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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, April 3, 2011

Fawwara – a Hidden Gem Beneath The Cliffs

Have you ever visited a place in your childhood that you never went to again but that lived on in your  memory as a place of spectacular beauty? Well, Fawwara was that place for me. Over the years I would hear  people talk about its uniqueness and its pretty views and I always longed to go back. But somehow, the time and opportunity never seemed to arise. But last Saturday we took the narrow, winding road to this little hamlet situated beneath Dingli cliffs.

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The Chapel Of The Annunciation

So we followed the road that brought us first to the chapel of the Annunciation – above us the steep cliffs and below us the blue, blue sea. We headed on a bit more till the road just became a dirt path. At the end of the road was the chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Carmel (more about these two chapels in a future post). The view was magnificent: fields, the garigue, wild flowers, the sea and, in the distance, the little islet of Filfla.

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And all around us, the sound of silence – broken only by the chirping and twittering of birds. In this place, time had stood still, nothing had changed and memories from my first visit so many years ago came flooding back. The view, the cliffs, the scattered farmhouses, the caves – the very same caves that had sheltered Bronze Age men and women – I could feel the place working its magic on me.

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I had found a place which seemed untouched by the outside world and I felt that, like Rip van Winkle, I could stay there for an hour and a day only to return to the outside world and find out that 20 years had flown by while I was just gazing in rapture at nature’s wild beauty.

 

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Note

I could not fund much historical information about Fawwara. The name Fawwara is derived from the Maltese word for a spring of natural water. The area of Fawwara known as Gebel Ciantar seems to have been settled since Bronze Age times when the inhabitants made use of the many caves that dot the cliffs as their dwellings. The cliffs themselves provided an impregnable fortress against any would-be marauders. In the 13th century it is said that the Arab overlord Ali Sid killed and tortured a number of young girls from Fawwara for refusing to convert to the Islamic faith. I could find no historical data to back this story. But then, what place would be complete without its legends?

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The Chapel of Our Lady of Carmel

17 comments:

  1. Your stories and legends (and photos) could fill a book. It is amazing how this little island country has been at the crossroads of so much history. I love the photo with the yellow blooms and the sea in the background... wonderful photos as always!

    Bises,
    Genie

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  2. Great photographs again Loree. Thank you for sharing with us the beauties of your island.
    Have a great week.
    Costas

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  3. So it lived up to your expectations and you weren't disappointed! It does look like time is suspended, it's gorgeous.

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  4. Beautiful place, amazing that it hasn't changed in all those years.

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  5. Often you are disappointed when you see the same place after a long time, but here apparently nothing had changed it's just so beautiful !

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  6. Spectacular! Your island is beautiful and full of so much history ~ absolutely stunning.
    Wishing you a most lovely week!
    xoxo, B

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  7. Hi dear Loree
    Thanks for the blog birthday wishes.. I'm always thrilled to pop in here and see your lovely photos of beautiful Malta.. somewhere I haven't visited.. Maybe one day!!! Just love the cliff top shots!!

    Have a great week.. ciao xxx Julie

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  8. It's funny how you make me look at my home country in such a different way :) It's like falling in love all over again!

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  9. This sounds like a really nice walk. I like the flowers. There's something about yellow flowers that makes me smile.

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  10. Oh, what a breathtakingly beautiful spot. I could sit there for hours.... ~ xox Alexandra

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  11. Wishing you a lovely weekend! xoxo, B

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  12. Your picture are again very nice, i hope that i can visit Malta once a time.

    greetings, Joop

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  13. I know ~ Ever since I watched "Brideshead Revisited", I've longed to visit Venice. Have a wonderful day ~ xox Alexandra

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  14. There are those memories that stay with you forever, the place is absolutely beautiful... Fawaara in Hindi means fountain!! You live in a wonderful land and have a lovely blog to depict its beauty, will visit again...
    Have a nice day:)

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  15. What a beautiful place this is. I can never get enough of this beautiful island.

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  16. Loree, that was fantastic, I mean not just the pictures but the story itself, as you always do here.

    While I was seeing the post, my brother, 11 years old, came at my side to see what I was doing. He is studying cave's man paitings at school and got really impressed ( after I had read in portuguese and explained your post for him ) that I "know" somebody who lives near some of those caves!!!! :D

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  17. An impertinent pack rat I am not, necessitating 13 boxes to Goodwill yesterday. An attractive collection of useless junk. I am ocd, Mr. Coco is not ~ lethal combination. :) ...especially in a one bedroom apartment. Have a wonderful day, Loree ~ xox Alexandra

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