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alizswonderland

Malta,Travel

Day 4 in Malta – Blue Lagoon, Popeye village and Golden bay

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

I have been excited about the Blue Lagoon long before my journey to Malta.  It is totally a MUST VISIT spot during your stay in Malta. On the way back to our accommodation, we had few stops on the mainland: Popeye village for a short time and sunset at Golden bay.

Comino

The small island is situated between Malta and Gozo. Comino (Kemmuna) is named after the cumin herb that once flourished on the island.

Perfect place for a peaceful holiday. The biggest attraction is the Blue Lagoon, the narrow bay stretches between the island of Comino and the smaller island Cominotto (Kemmunett). It’s incredibly amazing with the white sanded beach and the crystal clear azure water.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

 

The boat stops next to the Lagoon, don’t need to walk a lot till paradise 😉 The boats aren’t allowed to the inner side, they can park on the northern and southern parts of the lagoon.

The most popular visiting time is between noon and 4 pm. Recommended arriving early.  We arrived just in time to rent sun beds and an umbrella. We paid 20 euros for 2 sunbeds and an umbrella at the main area (you can find half priced sun beds and umbrellas closer to the boat station).

Swim to the other island, called Cominotto. On that side, the beach isn’t totally sandy, be careful with the rocks and pebbles. Swim through the Blue Hole cave, but mind the waves. I couldn’t swim till the sea, it was wavy inside because of the wind. You can walk up to the top of the cliffs, I don’t have water shoes, I wasn’t brave enough to walk up there barefoot. The view must be magical from there. Next time, I will bring water shoes, cause there will be a next time 😉

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

How to get there?

It’s reachable only by boat, so no cars are allowed on the island. We took a boat by Comino Ferries Co-op at 11 am. Yes, it’s hard to get up early on your holidays.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

First, we went to the Cirkewwa ferry station, but couldn’t find a parking place (one disadvantage of travelling by car). We drove back few minutes, stopped at Marfa and parked next to the big white Riviera Hotel. During the summer the boat leaves every 30 minutes. The boat trip takes 30 minutes to Blue Lagoon.

The return ticket costs 10 euros. The boat headed east, the first stop was Santa Marija bay on the northern side of the island.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Then finally Blue Lagoooon 🙂

The last boat from the Blue Lagoon leaves at 6 pm. On the way back the boat turned to the nearby caves, where the St. Mary’s Tower stands, which originally was set up to facilitate defence and communication between the islands.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

There are possibilities to spend the night on the island if you fell in love with it. Comino has one resort hotel at San Niklaw bay. There are also holiday bungalows by Santa Marija bay.

Where to eat?

There are kiosks selling food, drinks and ice creams. You can find a great selection of food, don’t expect gourmet, just hamburger, hot dog, wraps and french fries. We tried the tasty salmon wrap and I drank a cosmopolitan cocktail from a pineapple. Must try!!! My boyfriend was laughing at me because I was so excited about it.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

This is wonderland: I could sit at the beach all day long staring at the magical blue sea and drink cocktails from a pineapple. What else do you need? Are you also obsessed with the colour of the sea?

 

Popeye village

I know I’m naive, but I didn’t know this much. I thought Popeye village is a normal village where people live. Hahaha!!! Nooooo, it’s not, you can laugh at me, I forgive you, I was also laughing at myself.

The truth is, Popeye Village was built for the Film Set of “Popeye” movie in 1979. They imported wooden planks to construct the 19 wooden buildings because Malta doesn’t have any forests. 

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Today the village is a popular tourist attraction, working as an adventure and theme park. There are playhouses, shows, cinema, rides, museums and a fun park on the water. You can meet the cartoon/ movie characters. Look, we have a photo with Popeye and Olive Oyl.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Everything looks very realistic and natural. They’ve even built a guillotine for punishments. My boyfriend didn’t buy me ice cream, so I punished him. Hahaha (evil laugh). Later I rescued him and he bought us ice creams 🙂

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

Ticket price depends on the visiting date

June, September & October:

Adults : € 14.50 / Children (3-12 years): €11.50  / Pensioners : €11.50

July & August:

Adults : € 16.00 / Children (3-12 years): €13.00 / Pensioners : €13.00

Ticket includes free bonuses: postcard, boat trip and punch for the adults, which you can access at different places, shown on the map you get at the ticket office.

Opening Time

Winter Season (November – March) :  9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Spring & Autumn Season (April – June / September & October) :  9:30 am – 5:30 pm

Summer (July – August) 9:30 am – 7:00 pm

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

How to get there?

Just follow the Popeye Village sign from the main road. The car park close to the entrance offers plenty of parking places.

Popeye village has its own bus stop, called Popeye. You can reach it by these bus lines: 41, 42, 101, 221, 222.

 

Golden bay

At that western coastline, there are 3 sandy beaches, the bays (Golden bay, Ghajn Tuffieha bay, Gnejna bay) are separated by rocky peninsulas. They have a very nice atmosphere with the surrounding rocky heights.

Golden bay beach (Ir-Ramla tal Mixquqa) is a wide and long sandy beach. The water is available for swimming and snorkelling. The sea wasn’t that clear as I expected, maybe after the Blue Lagoon, every water looks a bit dirty. For me, the Golden bay wasn’t that golden.

Day 4 - Blue Lagoon in Comino, Popeye village and Golden bay in Malta

It is very popular, was a bit crowded, though there’s a place for everyone thanks to its size. Chair and umbrella rental are available.

How to get there?

Follow the Golden bay signs. There is a big car park close to the bay. I can hardly call it a car park with the sandy and hilly surface, but it’s free. Along the way to the beach we saw more places, but for that, you have to arrive early.

There is a bus stop few minutes from the beach called Ghajn Tuffieha Bus Terminus, you can reach it by 44, 101, 223, 225 bus lines.

Where to eat?

There are kiosks at the beach. On the top of the hill, located the Apple’s Eye restaurantWe stopped by to have dinner and enjoy the sunset. Was a bit crowdy, so the service was a bit slow. The food was good, not the best we had in Malta.

From the terrace, we saw something on the sky. It was a flying bar not far from the bus stop, so you can enjoy the sunset also from the air.

Malta,Travel

Day 3 in Malta – Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

We left our Airbnb place in the morning and headed to the East to visit the island of Gozo. Ferries take the 5 km to Gozo in approximately 25 minutes. Our first stop was Dwejra with the remains of Azure Window. We visited the salt pans at the northern coastline, then finished the day at the reddish sandy beach of Ir-Ramla.

Gozo

Like Malta, the landscape of Gozo is formed primarily of limestone. Its scenery is also similar to the mainland, it is more rural and features more green areas. The underwater landscape is interesting, so the coastline is popular for diving and snorkelling. Its area is only 68 sqm, but we didn’t have time for everything, because we spent there only a day.

Dwejra with the Azure Window

First, we visited the area of Dwejra, which is located on the western coastline of Gozo. The word “dwejra” means “small home” in Maltese, which is named after a small house built on the cliffs and surrounded by the sea. The scenery is gorgeous there with the rest of the Azure Window, Blue Hole, Inland Sea and Dwejra bay. The coastline is a result of geological forces and offers several great hiking paths.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

We walked to Dwejra bay to have a closer look at Fungus rock (Il-Gebla tal-General), which is a 65-metre high individual rock in the bay. It was named after a plant known as Maltese Fungus, which was discovered by a commander of the Knights of St. John. This plant with medicinal and healing properties grew on the rock and was guarded by the Dwejra Tower up on the cliff. The tower was built in 1652 and was in use until 1873. In 1999 the restoration works had been finished and now it is open to the public.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

In the northern direction, you can see the remains of the Azure Window, the symbol of Gozo. It was a 28 metre high natural arch with 2 vast vertical rocks holding a flat top. The natural landmark was destroyed on the 8th of March 2017 by strong wind and high waves. Still attracts a huge number of visitors.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Walk down on the rocks to the water, just mind your steps. At the bottom of the rock face, the Blue Hole can be found, where the water has deep blue colour. It is an underwater cave and provides excellent dive site for experienced divers.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

The area on the other side of the rock face is the Inland Sea, a natural lagoon surrounded by tall cliffs. It is connected to the open sea with a 60 metre-long tunnel, called Blue Cave. From the Inland Sea you can take a boat tour through the tunnel. It is a popular scuba diving site and also good for swimming, because it has shallow and calm water with a pebbly shore.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Salt Pans

Sea salt production has a long history and tradition on Gozo. A lot of salt pans can be found along the northern coastline of Gozo, along Triq Is-Saghtrija and Triq Ix-Xwejni roads.

We stopped at the Xwejni bay, be aware that walking on them is forbidden. I didn’t know that, but a sign warned us. Only permitted for the locals, who collect rock salts in the morning during summer.

In shops, you can find Maltese sea salt as a gourmet product.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Ir-Ramla

Gozo’s largest sandy beach with bright golden-reddish sand and clear water. Its Maltese name, Ir-Ramla I-Hamra means Red Beach. There are underwater rocks a few meters out in the sea on the central part, so mind your steps. One part of it is a Natura 2000 site. The bay is surrounded by cliffs.

It was busy, but there are plenty places on the long and wide beach. It was sunny as always, so we rented an umbrella at the kiosks. Foods and drinks are also available there, but only in the summer season.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

You can visit the Calypso Cave located on the cliffs on the western corner of the beach. From there enjoy the great view of the whole valley.

 

How to get there?

Between Malta (Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal) and Gozo (Mgarr Ferry Terminal) operates a ferry for passengers and vehicles. Just follow the Ferry Terminal signs for cars/passengers. During the day the ferry leaves every 45 minutes. Check out the timetable here.

We arrived just in time to catch the ferry. There are plenty places because it has 2 storeys, our car was almost the last one. The crossing time is approximately 25 minutes, so we had time to go up to the deck and enjoy the wind. You have to pay with cash on the way back to the mainland. Standard fare costs 4,65 euro per person, a car with a driver costs 15,70 euro.

Day 3 in Malta - Gozo

On Gozo, we went to everywhere by the rented car. If you are using GPS, check out the road type settings, because our GPS brought us to very steep, narrow and rocky roads.

Hop on hop off buses operate on the island. Take a look at the map and details here.

Where to eat?

Tal-Furnar Restaurant & Bakery

They advertise themselves with their old and traditional oven cooking. I read about this place somewhere. We arrived at around 5:30 pm, the sign said it’s open, unfortunately, it wasn’t. We haven’t found any opening time, so decided to have dinner later on the main island.

When I got home, I checked their opening time: on Wednesday it’s closed, on the other days it’s open from 8 am to 3 am and between 6 pm and 11 pm. We should have arrived half an hour later.

 

There’s a lot more to see in Gozo, we had time only for a day. Any other suggestions?

Malta,Travel

Day 2 in Malta – St Peter’s Pool and Valletta’s area

Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

We went to St Peter’s Pool as early as we could. Of course, we were on holiday, so we didn’t get up at 6 am. Was good to arrive “early”, because we found a place in the shadow and it wasn’t that busy. After our jumps, we returned to our accommodation in Pietá and started to discover Valletta, Sliema and Paceville.

St Peter’s Pool

The natural swimming pool is located on the southern coastline, close to Marsaxlokk. The area is beautiful, you arrive at the top of the small bay and the pool is in front of you with its totally clear water with amazing azure and light green colours.

The view from the top of the pool - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

We went there after breakfast, so got there at around 11 am. We found a little shadow on the right side above the rocks. Sunscreen first and then went to the water. For starter, we jumped from a lower point on the right side. You can avoid jumping if you are afraid of heights, the water is accessible by a ladder on the lower part.

Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

First, I wasn’t brave enough to jump from the highest part, so I tried to improve my jumping technique. Hahaha, didn’t get better. I went to the highest edge aaaaaand I jumped 🙂 I have to admit, I was standing there 2 minutes before it, but finally I jumped and it was goooood. Try it, don’t be afraid, it’s just a jump 😉

Me after jumping - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

My boy after jumping - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Brasil sign at St Peter’s Pool - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Around noon an old man and his dog appeared, the man carried the cute dog. I added funnily, maybe they will jump together hahaha. And they did!!! The dog ran to the other side of the pool and they jumped at the same time, looked very professional. My boyfriend’s friend was also there 2 years ago and mentioned an old guy with his dog jumping into the water. We were like: Whaaaaat? I wish you luck to meet them. I investigated a bit (relax I’m not a stalker), I found out that the Jack Russell terrier’s name is Titti and she is obsessed with jumping. Watch the video about the owner and Titti. 

Go as early as you can (I could say this about everything…), otherwise it’s quite busy. Later the Italian guys (with perfect bodies) arrived and jumped from everywhere. So go before noon in case you don’t want to enjoy the pool with the Italian guys.

Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

How to get there?

We went by the rented car. The last part of the road wasn’t in a very good shape. Close to the main parking area, it is very bumpy. Parking places are along the road but don’t stop at the first opportunity, that one isn’t so close to the main parking area.

The buses don’t go directly to the pool, the closest bus stop is 2 km away at the bay of Marsaxlokk.

Also reachable by water taxi from Marsaxlokk for 10 euro. Don’t forget to book your return taxi with a fixed time. Or rent a fishing boat at the pier if you are looking for more adventure.

Where to eat?

At the car park, there is an ice cream truck selling food and drinks.

 

Valletta

Valletta is the capital of Malta. The city was designed in the 16th century, built during the rule of the Order of St. John. The city is characterised by baroque architecture and with the elements of neo-classicism and modernism.

It is a cultural centre with churches, palaces and museum. The entire city of Valletta has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. It is going to be the European Capital of Culture in 2018. 

We took the bus in the afternoon, we didn’t want to drive in the busy city centre. The bus ticket costs only 2 euros. The bus stops at “Valletta Bus Terminus”, next to the Triton Fountain and the City Gates, which are at the entrance of the city centre.

The area of Valletta City Gates is designed by Renzo Piano, the famous Italian architect. He planned City Gates with wide walls, Parliament and open-air theatre. The theatre contains the remains of the former Royal Opera House, which was demolished during the WWII. The Parliament is made up of two massive blocks. With its stone finish, it fits into the historic atmosphere. The sculpted stones give an amazing pattern to the facade and also have shading functions.

Parliament of Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

We were strolling in the cute and narrow streets. Valletta is built on a hill, so the sea is visible at the end of the streets between the buildings.

Street of Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

St. John’s Co-Cathedral is in the very centre of Valletta, it was finished in 1577. A richly ornamented interior is hiding behind the simple baroque facade. The floor is an iridescent patchwork of marble tombs. The walls, pillars and ceiling covered with rich ornamentation. Unfortunately, we arrived there late (around 6 pm) after closing time. I was disappointed because I wanted to see the Caravaggio painting about John the Baptist.

Opening Hours

Monday-Friday: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm (Last admission at 4:00 pm)

Saturday: 9:30 am – 0:30 pm (Last admission at 12:00 am)

Tickets

Adults: €6.00 / Students: : €3.50 / Seniors: €4.60 / Children: Free

St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Upper Barrakka Gardens were built on the highest point of Valletta around 1660 when it used to be the Knights’ private garden. Nowadays the garden is open to the public, so we can adore the fountain, the trees and the flowers. The terrace offers a magnificent view to the Grand Harbour, the peninsulas of the 3 cities (Senglea, Birgu and Kalkara) and the Breakwater. Every day at noon, members of the Malta Heritage Society (dressed in British Artillery uniforms) fire a salute.

Opening Hours

Every day: 7:00 am – 10:00 pm

Ticket

Free

Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

We went down to the sea level by the Barrakka Lift, which can be found on the southern part of the garden. The Grand Harbour can be reached easily thanks to the lift. In the 50’s, a lift was there to link the city to the harbour, but in the 80’s it became abandoned. The mesh aluminium skin recalls the form of the original cage lift.

Barrakka Lift in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Barrakka Lift in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

We took a walk at the Waterfront. Retail outlets, restaurants and bars with outdoor spaces can be found along the long promenade. The buildings were originally stores and warehouses. A church is located in the middle part. The area was partially destroyed during the WWII, the facades and interiors were renovated. Valletta Waterfront hosts several concerts and events, such as Malta Jazz Festival and Malta Fireworks Festival. Around 6 pm there were just a few people walking around. I could imagine it a few hours later when the restaurants and bars are full. We weren’t hungry, so we headed to the other side of the city. First, we had to climb back to the bus terminal, which is located much higher than the sea level.

Waterfront in Valletta - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

 

Sliema

Sliema’s peninsula is located northwest from Valletta. The area is popular for shopping, hotels, bars, cafés and restaurants. A promenade stretches along the coastline, ideal for a long walk. The rocky coastline features with small square pools.  

We went to have dinner to Surfside beach bar. They have a wide selection of dishes. It offers a great view of the sea and perfect place to enjoy the sunset.

Sliema - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

Paceville

Paceville and St. Julian’s are famous for their nightlife with the best bars and clubs. We arrived there around 10 by bus to Paceville, the outer part was already bit crowded, more people started to arrive and arrive, so it became very busy. The streets are full of clubs, we just stop by to drink few cocktails.

Paceville - Day 2 in Malta- St Peter’s Pool and the area of Valletta

The clubs are usually open till late (early in the morning) and have no entrance fee. We haven’t stayed there late, because we wanted to get up early the next day to travel to Gozo.  

How to get there?

We didn’t want to drive in the busy city centre, so we took the bus. The bus ticket costs only 2 euros. In Valletta, the bus stops at “Valletta Bus Terminus”, next to the City Gates. You have many options to get there depending on your departing station. Cars are banned from many areas of Valletta, so the main areas are only used by pedestrians. Read more about buses here.

A lot of buses go to Sliema and Paceville as well. Visit the website of Malta Public Transport for more details.

Malta,Travel

Day 1 in Malta – Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

First destination: Blue Grotto! We went straight there from the airport, it is only 7 km away. We couldn’t let the 2 hours delay of my flight to mess up our afternoon, we didn’t want to miss this natural beauty. We checked it from different angles: from the sea by boat and from the Panorama viewpoint. The grotto is magnificent from everywhere.

Blue Grotto

Located on the southern coast of Malta. It’s got its name from the Blue Grotto in Capri, because the area looks like the Italian grotto.

The more than 30 m high arch and the caves were created by waves and other natural elements.

Blue Grotto Panorama - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service

The Blue Grotto boat service helps you to discover this beauty. The boat service can be found in a small and narrow bay north from the Grotto. Ticket price is 8 euros, which offers you a 20-25 minutes boat trip into the fascinating world of the caves. Due to weather conditions, service may stop because the sea can be very rough.

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

A bit more than 10 people can fit into a boat with a local guide. Our guide was very helpful, always showed us where to look at inside the caves. He drove us into the small caves, the colour of the water is so vivid, sometimes dark blue and sometimes turquoise.

Opening Hours

Every day: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Ticket

Adults: €8.00

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto boat service - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

The narrow bay is also good for swimming, diving and snorkelling. We couldn’t resist, so we swam there a bit after the boat tour. Be careful with the arriving and departing boats, they never stop.  

Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto Panorama

Do not miss the Grotto viewpoint, the Panorama!!! The blue water and the giant limestone arch are mesmerizing. The Panorama spot is a bit busy, everyone wants to take selfies with the grotto. Be patient, the view is worth it!  

Blue Grotto Panorama - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Blue Grotto Panorama - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

How to get there?

Follow the Blue Grotto signs along the road. For the boat service, go down to the bay. There are parking places also at the Grotto and the Panorama.

The following bus lines have a bus stop at the Blue Grotto: 74, 201. The Panorama bus stop is only one station from the Grotto station.

 

Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Less than 10 minutes drive from the Blue Grotto. It looked a bit abandoned around 6 pm when we arrived. It has an opening time. Of course, it has, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, you cannot wander around without security, the fence was closed at 6 pm. Maybe without the 2 hours delay of my flight, we could have gotten there in time. The Blue Grotto compensated us, so no hard feelings.

These Neolithic temples were built around 3600-3000 BC, which means they are 1000 years older than the Pyramids.

Hagar Qim  

The temple’s construction has suffered from the weather conditions. It is made of globigerina limestone, which is the 2nd oldest rock on Malta, can be found on 70% of the island’s area. The Hagar Qim complex consists of a main temple and 3 megalithic structures. The main temple was built between 3600 and 3200 BC. 6 large chambers are connected to the main interior passage. Its architectural design is similar to Mnajdra Temples.

Hagar Qim temples - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra TemplesPhoto from Heritage Malta.

Mnajdra Temples  

Mnajdra Temples are closer to the sea, were built between 3600-2500 BC. The Mnajdra complex consists of the remains of 3 temples, made of coralline limestone, which is harder than the soft limestone of Hagar Qim. The South Temple is astronomically aligned, it marks the position of sunrise on the first day of each season, the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes and the Summer and Winter Solstices. The entrance of the South Temple appears on the Maltese 5, 2 and 1 euro cent coins.

Mnajdra Temples - Day 1 in Malta - Blue Grotto, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra TemplesPhoto from Heritage Malta.

Both of them are covered by shelters since 2009 to protect the temples from rain and sun.

Opening Hours

Summer Hours (April – September)

Every day: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (Last admission at 5:30 pm)

Winter Hours (October – March)

Every day: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (Last admission at 4:30 pm)

Tickets (The ticket gives you admission to the Temples and the Visitor Centre.)

Adults: €10.00 / Students, Senior Citizens: €7.50 / Children: €5.50 / Infants (under 5 years): Free

How to get there?

By car: I don’t want to repeat myself, but I will: follow the signs. You can park in the big car parking at the Visitor Centre.

One bus stop from the Grotto called Hagar. Reachable by the same bus lines: 74, 201.

 

Did you there in time? Did you have luck to visit everything? Tell me, please 😉

dessert,Recipe

Brownie

Brownie

Best brownie ever. Yes, I know, everyone says that about their own…. It’s flourless, contains only 6 ingredients and easy to prepare. What else do you need?!

For me and for my friends (cause I always bake for my friends and colleagues) this is the best brownie 🙂

I also prepared this chocolate miracle for my boyfriend, I tested it before to make sure. Haha, I was satisfied with the solution, handed to him saying it’s good. His reaction before tasting: Okay (he is used to the tasty sweets). His reaction during/after tasting: MMMMMM it’s goooood (saying with sparkling eyes).

So, are you interested now??!! Here we go:

Tips and tricks before starting:

All of the dairy ingredients should be at room temperature, so make sure to take them out from the fridge 1-2 hours before starting. This way the diaries combine better, become smoother and will help to get the perfect texture and taste.

I add ground almond instead of flour, so the taste becomes special. If you prefer walnut or nut, feel free to replace the almond.

The salt emphasizes the taste of chocolate, don’t miss it 🙂 Always use salt in cakes or in any kind of desserts with chocolate.

Preparation time: 15 min

Baking time: 10 min

Ingredients for a 30 x 20 cm baking tray:

  • 250 g dark chocolate
  • 125 g butter
  • 80 g brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 75 g ground almond
  • pinch of salt

How to make the brownie?

Preheat the oven to 200 oC (392 oF).

Place the butter and the chopped dark chocolate into a pot, seat over low heat and stir until the chocolate has melted and fully combined with the butter. Add the pinch of salt and stir a bit more.

Brownie

 

Beat up the eggs with the brown sugar until their cubage is doubled. Stir in the ground almond and finally add the chocolate mixture to it.

Brownie

 

Spread the mixture into a pan and bake for 10 minutes to get the perfect condition.

Leave it cool down and keep it in the pan, it supposed to be slightly fluid inside.

Brownie

Bake this flourless brownie and let me know your opinion. In case you post it on social media, don’t forget to use my hashtag: #alizswonderland.

Enjoy it and pin the photo to have the recipe on your Pinterest board!

Brownie

Brownie

I believe it will be your favourite too.

I’m so curious…. 😉 Did you like it?

DIY,Home decor & design,Home decoration

Easy tricks to decorate your walls on budget

Easy tricks to decorate your walls on budget - Yoni Alter - Shapes of Cities

After the renovation of my apartment I ran out of money, so had to save money. I had the main furniture, but the walls were empty and it didn’t feel like home. First I went to some home decoration stores, but I couldn’t find anything good on a reasonable price.

So I set myself into DIY mode and decided to prepare my own wall decoration. I bought some simple colourful frames in Ikea and placed prints into them. I had to pay only for the frames and the printing, this way very cost-efficient.

I was looking for pictures, illustrations on Pinterest (where else?!), saved a lot to my funny & cute and to my art & illustration boards and choose my favourites. It was a bit hard because I found a lot of cute and also inspiring pictures.

The chosen ones:

Art pieces by Yoni Alter

I’m an architect, I like architecture and colourful graphics, what a surprise 😉 Hihihi 🙂 No need for explanation, why these illustrations amaze me. Yoni Alter, a London-based designer and art director created the colourful collection called Shapes of Cities. It includes around 60 cities (London, Paris, Barcelona, New York, San Francisco, Sydney) around the world, each city is presented by the most famous and characteristic landmarks, accurate to scale and to shape.

I picked London and Rio de Janeiro.

I’ve been in London several times, I love the vividness and unique shapes of the city. Every time I look at the print, I start to smile thanks to the wonderful memories.

Rio de Janeiro is on my bucket list since I have a bucket list. I’ll travel to Brazil in December, I can’t wait to get there. So looking at the graphic makes me excited 🙂

Easy tricks to decorate your walls on budget - Yoni Alter - Shapes of Cities

Easy tricks to decorate your walls on budget - Yoni Alter - Shapes of Cities

Happiness overload

Life is good, because of… squirrels, cereal, yellow tulips, moomins, mascara, tea, records, baking, polaroids, sprinkles, Topshop and … yeah, the list is quite long.

I found this funny and cute illustration on Pinterest, of course 😉 I printed and placed into a colourful frame for my BFF’s birthday, she also likes squirrels, unicorns, Instagram and aubergine… Who’s not???!!!

I loved it, so surprised myself with another one 🙂 After a while she told me, one of her friends also made a copy for herself 🙂 Life is gooooood!

Easy tricks to decorate your walls on budget - Life is good

Easy tricks to decorate your walls on budget - Life is good

Cute and funny kittens

I surprised my ex-flatmate with this pinky kitty pic for her birthday. Yes, another birthday gift… She is obsessed with cats and her room needed some colour. I prefer dogs, but I have to admit, this pic is super cute.

Easy tricks to decorate your walls on budget

Malinovka drawings

Malinovka is a Hungarian graphic brand with a unique, characteristic and playful design. The patterns are simple but spectacular. Check out the rest here.

I chose 4 postcards matching my kitchen design and colours.  The kitchen furniture is with white and wooden surfaces, that’s why the pieces of equipment and the accessories are colourful, so these Malinovka cards are perfect with their colours and simplicity.

I bought these postcards in a design store in Budapest. Malinokva products are available in many shops: Csendes, Decolabor, Fian concept, Fiók, Flatlab, Insitu, Iparművészeti Múzeum Shop, Két Egér Könyvesbolt, Ludwig Múzeum shop, Prezent, MONO Art and Design.

Easy tricks to decorate your walls on budget - Malinovka postcard

Easy tricks to decorate your walls on budget - Malinovka postcard

I am super happy and satisfied with my prints, they reflect my personality and make me smile.

So decorate your room with inspiring photos and what makes you happy!

What kind of illustrations do you like my art lover friend?

Hungary,Travel

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika) is the largest church in Budapest. The building dominates the city centre with its height. It is 96 meter high, just like the Parliament, with this height the basilica is the 2nd highest church in Hungary. According to current regulations, there cannot be taller building in Budapest than 96 metres.

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

A brief history of St. Stephen’s Basilica

It is named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary, whose mummified body is buried in the undercroft and his supposed right hand is kept in the reliquary.

The construction began in 1851 in accordance with the plans of József Hild. The dome collapsed in 1868, that required demolition of the completed works and rebuilding from the ground up. It was finished in 1905 after 54 years of construction, according to the plans of Miklós Ybl (he also designed the Opera House on the Andrássy Avenue) and was completed by József Kauser. It was built in neo-classicist style. The facade is framed by two large bell towers. Hungary’s biggest bell hangs in the southern tower, weighing over 9 tonnes.

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

The interior is characterized by rich ornamentation. Maybe it looks too much at first, just go closer and observe the details. Beautiful work is the five-part mosaic in the sanctuary displaying the allegories of the holy mass.

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

Panorama Lookout Tower

Don’t miss the panoramic view from the top. The ticket is cheap and the view is spectacular. The ticket office is at the church entrance. Walk up the stairs (364 steps) or take the elevators up to the dome’s observation deck. The stairs start at the ticket office, if you prefer to take the elevator, it’s on the other side behind the shop.

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

Up there you can walk around the dome, the view is amazing to every direction. The Parliament, Buda Castle and Citadel are also visible from there.

For more panoramas check out this other blog post: Top 5 viewpoints in Budapest, Hungary recommended by a local. (And yes, the local is me!)

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

Useful information

Basilica

Opening time:

Monday-Saturday: 9:00am – 7:00pm

Sunday: 7:45am – 7:00pm

Admission:

Free (donation at the entrance) / Guided tours: 2000 HUF (Monday-Friday: 10:00am-3:00pm)

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

Panorama Lookout Tower

Opening time (every day):

June, July, August, September: 10:00am – 6:30pm

April, May, October: 10:00am – 5:30pm

November, December, January, February, March: 10:00am – 4:30pm

Admission:

Adult ticket: 600 HUF / Student, pensioner ticket: 400 HUF

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

How to get there?

Address: 1051 Budapest, Szent István tér 1.

By public transportation

St Stephen square (Szent István tér) can be reached from many directions.

By metro

It’s halfway between Deák Ferenc square and Arany János street M3 metro stations. Metro line M1 station called, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky street is also close.

By bus

Bus 9 station called Szent István bazilika

By tram

Tram 2 goes on the Danube bank, 5 minutes walk from Széchenyi István tér.

On foot

Located in the V. district, in the city centre, few minutes walk from Deák Ferenc square and from the Danube.

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

This is one of my favourite spot in Budapest. I showed it to my parents, always recommend it to my friends and their friends from abroad. Enjoy your visit there and take a walk around the area!

Interested in towers, viewpoints, scenic panorama? Read my other post for more ideas.

How did you like it? Did you visit the Panorama Lookout Tower?

Recipe,smoothie & drink

Tropical pineapple smoothie

Tropical pineapple smoothie

This easy and quick tropical pineapple smoothie is made with just 3 ingredients. The coconut milk and unique taste of cardamom make the pineapple very delicious. It’s perfect for any time of the day.

One of my colleagues asked me the other day in the morning: Have you ever heard about cardamom? I said: Yes, of course (what a question…). He replied: I knew, you will know it.

Because in the morning he bought a pastry with cardamom recommended by the barista of a very good coffee shop in Budapest. He said: I feel energetic 🙂 I added: Yeah because cardamom has mood-elevating properties 🙂

Tropical pineapple smoothie

Ingredients guide:

Pineapple

Pineapple is a tropical fruit. The main agent of pineapple is bromelain. Bromelain helps with breaking down complex proteins and reduce inflammation. It has many health benefits: helps to lose weight, improve digestion, detoxicate, prevent cancer, improve heart health, etc. Beside the fat-burning effect, it decreases the hunger sensation and provides your body with important vitamins (such as vitamin B6 and C) and minerals.

Cardamom

Cardamom is an Indian spice with a strong flavour and aroma. There are 2 main types. Black cardamom has a smokey and bitter taste. Green cardamom is one of the more expensive spices by weight. It is best stored in the pod as exposed or ground seeds quickly lose their flavour. For recipes requiring whole cardamom pods, a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1,5 teaspoons of ground cardamom. It is believed to have mood-elevating properties, so it’s used as an antidepressant. It improves blood circulation and digestion, good for the teeth.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is the grated meat of a mature coconut. It is lactose-free, so can be used as a milk substitute. It is a good source of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Coconut milk helps to protect the body from infections and viruses.

Ingredients for 2 glasses:

  • half of a big pineapple
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Tropical pineapple smoothie

How to make it?

Peel the pineapple and cut it into pieces. Place into the blender with the coconut milk and the cardamom. Blend on full strength until smooth. Check the consistency, add more milk if needed.

Pour into glasses, you can hint the top with a pinch of cardamom and now the smoothie is ready to serve. Yeeeey!

 

Blend it and let me know your opinion. In case you post it on social media, don’t forget to use my hashtag: #alizswonderland.

Enjoy your tropical drink and pin the photo to have the recipe on your Pinterest board!

Tropical pineapple smoothie

Sooooo? Can you feel the energy?