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Malta Aquarium – a good choice for enjoying couple of hours

by Anastasiia Linnas on August 30, 2015, no comments

(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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July in Malta – time of fireworks and feasts

by Anastasiia Linnas on August 2, 2015, no comments

 

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 :)

Discovering the Two of Three Villages: Lija and Attard

by Anastasiia Linnas on June 7, 2015, no comments

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.

Maltese Balconies – variety of shapes, colours and purposes

by Anastasiia Linnas on March 30, 2015, no comments

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!

 

 

Hiking along Dingli Cliffs

by Anastasiia Linnas on March 10, 2015, one comment

On the map

Dingli on the map

Although Malta is quite a small island – there are plenty of things to see and to do. You would definitely enjoy hiking along the most picturesque sites of Malta! Here is a photo-story about one of such places – Dingli Cliffs.

The pictures were taken along this road:

Hiking path

Hiking path

 

Tips:

  • Getting around – take bus № 202 from San Giljan/ Sliema/ Msida/ Univercity or № 201 from the Airport. See time tables here.
  • You might want to check out other attractions in Dingli area – check a Local Council homepage for information.
  • There is a nice caffe/restaurant “Cliffs” with a sea view – great place to “charge your batteries” after/before hiking. Unfortunately it doesn’t serve food all day long and it’s closed on Tuesdays. For opening hours check out yellow pages.

Odessa in the eye of beholder

by Anastasiia Linnas on February 18, 2015, no comments

Panoramic view

Panoramic view

Odessa is my home city and I love it because and despite of everything. It has interesting history, beautiful architecture, amazing sea, jaw dropping bazaars and unforgettable people!

Unfortunately because of the situation in Ukraine it is not prospering now and people are mostly thinking about survival rather than happy living. But those times will end and I believe it will be viable and more beautiful than ever.

When you are living in a city, you kind off get used to everything and don’t see your home as unique – but it certainly is. Being away for years I started looking at my city in a different way, I recognise its problems, but moreover I see its beauty and charm.

Odessa city centre was designed by Italian and French architects 100-130 years ago and sometimes it reminds me of Paris in miniature. There are modern buildings in the city centre as well, unfortunately not always it is possible to preserve the style…

In between beautiful old buildings and modern structures one can find not so pretty, but nevertheless authentic sights of Odessa

Near my house in Odessa there is a famous (may be not as famous as Privoz though, but much cleaner) “New market” – classic bazaar, where you can find absolutely anything. After small shops in Malta it seemed so huge for me with such variety of fruits, veggies and meat even in winter! In terms of selection and prices it’s much better than lots of supermarkets and definitely it gives you a true experience of local culture 😉

I made photos for this blog in February, but Odessa is even more beautiful from May till October and there is much more activities as well. So if you ever get a chance to visit Odessa – do not hesitate! You can always ask me about tickets/hotels/getting around/to do-s and to see-s in the comments 😉

Christmas in Tallinn

by Anastasiia Linnas on December 15, 2014, no comments

While December in Malta looks like this…

Good weather in December

Good weather in December

 

I would like to continue creating Christmas mood by publishing one more photo gallery, this time it’s Christmas in Tallinn (2012-2014).

 

Nostalgia: Christmas in Sweden

by Anastasiia Linnas on December 11, 2014, no comments

Don’t know how Christmas and New Year’s Eve will pass this year for us here in Malta. It is +15 today…and I’m feeling nostalgic.

So here are some photos from our wonderful time in Sweden which is really fairy tale like during Christmas. Hope they’ll contribute to holiday feeling.

Likes & Dislikes (part 1)

by Anastasiia Linnas on December 2, 2014, no comments

2 month – that’s not enough time to deeply feel and understand the country, but it’s enough for tourism-euphoria to weaken. That’s the time when you start noticing stuff and behavioural patterns. You understand whether your “love from the first sight” can last, or are there any deal breakers. However, by the end of the day – it’s what you are focusing on that counts.

Me like it…

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Funny signs

by Anastasiia Linnas on December 1, 2014, no comments

There are very many signs in Malta, however usually they are ignored by public :) I think some of them are pretty funny. Will be updating the gallery once I come along with more of those.