Tag Archives: Malta

Malta landscape

If you like to view and photograph landscape in bright sunshine, travel to Malta. Of course there are many more wonderful reasons to visit Malta, but the landscape is one of the strongest reasons.

ps. click on the photos to see them enlarged

Malta landscape

The Mediterranean is one of the most beautiful seas. It surrounds the whole Island of Malta. To stand close to the seashore up on the small hills, lets you view and photograph almost all the way to the other side of the small Island.

You can often see old, white stonewalls. Malta is known for these. You can feel the history walking along these old paths, close to the seashore.

Malta landscape 6

There are many bays on the Island of Malta. They are all fabulous.

Malta landscape 7


I can warmly recommend to visit Malta. Best time is from April to October. If you like hot climate, travel in July or August.

 

 

 

The Maltese Cross

My husband bought me a nice necklace, last time we visited Malta. It was the Maltese cross, also known as the Amalfi cross. It is the cross symbol associated with the Knights of Malta.

The Knights of Malta

The cross is eight-pointed and has the form of four “V”-shaped elements, each joining the others at its vertex, leaving the other two tips spread outward symmetrically. Its design is based on crosses used since the First Crusade.

The eight points also symbolize the eight obligations or aspirations of the knights:

  • to live in truth
  • to have faith
  • to repent one’s sins
  • to give proof of humility
  • to love justice
  • to be merciful
  • to be sincere and wholehearted
  • to endure persecution

The first evidence for Maltese Cross on Malta appears on the 2 Tarì and 4 Tarì Copper coins of the Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Vallette. The 2 and 4 Tarì Copper coins are dated 1567. This provides a date for the introduction of the Maltese Cross.

maltese cross red

The Maltese Cross is a very cherished symbol of the Maltese people and the cross has become part of the Malta’s heritage and culture.

Many souvenirs are adorned by the Maltese Cross. The cross is also used in all kinds of jewelry including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, broaches, pendants and cuff-links.

Malta: Historic sites, classic cars and old airplanes

MALTA AVIATION MUSEUM

I am interested in history. On Malta there are quite a few historic sites to see and visit. Beautiful churches and cathedrals, small and amazing museums, ancient temples,  catacombs, towers and monuments. The oldest are 7000 years old.

Some of my favourite ones are the Citadella and its cathedral on Gozo, the huge private classic car collection (museum) in Qawra and the small Malta Aviation Museum in Ta’Qali.

aviation museum_airplane

Malta Aviation Museum is fabulous, especially if you like old airplanes and military cars. I finally saw a Spitfire and a Hurricane – they have been my favourites for some time now. It was great to see them, touch them and take a lot of pictures. My husband went nuts, in a positive way.

The museum is situated in Ta’Qali. It is easy to find by car or by bus. A nice gentleman, Anthony Spiteri, takes care of the museum and is your guide if you wish.

Aviation museum Ile

A few models of the airplanes and cars at the museum are: Wright Flyer, de Havilland Tiger Moth, Fairey Swordfish, Douglas C-47 (DC-3), Beech 18 (Expeditor) plus Willies Jeep, Fiat 500A Topolino and Standard Van 14. People inspired and interested in technology will for sure enjoy to see old airplane engines, engine parts, electronic devices as well as scale models. My husband could have stayed here for the whole day.

Malta aviation museum Johanna
CLASSIC CARS

We found some small brochures at our hotel and found something amazing – Malta Classic Car Collection. We drove right away to Il-Qawra, not far from Mellieha Bay, where we stayed this time. The owner of this one of a kind museum is Carol Galea. His passion is to save classic sports cars built 1940 – 1970. The cars are rarities and have been restored to a pristine condition. I love this museum.

Malta car collection_1
car museum_old bike
There is a range from T-Birds to Spitfires, Fiats to Fords as well as Jaguars to Alfa Romeo and Austin Healey. Read about the amazing story of Carol Galea and his one of a kind museum here.

Malta car collection_2


OTHER INTERESTING SITES

I recommend to visit The National Museum of Archeology in Valletta , The National War Museum Fort St Elmo, also in Valletta, and the Roman Villa in Rabat.

Malta’s silent city Mdina is a fortified medieval town enclosed in bastions, located on a large hill in the centre of Malta. The town was the old capital of Malta. Mdina is referred to as the “Silent City” – no cars (except those of a limited number of residents) have permission to enter Mdina.

The Mellieha Air Raid Shelters (Kenn Ghall-Attakki Mill-Ajru) offer quite an experience to see how the people lived during WW II, when the Island of Malta was heavily attacked with bombs.

Mellieha shelters
Malta offers so much. You can enjoy the sunny weather on the beach or walking around in the small towns, you can drive around in the countryside and take pictures of the scenery, and after visiting a few interesting museums, cathedrals or shops it is time to enjoy a cold drink and some great traditional Maltese food. It is rustic and based on the seasons. Try Rabbit Stew, Braġioli (beef olives), Kapunata, (Maltese version of ratatouille), Ġbejniet (sheep or goat’s cheese) and Bigilla (broad beans with garlic).

Malta hills

History of Malta and modern Ramla Bay

SHORT HISTORY OF MALTA

If you are even a little bit interested in historical sites, sunny days and friendly people, Malta is the perfect choice for you. Beautiful churches, astonishing cathedrals, amazing museums and people, ancient temples, catacombs with underground galleries and tombs, over a thousand years old forts and various kind of monuments, all this you find on the small sunny island named Malta.

They say the first people to settle on the Maltese Islands (in Maltese: Repubblika ta’ Malta) came from Sicily about 5000 BC.

map of sicily
The Romans conquered  Malta in 218 B.C. A thousand years later the Arabs came and brought with them citrus fruits, spices, a new religion (Islam) and cotton. They left their mark on the Maltese language and in the names of many towns and villages in Malta and Gozo, such as Marsa, Mdina, Mġarr, Mqabba, Għajnsielem and Rabat.

Later on the Normans conquered Malta, and the Islands were to be part of the Kingdom of Sicily. In 1798 Napoleon Bonaparte took over Malta from the Knights on his way to Egypt.

Malta blog eng pic 6 napoleon
Quite soon the English blockaded the islands and the British rule in Malta lasted until 1964, when  Malta became finally independent.

Modern Malta became a Republic in 1974 and joined the European Union in May 2004.

Malta covers just over 316 km² (122 sq mi), making it one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries. The population is estimated to 421 000.

RAMLA BAY

We have visited the fabulous Malta twice. I wish to go there a third time. Instead of staying where most people go, Valletta, we have stayed at the northern-most coast of the island.  I can warmly recommend Ramla Bay.

There are not many sandy beaches in Malta but at Ramla Bay you find some really nice ones. Same goes for Mellieha Bay, just 5 minutes south of Ramla Bay. Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, at the northwest coast of Malta, is a red beach and just a short distance of Golden Bay. It is quieter than Golden Bay and often visited by the Maltese themselves.

If you stay at Gozo, be sure to visit the most beautiful beach, Ramla il-Ħamra, located at the bottom of a valley in the north of Gozo, close to the village of Nadur. The large beach has unusual red sand.

Malta blog eng pic ramla il H

Last time we stayed at the Ramla Bay Resort, a four star hotel with a small private beach.  The bay around it offers a variety of water sports. Spa du Soleil again offers a range of treatments, a sauna, a steam room as well as a fitness room.

Malta blog eng pic2

The water in the bay (Ramla tal-Bir) by the hotel was clear and refreshing. As it is quite warm in June one appreciates the cool, but not cold, sea water. It was fantastic to lay in the hot sun, enjoying the view of the Mediterranean and the tourists on skijets, canoes and sailing boats. Some also tried windsurfing. All the memories of the Finnish cold winter disappeared in a second.

Ramla Bay

In the evening it was nice to sit on the balcony, feeling a cool breeze from the sea. The view on the sunset over Gozo Island was relaxing.

 

Gozo Island 3