WELCOME

This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Valletta in Sepia (3) – Auberge de Castille

 Valletta at Twilight

The Auberge de Castille was the official residence of the Knights of the Langue of Castille, Leon and Portugal, one of the most powerful of the Order. Auberges were inns or residences for those knights that did not have a house in Malta.

Valletta at Twilight (1)

The original auberge was built by Maltese architect Girolamo Cassar in 1574. It was virtually re-built in 1741 and the present imposing structure is attributed to Andrea Belli. This auberge is one of the most ornate buildings in Valletta and it is built on the highest point of the capital city, commanding views of the harbour and of the surrounding towns and countryside.

During British rule it was used as the headquarters of the British Army. Today it houses the Office of the Prime Minister.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ghajn Tuffieha

Situated on the north-west coast of our island is a little gem of a bay known as Ghajn Tuffieha. This bay is rather secluded and access is via around 200 steps that lead down to the beach from a car park situated at the top of the hill. Another option is to hike down the clay footpaths. In this area there is a predominant layer of clay which supports a very unique type of flora and fauna. The clay hills which enclose this bay are protected areas and are patrolled and monitored by the GAIA Foundation ( a non-profit, non-government organization that specializes in environment management). Various projects are underway to propogate  and conserve endemic species and phase out any others that are not part of the local ecosystem. The entrance to this bay is guarded to this day by a tower built in the 17th century. History is never too far away in Malta.

With its stretch of red-gold sand and crystal clear blue water, this little bay is an idyllic spot both during the summer and in winter. Whilst summer-time finds this beach crowded with sunbathers and swimmers, in the winter it is transformed into an oasis of serene beauty: a place where you can sit down and enjoy the silence while listening to the sea whisper its secrets.

 

Ghajn Tuffieha (2)Ghajn Tuffieha (20)  Ghajn Tuffieha (7) Ghajn Tuffieha (8) Ghajn Tuffieha (10) Ghajn Tuffieha (12) Ghajn Tuffieha (13) Ghajn Tuffieha (19)

These photos were taken on a bright and sunny winter’s day last year. They were taken from the footpaths and the only glimpse of the sandy beach is in the very first picture.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Little Red Door


After a long absence from Ruby Tuesday I decided to participate with this photo of a little red door belonging to an old house. It makes me wonder whether our ancestors were trying to save on wood or whether they were just vertically challenged.


For more Ruby Tuesday participants go here.

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