I am calculating…

Time (especially here) passes so quick and this morning I’ve realised that I arrived in Malta four weeks ago… What an unbelievable! I am not happy with this fact since I have a feeling that I’ve seen and explored an only small piece of this beautiful island. But this article shouldn’t be some crying and be complaining about whatever. Conversely, I am satisfied with almost everything (maybe later I will write what make me a little worried).

I would like to write a few words about costs here because I think it could be useful and helpful for someone who is interested in living here (maybe in future). And yes, it was one of a reason why I decided to set up this blog.

So, I am used to counting my cost and incomes in the Czech Republic, then I carry on with this activity here as well. About my income here I don’t write you, it is nothing that should be interesting :-)) (But the difference to our country is that the pay date is at the end of months. And this month they forgot to subtract the tax from gross price, so I will earn a little more than I would expect. However, it maybe will cause some problem in future.)

The costs I divided into several part because it looks like more logical for me.

  • food – 119,01 euros (including 10 pieces of my favourite qasata :-)). I must admit my cooking here – I don’t eat out (once time I was invited). And I also don’t have to buy a water (in the supermarket the bottle of 2l costs 0,50 euro but on the street you can buy for 1 euro, it depends on locality). So far I haven’t been to Paceville (the best-known place for bars), thus, I haven’t spent money on drinks. Well, I eat every day, really :-), all three main courses and sometimes I buy something for sweet tooth (an ice-cream, peanuts butter or apples). But I believe that lots of people here spend more money for food.
  • public transport – 15 euros (I travelled by buses 10 times)
  • other – 38,60 (Tarxien Temples, the Poppeye village, the anchory in Mdina, SD card)
  • rent – 350 euros including the Internet, energy, access to the pole dance studio 🙂 and so on (I even have detergents, some food.) But there is a possibility to have a lower rent (some of my friends pay about 200 euros).

In total during one month (if I want to be accurate – 29 days) I spent 522,61 euros. Now I don’t know whether it is good or bad. First of all, I had in my head that the budget could be about 700 euros per month and I would still save lots of for future activities. So I will see next months. However, I should buy a Tallinja card (the bus ticket) and top up my Maltese mobile phone.

My recommendations:

  • cook on your own – cheaper and funnier and in the shop we will discover lots of unknown ingredients,
  • find lots of food in your surroundings – the prices of one thing could be different up to twice times. The bigger shop doesn’t mean the lower prices :-),
  • buy transport tickets immediately after you arrived,
  • have a euro account in the Czech bank (I don’t have any fees),
  • try  to negotiate about prices – it happened by a chance but once I didn’t have so many coins and told the shop assistant and suddenly the price was lower 🙂
  • have enough coins for public transport.

And the last one that could be important (for comparion income/outcome between people) I’d rather spent money on the entertainment and experiences that on food and drink.

 

May is coming – Time of Love

Today I have noticed one application who my Czech friend shared on Facebook. This app displayed lots of places where the cheery tree should be grown. It is good for people, mainly girls who would be like to be kissed under the blossomed cherry.

Only for fun I tried to fill out my city in Malta and I was surprised that I got the result informing me that the nearest cheery is approximately 0,5km from my house. And it wouldn’t be me if I decided to look at this place – nobody knows whether I won’t need some cheery in 1st May :-).

After running (I really need it for my body form before the competition) I set out on small trip leading to my cheery tree. But what was my surprise when I got to the right place. The garden is probably private and I really don’t think that the tree is cherry. Yes, I am not so much good at Biology but I think I am able to distinguish the fruit tree. Just look at the following pictures.

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The third picture shows the fruit of this tree and it doesn’t look like a cherry at all. But maybe for a kiss, it will be enough 🙂

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Then I continued on my way to the shop and during the wander, I could see more interesting tree what it will be worth to kissing under them. You can judge it at the following photos.

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And another beautiful tree growing in Swieqi what I have seen this afternoon (evening).

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I am going to find for another cherry growing near to my location and I will see. I probably need some app for finding out where the suitable boy is 🙂

I try to be sociable

As you probably know I am in Malta alone and first of all, I didn’t realise that it has one big disadvantage (so far I have found only advantages). And it is that we don’t have any friends, our close friends are in the Czech Republic or just travel something in the world. Of course, that the need to communicate has appeared after some time although I am a very unsociable person (introvert and prefer to be alone).

In this article, we can see how I was successful (or maybe unsucceful, it depends on your view of a point).

On Monday evening, I tasted typical Maltese drink, but I rather chose the soft-drink, it is something like piňa colada with strawberry flavour. I was very sweet, so I am not sure to take again, maybe something with alcohol :-). However, the conversation was very pleasant (maybe because of Czech language).

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Yesterday evening (23th April) I was in the restaurant since ever I’ve arrived in Malta. The restaurant is in Sliema, so I walked here a bit, but never mind, I like walking still. The second photo shows my first Maltese restaurant. There is a beautiful view on my work – Portomasso. But I am unable to take the night photo, so I couldn’t shot this unforgettable moment. By the way, I had a risotto with grill avocado and the pieces of salmon and orange juice. I really enjoyed the whole of the evening and it was a good time to practising my English. Nevertheless, the four hours‘ speaking only in English made my a little exhausted. But nice, I never forget… Thank you again.

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And the most event of my social week has been held this morning and part of the afternoon. I went to the Golden Bay, it is in the west part of this island and in my opinion, it is by far the most beautiful beach in Malta (but I have never been to Comino Island so far).

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Why do I add up this trip between social activities? Because the main goal of the visiting Golden Bay was the beach volleyball. Every Sunday the (small) group of people interested in playing the beach volleyball meet here and spend the almost whole of a day in playing. I was here from 11am to almost 6pm and had a rest only for my lunch. The result of being in the sun I am feeling just now. And it was not so clear, rather cloudy and I used the sun scream. But as I mentioned before the Mediterranean sun is very strong and completely different from what I am used to.

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I’ve noticed that there was also the group of people who try to slackline. Maybe, next time I could ask them and join them because the bouldering, the climbing and whatever with rope I miss here.

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And this article I finish with my provocative photos on the beach and from a distance (on my way to home – I was dropped out, so nice, I can’t complain about anything and thanks for invitation).

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The Medieval festival in Mdina

The Medieval Mdina Festival was held on Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24. For 8 consecutive year, the festival is organised in the historic streets of Malta’s old capital – Mdina/Rabat. And because I am curious in everything that Malta offers tourists (and of course residents) I decided to go Mdina on Saturday and spent the morning at the narrow streets. One of my friend here joined me.

It featured various performances by a foreigner and a local group, medieval music, illusionists (unfortunately, I was late here and I didn’t take any photo of the magical show), jesters, falconry, concerts, the medieval market and of course, some food and drink.

In St Paul square the lots of performance, even battles were shown. One of them you can see on the first picture. In the street, we could come across a procession people wearing traditional medieval clothes. We have even met the slave as I took on the second picture.

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In Rabat, there is a falcon club and maybe, for this reason, we could see some of the predators (the owl, falcon and so on) on our eyes. The most interesting for me was that the man feeding these birds squirted the water on them (birds). And I don’t think that Saturday’s weather was so hot. Besides, I though that the water is not good for leather (but I am not good at Biology).

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On Archbishop square, I could try the archery (it cost 3 euros per 5 shots, so we honestly divided these 5 shots with friends). But I would need more training, I missed the target every time.

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As I’ve written above there were the medieval market. Actually, I don’t know whether sweet that we really had to taste (5 pieces per 9 euros) should be concluded or marked as the medieval food. But to be sure, it was delicious 🙂

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The last photo shows me in front of the gate to Rabat. I was here last year during my autumn’s vacation. And that time I didn’t have a good weather (it was even rainy). This Saturday’s morning the weather didn’t look like good as well. However, in the end, I thanked myself for wearing only light clothes. The weather here is so unpredictable (although the clouds cover the sky it isn’t impossible to burn yourself).

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And the last picture I really couldn’t share with you. I would like to give you an imagination what the some tourists are willing to do because of the photo. 🙂 Notice that the man is not Japanese 🙂 (actually, I saw one Japanese man who almost got on the slave’s trolley because of good photo).

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I am curious when the Maltese news will write about me

Maybe the correct headline should be „I wonder that the Maltese newspapers still don’t write about a weird girl from the Czech Republic“?

Why? Because I don’t think that it is normal that the girl wearing sports skirt and only sports bra is running along the main road.

Yes, I start cutting down my fat on the belly and only long distance runs are helpful. And what’s more, the next year the traditional marathon is held in Malta and as you probably know from one of the previous articles I chose one goal for living in Malta to run my first marathon. So, go ahead.

But seriously now, I didn’t plan to run so long, let alone run along a big main road. But I have met a new friend here and we decided to run together a few days ago and today the big day happened. Since we both are from the Czech Republic (I really won’t use Czechia) we were speaking in English all the time. And yes, when you run with somebody, the time passes so quickly. After some time, I looked at my mobile phone and I found out that we have been running about 2 hours and had about 17 km… wtf? So we said goodbye and I just had to do it – I mean the half of marathon. Unfortunately, I lost the GPS signal on the almost 20th km. I hate my mobile phone (it is shit – by the way, my dear friend learn me the urban English, I am relly innocent but the rude words I remember better).

Unfortunately, I lost the GPS signal on the almost 20th km. I hate my mobile phone (it is shit – by the way, my dear friend learn me the urban English, I am relly innocent but the rude words I remember better). So I didn’t do it 🙁 I will have to run again.

However, it wasn’t my first run here and not first in sports bra :-)) And because the Maltese seem to be very faithful (and the sunbathing in the beaches without a bra is against to law) I am little worried whether I should have worn a little more. But so far I haven’t stopped and the policemen had to look me.

But I think that the newspapers here have more interesting topics :-), e.G. this morning I’ve read this article and this one (I had to change my seznam.cz 🙂 when I am living here, to have an view about doing in Malta). Mainly the first one was interesting, since ever I read it I thought that Malta is safety country, respectively everybody here assure me every time when I come across on this topic during conversation.

Let’s go back to topic about running. Today run you can see here as usual. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photo owing to my shitty mobile phone. However, since ever I have been arrived I run about 91 km during 13 running (not all it was measured correctly because of my losing GPS). I think that it isn’t so bad after two months without running.

See you later and maybe with my present in some newspaper 🙂

The evening’s walking

First of all, I wanted to go running. However, I ate lots of food and I didn’t risk my problem with stomach 🙂 so I chose a walking. Moreover, I knew that the sunset was about to happen and I’ve been thinking about take its photo. And the last reason is that I ran to Madliena (the name I’ve found after running) yesterday (19th April) and found out that there are the beautiful views out of the Victoria lines.

During the walking, I took a photo of some „broken building“ that looks like our castle (ruin). At the end of a city (in my opinion, it is rather a village) there is a Fort Madalena (you can see the second photo). The Fort is named of Mary Magdeline (but I don’t suspect who Mary was). The fort is situated on the old site of Madalena Chapel which had to be demolished by British when they built the Fort. The Fort Madalena was one of the heavy-gun forts which punctuated the Victoria lines (I took them in the other photos. By the way, during a trip from Mosta I was walking on the other side that I stood in the today’s evening). Up till 1978, the Fort was still being used by the British Armed Forces as a NATO radar station and after withdrawal of the British Forces from Malta in 1979, it was handed over to the Armed Forces of Malta.

I also found out that the tours are held on Saturdays only, unless by prior arrangement.

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On the other pictures, I tried to shot the beautiful scenery of Victoria lines. By the way, on the first one, you can see the Madliena Village, the luxurious part of the city. But there are lots of board warning No entry, so I couldn’t go near.

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When the sunset happened, my battery in a camera was discharged. Normally I bring the second one with me, but because this trip wasn’t in my today’s plan I didn’t prepare well. It is my mistake, so I will have to go here again, maybe some evening’s running. For this reason, I must apologise for a worse quality of photos. I used my mobile phone.

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Actually, at the last two photos, it is Pembroke, not Madliena. The photos were taken from big road connected Sant Jullian (and neighbourhoods) with Buggiba. I must admit that the second half of my way it wasn’t so sunny and pleasant because I had to go along this road (fortunately, there is a probably only one cycle lines). Moreover, from the sea, the strong wind was blowing. However, I wore only skirt and top… and yes, some silly boys (I have a feeling that they were the origin of Arabic or Maltese because of their skin) had to shout something from a car…

Who is curious about all trip, look here.

I need a cream cottage cheese badly

I’ve already mentioned that I really like eating a cream cottage cheese (in Czech tvaroh, I didn’t find a better name for it.). I have been looking for it several times in the different shops since ever I arrived in Malta. A few days ago I got a tip that it could be had in LIDL. Of course, I took an advice by Czech, not Maltese because I am not able to explain what I am looking for (it is not probably common food for them).

This afternoon I set out on the small trip to San Gwan, it is a neighbour of Swieqi and it took me about 20 minutes to get there (approximately 1,7 km from my house).

By the way, I hope that I come across better prices than the other small shops. In short, the milk products seems to be cheaper a bit more than I have seen so far. But the rest of common product cost as same as I know. At least, there is a wide scope of brands.

I’d like to note two things. Firstly, I probably succeeded. Why only probably? Because I am not sure whether it is a cream cottage cheese. It consists of same fibres, sugar, fat and protein as I know from the Czech etiquette. But nobody knows until he/she tastes it. I am going to try it after my pole dance training in the evening. In the following pictures, you can see my result. The third one it is not probably my lovely cheese, it looks like classic cottage cheese more, but it never minds, I like it as well.

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Secondly, I found another product that is cheaper than the other shops and I like it very much and I would probably need very often in next days 🙂 Yes, it is an ice-cream. But there is a small detail 🙁 As I wrote above, the LIDL is about 1,7 km from my house and I can’t imagine how I bring the ice-cream in this weather conditions to home… So I had to say goodbye my lovely ice-cream.

And it wouldn’t be me when I didn’t decide to go for a walk. Again, I forgot that Malta is not a good country for walking, they just don’t count with people who like walking or jogging. Suddenly, my pedestrian way disappeared and I stood up in front of a tunnel. Because of my laziness, I chose to go across it 🙂 I would compare to our tunnel in Pisarky, but not so modern (without lights and ventilators). It wasn’t a pleasant spot but I survived and got to home as you can see in sport-tracker as usual.

The Maltese education

Today (17th April) I decided to improve my English (shame on me that I am unable to say almost nothing without thinking about it in my mind) and during sunbathing on the roof I tried to pretend that I have been reading my English textbook and two English books that I’ve brought with me to Malta). This caused my thought about writing articled associated the school system here. Besides, I’ve had a short discussion with my colleagues and I have even read one interesting article by Czech woman living in Malta for several years and looking after her children. The article is only in Czech so I try to highlight some interesting things (according to my opinion) for my non-Czech friends).

She mentioned that women being pregnant have two options what to do. Either they can go to mother’s vacation (nevertheless, in Malta it takes only 18 weeks and that they must go back to work, but they get the whole salary for this time) or they stay at home and take care of a child. In the second option, the government give them 1000 euros and that’s all.

Further, she wrote about the system of schools. In Malta there are lots of kind schools – private, public and catholic (Malta is said to be more faintful country and I am really wonder experiencing one of summer celebration of their faith). For me the most interesting information is that the child can start going to the school (not nursery or kirdengarden as we have in the Czech Republic). It means that they learn something here, not so much but it says that they are able to write some of letters, counting and so on. The other different thing against the Czech Republic is that you must prepare food for whole day. And the last thing what I use from this article is a picking child up the school. The woman described her first meeting with it. She was standing in the crowd in front of school and teacher shouted the name of children and when you waved to inform I am here, the teacher let the child run up his/her parent. The woman said that she had a feeling to be in the market and bet for the children 🙂

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In the picture above you can see the typical local school. It is a catholic school and unfortunately, I don’t have a photo with children wearing the uniform (it is as same as the UK, the influence of their former rule is still strong).

But now I’d like to write some notices that I learnt during discussion with my colleague who is origin of Maltese. It is from his point of view and experiences.

  • 3-4 years: Kindergarden: just playing / simple games / tasks
  • 5-10 years: Primary: numbers / reading / writing / basic mathematics
  • 11-15 years: Secondary: further reading / writing / mathematics / foreign languages / sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) / accounts / economics / design / cooking / sports / arts / music (students choose a subset of these based on their preferences). Once complete you achieve ‚O‘ Level (Ordinary level) certificates
  • 16-17 years: post-secondary: advanced and intermediate studies in a smaller subset of subjects: again in languages / sciences / arts / etc etc etc. Once complete you achieve 2 ‚A‘ Levels and 4 ‚I‘ Levels.
  • 18 years+: university

Until 15 years, it is the standard legal compulsary flow that everyone has to do. For 16+ is the most common flow. However, there are other paths, such as Culinary school, Technical schools, and others. 16+ is no longer compulsary. I would say that we have something same in the Czech Republic.

Franco revealed the other interesting information about their school system. The most thing what I would appreciate is the government encourages – they provides incentives for people to continue studying once you reach 16+ so that people don’t stop school. He said that typically it would be along these lines:

  • 16-17: 233 euros grant each year, and 86 euros a month stipend
  • 18+: depending on course, between 466 and 1 200 grant for the first year, and 233-800 euros grant for subsequent years. And between 86 and 150 euros a month stipend.

But this is assuming you are studying at local public institutions / college / university and that you are Maltese or been resident for the past 5 years. But the second one requirement he only thought.

I’d like to attach the photo of Maltese university (only one is here) but I am not able to look for it in my gallery from last visiting Malta (now I still didn’t shot it).

That’s all from the school system here. In my opinion it is very interesting and I learnt lots of information in order to use them in future (maybe). See you later with another topic (maybe the welfare social system or healthy system because what I have heart so far was very different from I know in my country).

A typical Sunday’s baking

A Sunday seems to be a traditional day for baking 🙂 First of all I didn’t bake at all. I wanted to have a rest for all day but I find the having a rest as boring a bit 🙂 I need to have a rest in a more active way 🙂 That meant I had a „double day“ (run twice, baking twice, sunbathing twice a day).

Partly because on my TODO list I wrote that I’d like to bake something with ricotta and partly because I was curious whether I am able to bake something like as qasata/pastizz in a more cheap way that I bought them.

I bought puff pasta (I don’t know whether it is a name for our listové těsto but the ingredients seem to be used the same, and consistency and taste of dough are sure the same). It cost 1,40 euros. Further, I had to buy a new packet of ricotta (I ate it so often). Approximately 500 g of this cheese cost 1,60 euros.

I must confess that I didn’t have any concrete receipt and I came with up my own receipt. For inspiration, I outline the working process. On a saucepan, I stew the frozen spinach with garlic and white yoghurt (I didn’t have a scream). Meanwhile,  I tried to roll my dough but I must mention that I didn’t have the flavour onto the chopping board (by the way, I’ve learnt this word) and Marissa couldn’t find her rolling pin (and this word I’ve learnt as well). In the second picture, you can see its substitute – it is a holder on the paper towels :-)) In the end, I was a winner and I had a slice of dough.

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Then I could continue my process. I mixed up spinach with ricotta and one egg. In the end, I put this mixture on my slice of dought and rolled up. I baked it by eye about 30 minutes on 200°C.

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And what does result look? You can persuade in the next picture that it very tasted :-). First of all, I planned to have it for my breakfast :-). I eventually kept one piece of cake.

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Summary, I am not sure whether it was cheaper than I’d bought two pieces of my lovely pasta but I enjoyed spending my time with baking. See you next baking session.

The most expensive Saturday’s trip

I perceive my weekend in Malta as a vacation. For this reason, I try to be outside and spend time over daily activity as I would be in the Czech Republic. This Saturday I wanted to see the Popeye village on the west side of the main island. I arranged the appointment with my former roommate Erika and her schoolmate from Peru. Unfortunately, we didn’t meet at the bus stop, we haven’t even seen ourselves in the village. That’s a pity but never mind. I hope that we all enjoyed being here so much. But let’s go back to this morning (16th April).

For sure I was at the bus stop in advance, however, of course, the bus was delayed. I have been waiting about 30 minutes until it arrived. If the bus is going on time somewhen, it would be probably a miracle in Malta. Nevertheless, I couldn’t wait for next line in Mellieha in the end. After approximately one hour I was here, in the Popeye village.

Now I’d like to say a few words about the history of this village. The village was built because of movie „Sweethaven village“ (or also aka „The Popeye village“). It was constructed in Anchor Bay during the last 7 months of 1978. For interesting: A 165 international construction crew consumed eight tonnes of nails and two thousand gallons of paint to finish off this massive Set. Filming commenced on the 23rd of January, 1980. The story relates to Popeye coming to Sweethaven Village to look for his father, who deserted him when he was a mere infant and whom he has pledged to find. The story is much longer than I only outlined.

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But we are in present so let me describe my story :-). Immediately when I bought the ticket (adult pay 10,50 euro in winter season) I found out that my SD card (memory card for the camera) is locked. I don’t understand why but it wasn’t pleasant. And what’s more, the small button on the side of the card was away probably broken) and because of this problem I wasn’t able to repair it. It made me sad because the place looked like wonderful and I didn’t know how to shot it. In the end, I visited the Souvenier (although I normally try to avoid from these places). And only one thing that I bought was new SD card (it cost 21 euros, it is by far the most expensive thing what I have bought in Malta so far. I have never thought that it would be just SD card, I hate working with my electronic equipment).

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I eventually was able to take photos and could set out on a trip in the narrow street. The winter package consists of an entrance to Popeye Film Set, free 15 minute boat ride, a live animation shows from their animators, free glass of wine, Jenga and other games, free postcard. I was attracted boat ride the most and it was worth standing in a queue as you can see in the followings pictures. Of course, I tasted the glass of punch (not wine, but for me it was the better drink). And yes, I have a postcard as well. By the way, I’ve made a new friend. She is from Taiwan and we were speaking about half of hour and planning our trip for next days.

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After I visited all of local attraction I decided to continue with my plans for this day. During searching information about the best bus line to this place I saw on the Internet that the Red Tower should be near Mellieha (the city located about 1,5km from the village). Because I didn’t want to go on the road and I set out to the fields and crossed them (I didn’t see any board informing No entry, private property). I sometimes missed the small walkway but in the end, I climbed to the top of „hill“ where the Red Tower is standing. The photos from going around the most west place in Malta I add.
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Because the weather was so nice (the sky was clear and the sun was shining) I took the T-shirt off, put on my swimsuit and carried on the way to the most west place of Malta. During walking, there was the beautiful scenery out of the cliff and I have even seen the Comino and Gozo islands with ferry cruising among them (the followings three photos). I almost met anybody and there was unusual quit that I have never heard in Malta. I enjoyeId eating my homemade lunch and went back to Mellieha.

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I chose the small walkway again instead of going on the main road from Cirkawa to Valletta. At the end of the walkway, I found out that I’d gone through the place called Foresta 2000. The idea of establishing this place was describing on the board. In the past, woodland covered much of the Maltese Islands. When people arrived 7000 years ago, they cleared the forest to make space for agriculture and pasture. Today, just two or three small groves of possibly original forest remain. In 1995 Birdlife, Malta proposed to regrow a small forest as a gift to the forthcoming Third Millennium. The site is also of historical value, with several structures relating to past coastal military defence, not least the massive St Agatha Tower (my mentioned Red Tower) that dominates the ridge. Thousands of young trees and shrubs have been planted every autumn and winter for a number of years, many of them sponsored by individuals, groups or institutions, especially schools. Grass growth around the young trees is controlled regularly in order to minimise the fire hazard.During the walking, I could see lots of Girna. It is an old dry stone hut, formerly used by farmers for shelter or tool storage. But I don’t have any photo of this hut because I thought that they are old unanimated buildings.

My trip finished in Melliaha where there are two sunny beaches but I was not interested in sunbathing although the weather was rather hot and I had the swimsuit when it was politely (I visited such as something like as temple and I’d rather wear T-shirt… nobody knows anywhen).

At the first photo, you can the mentioned castle/temple/I don’t know :-). At the second one, it is a view out of Mellieha to Bugibba. At the third one will give you an imagination where I was – the furthest hill (there is my Red Tower), at the bottom of a valley near to the middle of these hills the Popeye village spreads. And at the last one, it is part of Mellieha. This city spreads in the hill.

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Since I walked a lot I went to home by public transport. What a surprise! However, I was walking about 12 km as you can see in sport-tracker again.