures gallery that I’ve posted before!

 

 

Estonian start-up mafia

by Anastasiia Linnas on March 11, 2015, no comments

Startups in Estonia

 

When my friends from Life as an investment asked to write about three hottest start-ups in Estonia I found myself quite puzzled, as not 3 but 33 of them came into my mind at once (my Mac actually froze after opening their home pages).

During the last 10 years Estonia has managed to build a strong ecosystem for start-ups. The most significant role here probably was played by Skype. Today, the most successful start-ups in Estonia are f/o/unded by the so called “Skype mafia”.

So, I did my best to come up with a list of three that IMHO, fit into the Life as an Investment philosophy.

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