Malta, Tips

A walk around Sliema

Sliema is maybe the hippest and most busy city in Malta. It is home to many shops, restaurants and bars it is also know as a little posh or “Tal Pepe” how the Maltese call it. But Sliema has a special vibe to it and is home to many hidden gems, especially with you take the side roads and just go out to explore.

Here are some of my favorite spots in Sliema. You can combine them to a nice walk for a day of exploring or visit them individually.

1.Mint

This café is great for a fresh and tasty start in the day. They serve extremely nice, seasonal and also healthy dishes, that are prepared with love. They go great with their freshly brewed coffee or one of the smoothies or juices. Moreover Mint is located close to the seafront and it is very cozy, even on a rainy day. Aaaand for the digital nomads and freelancers among you: it is also a great place to work from.

The Address: 30/39 Luzio Junction,Stella Maris Street

Dish, coffee sandwich and salmon salad

2. Paws 4 a Cause

Paws for a cause is a nice second hand shop in the Stella Maris neighborhood of Sliema, not far from Mint. The two lovely British ladies, who own the shop take out the pieces with a great eye for detail and treat every customer with love. They love dogs, so they are very welcome to visit the shop with their owners. On a lucky day you can find great deals and amazing clothes or home supplies.

The Address: 25 George Borg Oliver Street

3. Fly the Fly Vintage

In a different corner of Sliema is another unique store. The Vintage shop offers carefully restored and well presented vintage clothes and new collections that are just as unique. The young ladies that run this shop are just as friendly and always happy to help. My special tip: have a look at their collection of glasses! Just looking around is worth it, as the shop is very nicely designed and feels very welcoming.

The Address: 6a Manuel Dimech Street

4. Caffé Berry

Time for a coffee break or just a quick espresso? Caffé Berry is the place for you. Squeezed into a little corner and always full, but they offer great coffee and interesting varieties like their pistachio cappuccino and many other surprises.

The Address: 68A San Duminiku Street

5. Serafino

This family owned Restaurant is the perfect lunch place for visitors, who want to try a great Ftira or for anyone working in the area. The take out is a little cheaper, but also to eat in the well styled restaurant is not that expensive. A great place for a lunch or to snack a huge Ftira, pie or pasta salad.

The Address: 67A San Duminiku Street

6. Sunset Records

The place for music lovers and vinyl fans! Sunset records is a little hidden record store with old and new vinyls and very competent staff. If you live digging through vinyl and discover some treasures, you can skip to visit this store.

The Address: 57 San Piju V Street

7. The Soap Café

More a shop than a café, the soap café is a very nice place to buy gifts or a treat for yourself. They sell handmade and organic soaps and everything else you need to stay clean and they even fill up your travel bottles, if needed.

The Address: 46 Santa Maria Street

8. Souvenirs that don’t suck

I talked about this place in other occasions but is a must on your stroll through Sliema. The shop and coworking space just turned two and is hopefully open for a long long time. The owners supply us with great and innovative souvenirs for ourselves or for friends and family. No matter if you want a cool T-shirt, a cool beani or a postcard for your grandma, they have a unique souvenir for everyone. Just swing by, even if it just for a chat with the lovely owners.

The Address: 108 Manuel Dimech Street

9. The Hole in the Wall

This bar has a long tradition and is a great place to finish up your walk around Sliema. The place was founded over 90 years ago and is the oldest bar in Sliema, that is hard to see now since it got a complete makeover. Nevertheless it is a perfect hangout place for the after work beer or a nice finish for the perfect holiday. You can even try some Maltese craft beers there.

The Address: 31 High Street

Of course there are many more places to discover. I will dedicate a post to the best cafes in Sliema and one to best restaurants for sure. However enjoy your walk and make sure to discover a lot in the side streets of Sliema. And of course one dedicated to the shops being locally abroad by selling Swedish, Rumanian or other local treats. Also coming up: hidden gems in Valetta.

Enjoy!

Tips

How to spend four days in Nuremberg

Thinking about a getaway for a long weekend or a short holiday. Look no more because that is the place you are looking for. Especially during the Christmas season, Nuremberg is a special treat for your eyes and taste buds.  The city has a lot to offer, no matter if you enjoy history, Christmas markets or the best beer you can find.

Nuremberg is easy to reach by train, plane or bus, not by boat though but you can take a car. There are cheap flights from a lot of places around Europe or connecting flights if you come from further away. If you fly here from Malta you get the perfect connection with Ryanair , flights go on Fridays and Tuesdays.

Here is a little something about the city in case you have never heard of it before we get to the itinerary.

About Nuremberg

Nuremberg is a city in the southern part of Germany in the beautiful region of Franconia. On the map, it might look like Nuremberg is part of Bavaria, but never ever tell a Franconian that.

The City has around half a million inhabitants and is the second biggest city in Bavaria after Munich. Nuremberg is known for its history (not just for the Nazi trials btw.), its gingerbread, and the iconic sausages, but I will get to that. First a little bit of history:

The city was founded around the year 1000 and first mentioned in a document in the year 1050. It got really important during the Middle Ages as a trading city and the place where the emperors held there first Imperial diet. The city was directly under the emperor’s rule and got very rich and popular during that time. Moreover, it was located on the silk road and a popular trading place. The city was home to artists and inventors like Albrecht Dürer or Martin Behaim. And Nurembergers invented the gingerbread (Lebkuchen).

Unfortunately, there is a rather sad chapter in the city’s history, that is connected to Nazi Germany and World War II. Because of its power and special status in the Middle Ages, Hitler made Nuremberg to an important place for his rule. That is the reason why the city was destroyed almost completely during the second world war and the famous Nazi Trials were held there. You can actually visit the courtroom.

After the bombing, Nuremberg was rebuilt and his iconic medieval charm is recreated and it has a lot of nice places to visit, to hang out and to enjoy.  The city has a pedestrian zone all over the city center and a castle overlooking the whole place.

If you want to learn all about the history of the city you should visit the Fembohaus, it is the city’s museum and an old tradesmen’s home.

So let’s get to your travel plan for Nuremberg:

Day One: City Center and Bratwurst

On your first day, let the city center amaze you and wander around the small alleys and visit the castle.

Start your day with a breakfast in the hotel, bnb or at the Café Alex, right at the main Market (Hauptmarkt). It is a nice place with a breakfast buffet overlooking the Christmas market.

Start your tour walking up to the castle, make sure to take the side alleys so you don’t miss them. Make sure to visit the castle and go up to the Sinvell Tower to overlook the city. Take the audio guide and visit the deep fountain, it is worth it.

Make your way back down to the main market and have a special “3 im Weckla”(the famous sausages in a bun)  in the Bratwursthäusle right in front of the city hall.  It is a cozy place and has the best authentic treats.

img_6832
cozy Brastwursthäusle during Christmas season

Take your time to wander around the Christmas Market after that and have some Glühwein after that. Make sure you also visit the children’s market with his classic and beautiful carousel. And the market of the sister cities to discover a lot of different cultures in one square.

people buildings Christmas market

img_6881
The Caroussel 

And your day with some authentic Franconian beer.

Day Two: The serious part of history

This takes you out of the city center to the part that was important to Nazi Germany. If you come from the city center it is easiest to take the tram(8) or the bus (36) or the train (S-Bahn 2) to the Dokuzentrum. The Dokuzentrum is also the place where you should start your visit, it is a museum of the Nazi history, it is very interesting and a must see.

Now that you are informed take a walk through the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, follow the documentation on the boards all around the area. Prepare for a long walk, but it worth it. Also, it is good to know that where you are walking the festival Rock im Park is held in summer. A good use for those grounds.

Finish your day in one of the great Restaurants the city has to offer. * There will be a separate post about that. And of course some great Franconian beer.

Day Three: Following Dürer and the Lebkuchen

Again in the city center make your way to the Abrecht Dürer Haus and the Fembohaus. They are not just great museums but you get the change to see the old houses from the inside and get a great explanation about them and live in the past.

In front of Dürer’s house, you can also find a beautiful small square with a great place to have a beer of coffee right in the city wall.

After that make sure to visit some of the gingerbread shops and get a souvenir tin box for your family.

Now it is time to visit the Schöner Brunnen (beautiful fountain), it is located on the main market and one of the most famous attractions in the city. You will find a golden ring, turn it 3 times, that means good luck!

 

org_dsc03881
Beautiful Fountain

Take some time to visit the Churches that are masterpieces of Gothic or Roman architecture, visit St Sebald, Lorenzkirche and Frauenkirche. The last one is also located on the main marked and has a special treat every day at 12 o’clock. The famous Männleinlaufen, is an old mechanism that shows the 7 great electors offering gifts to the emperor.

If you are looking for more museums around the area visit the Toy Museum, it is not just a delight for kids. Nuremberg used to be and still is famous for manufacturing toys.

Finish your with a walk through the cozy Handwerkerhof and have a look at the unique artisanal crafts. Also, you can have a great Franconian meal there.

Day Four: Enough History

Although there are still a lot of historic sights left, you should dedicate a day to rather modern sights. One example is the Neues Museum, a museum of modern art and an interesting architectonical sight.

 

img_6875
Neues Museum in Nuremberg 

Then take a stroll through Nuremberg’s hipstery district Gostenhof, visit the small shops and galleries there and get an idea of the different side of the town. As you are close you can visit the courtroom of the Nazi trials as well.

Finish your day with a meal at the Schanzen Bräu Brewery, to food goes best together with their great Rotbier.

You won’t regret it. There is a lot more to see so there will be more posts about this beautiful city.

One special tip for a great view: Go inside the “Adler Parkhaus”, a garage close to the Main market, go all up to the last floor parking deck and enjoy the view!

Stay posted for the upcoming posts about:

  • Museums in Nuremberg
  • Bars in Nuremberg
  • Best traditional Restaurants
  • Where to eat if you don’t want Franconian food
  • the hidden gems of Nuremberg

Enjoy your stay!

Telefonboth Malta , Valetta
Malta, Tips, Uncategorized

Malta And Facebook

In Malta, everything is on Facebook. If you want to stay up to date you better be there. No matter if you are looking for a new sofa, flat or nail salon, there is a Facebook page and a group for it. I even found my job in one of the job groups on the social media platform.

Soon I will publish a post about the job search in Malta and about how to find an apartment and what you should be aware of while you search. Anyway, Facebook is the way to go here. It sounds weird and it might take a bit to get used to the idea.

There is a lot going on in Malta and you will know about it. Sign up to the various Facebook groups and make sure to be posted about the several events.

It makes it easy to connect with people and very dynamic.

Here are some Facebook groups I can recommend:

For finding an apartment:

For finding a Job:

For buying something:

There are many more interesting groups for specific activities or nationalities:

Find your group in Malta’s Facebook world. It has a lot to offer, events for meetups of all kinds for the real life and as I mentioned above some of the most essential things are to be found on this platform.

It’s happening even if it might be weird for you at the beginning.

 

Havana, the malecon at sundown
Stories, Uncategorized

Something about Havana

This Blog is about living abroad and feeling local and at home. I just moved to Malta and my home before that was Havana. Over years that city became my home, slightly without me realizing it really until I moved there and it just felt natural. I was showing the beauty of Havana top others, I captured it in my pictures and writing and I was breathing it every day.  I was providing people with great experiences and help them to get to know the real Havana like and not the tacky version of it.

You can imagine why I write this now. Of course, it is because of Irma. I do not want to write a wining post about the damage etc.. However it is still something that affects a lot of people, my family and one of my homes (since there are many of them now). This is mostly about the city and less about damage help, but if you feel like you want to help somehow send me a message and I will put you in touch with people who can point you in the right direction.

Havana is beautiful! It still is even though it is flooded now. Irma has not been the first hurricane to hit Cuba but that does not make it any different. Some things in Havana were destroyed because of Irma, some were because of other circumstances. Some houses were already damaged and Irma helped to destroy them. Some places were recently restored like the Gran Teatro de La Habana, that lost one of its statues due to the storm. That hit me hard because it is one my favorite buildings in Havana. It felt like the beauty of this wonderful city is cracking, more than already.

I send all my regards to the people playing domino on the flooded streets and to those who pick up trees and those who report about what’s really going on in the city. Also to my family that keeps moving between their houses to get electricity in order to keep going with their everyday life. Because that is what Cubans do, they rock “la lucha”( the fight, that’s how everyday life is called in Cuba)!

So don’t stop going to Havana it is still beautiful and worth a trip. If you need some ideas for a trip let me know or read here. 

And let me tell you one thing about the people there: They kick ass and they will get the city back on track!

 

9d654342-c717-4a25-b3da-2d32002c9c1f
The Gran Teatro de La Habana some months ago

 

Deutsch, Stories, Uncategorized

Nürnberg, locally abroad.

Nürnberg ist eine der schönsten Städte Deutschlands, das sage ich nicht nur so, das ist so. Ich komme aus Nürnberg, aber nicht nur deswegen mag ich die Stadt so gerne. Sie hat durch ihren historischen Kern, ihre Wiesen, ihre Bars und Kneipen und ihr Umland viel zu bieten. In meiner fränkischen Heimat gibt es zudem gutes Bier, günstiges Essen und Menschen, die im Kern freundlich sind aber das halt nicht so raushängen lassen. (Wer schon einmal in Franken war, versteht was ich meine)

Diese schöne Stadt im Frankenland bietet so einige Erinnerungen und bei jedem Besuch kann ich die schönen Ecken der Stadt immer mehr zu schätzen lernen.

Viele meiner Freunde von früher waren sich immer um die Schönheit der Stadt bewusst, deshalb sind sie auch geblieben. Dieser Umstand ist natürlich praktisch, denn ich konnte bei einem Besuch viele geliebte Menschen auf einmal wiedersehen. Nun ist es für die wenigen meiner verblieben Freunde an der Zeit auch ihre Koffer zu packen und sie machen sich ebenfalls auf den Weg in neue Gefilde. Ich will es ja keinem nehmen, aber darf ich euch an das Bier, die historische Altstadt und die freundlichen Kellnerinnen erinnern?

Mein Nürnberg wird nun immer leerer und die Gesichter, die diese Stadt geprägt haben machen sich auf um andere Städte und andere Leben zu prägen. Das ist nicht unbedingt etwas Schlechtes meine Lieben, denn jetzt können wir bei gemeinsamen Besuchen, das Bier, die Kneipen und das gute und günstige Essen genießen.

Ich kann es verstehen, ich bin ja auch gegangen. Dennoch, diese Menschen waren ein wichtiger Teil dieser Stadt, jetzt wird es wohl hauptsächlich um die Weihnachtszeit sein, dass ihr wieder zu den Gesichtern von Nürnberg werdet.

Der Christkindlesmarkt wird auch immer schöner wenn man mal ne Weile weg war.

Ich lege mir jetzt erst einmal eine Karte an und markiere wo es euch hinverschlägt! Vergesst nicht nochmal den Ring am Schönen Brunnen zu drehen und euch was zu wünschen, bevor ihr geht!

…….

Shortly I will provide an English Version and some tips for the great city of Nuremberg!

Sunset over bay in Malta St. Julian
Malta, Tips, Uncategorized

Some ideas for the rest of the summer

It’s late August people and in many parts of the world, it is time to prepare mentally for autumn. In Malta, we are blessed with sunny days all over Summer and Autumn. But your holiday might come to an end and you are looking for some ideas to have something awesome to do in rest of the summer.

Here some ideas I thought of, to have some wonderful late summer days and a nice early autumn

1.Go Snorkeling:

We recently started Snorkeling and it is one of my favorite things to do on a warm summer day. Malta is one of the best places to try it out. If you have some days to spare, grab some goggles and go to one of the best snorkeling spots like:

St. Peter’s Pool ( south close to Marsaxlokk)

Paradise Bay (North, close to the Gozo ferry)

sea bay Malta boats
paradise Bay

Wied Il-Għasri in Gozo (North of Gozo, close to Zebbugg)

sea between rocks Malta
Wied Il Gharsi

Around Sliema, for example, the Tigne Point (Center- east, the Sliema area)

And many, many more

 

2. Visit a Festa 

You might have heard that noises that sound like bombs all over Malta and you might have seen the decorated streets, at least in pictures. Well, that is because of the village Festas. With the feasts, the local communities celebrate their church and their saints. There are a couple of feasts every week during summer and some are well well planned and huge, whereas others are a little smaller and less overwhelming. The neighbors collect money the whole year long for the decoration and fireworks, that are an important part of the celebration.

There will be food trucks and drinks and every festa has a local marching band performing. Here you can find a list of the feasts, make sure to see at least one during your last summer days in Malta.

church lights night
local Festa in Msida

3. Watch an open air movie

The Café Society is a nice and small bar in Valletta (Triq San Gwann), that not only has the best Aperol Spritz around but also organizes Cinemoon, an open air cinema. Currently, they have a line of time themed movies running. The atmosphere in the streets of Valetta paired with a great movie and an awesome cocktail is the best way to spend some of the last summer days. The movies are shown on Thursdays at around 8.30.

 

stairs movie showing Valetta Malta
It is also time to enjoy a nice Maltese Platter in one of the local bars and enjoy the Sundowns.

 

Sea, boats, Malta
Malta, Stories, Uncategorized

Early to Rise – The mysterious Maltese ability to get up early

There is one thing about Malta and the Maltese, that is just fascinating to me and that is the fact that people in Malta seem to be early birds.

I will give you a better picture to understand what I mean:

It is 6.00 am and I start fighting with my alarm clock and prepare myself mentally for going to work.

At 6.00 am my neighbor already started her day a while ago by listening to so not just her, but most of the neighbors around can also enjoy it. Usually, it is a mystical and strong song like Ave Maria or similar. In the afternoon she switches to more popular songs like “Despacito”. That is the same procedure on weekends as well. I can assure you, that the radio part is unique since she is a little old and does not hear well. But the getting up early part is common sense in Malta.

Life starts early on the island. Most official places like the Malta ID authority and the post office open at 7.00 am and I know from friends that work in Maltese companies, that they also start their workday at around 7.00 -7.30 am. Even shops open earlier here.

When I leave my house around 7.20 am to go to work, the streets are already busy. People that are not already at work are rushing there or buying their daily goods and taking care of their business.

At weekends in Summer, you can hear the fireworks from the Maltese Festas at around 9.00am. (There will be a post about the Festas in a really short while).

It is an Island of early birds, which is fascinating for me, who likes to sleep until 8.00-9.00 am, that seemed early for me in the past. It is a smart way to fight the heat and to still have some day left after work. It is also a very epic way to start the day with a loud Ave Maria from upstairs.

I always have to think about this quote that I was forced to sing in music classes at school (yes, the teacher was a little strange) :

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Wise healthy and wealthy. Wise healthy and wealthy.

Well, it seems to work for some people here, so maybe I should give it a try!

Have a great day everyone!

 

sea male con, Cuba
Stories, Uncategorized

Why traveling​ and moving around is a Privilege!

Here are some rather serious thoughts I have once in a while when I read travel blogs and browse in travel and nomad groups on Facebook and Couchsurfing. Traveling and the life on the road is a huge privilege, that some do not even know about because they are not aware of it.  Being a German passport holder opens many places to me to travel and to live.

Traveling is something that should be celebrated; indeed it is one of the most wonderful things that exist. It is amazing that so many people quit their job, left university and just spend, months and years traveling and getting to know different parts of the world.
Yes, it opens your mind and frees your spirit. In a nutshell, it is just the best damn experience for most of the people. That is the reason why a huge travelers community exists and why can enjoy so many great blogs and books written by individuals who can fit their life in a backpack and a laptop and just go there!

But for traveling, you need more than a free mind and a comfortable backpack. I am not referring to the extra portion of courage that you might need or the fact that you need to make money to go on the road. It is simple, believe me traveling is a privilege, and it sometimes depends on where you were born.

Traveling and making a life on the road depends on your passport! If you have for example a European passport, most of the countries let you in without any hassle, if you don’t there sometimes is not even a thing like traveling.
You cannot grab your bag, buy a plane ticket and go abroad. A simple trip may mean, lines in the embassy, limitations and a lot of money and paperwork. If you are from some countries, there is no option for you to go away as a tourist, you have to be invited by someone, someone that makes her or himself responsible for you. Sometimes it might be hard to go to a country where you do not know a single soul.
You cannot be a traveler if you are a potential immigrant to almost all the countries you try to visit.
It is not impossible, but it is hard work and consuming to figure out how to travel to one country! It makes life on the road almost impossible even if you can afford it.

Traveling is a privilege! Keep this in mind, everytime you have a hard moment on the road!

Keep traveling!

Festa banner Street of Valetta
Malta, Tips, Uncategorized

Unique Souvenirs of Malta

Most people like to take something back home from their trip or if they live in Malta get some nice gifts for friends and family.

Unfortunately, most souvenirs are kitsch bad quality and just really expensive for what one will receive in the end. In that case, even if someone receives them as a gift they are maybe not as thankful as you would like them to be.

As in many places, Malta has some really weird and not really trendy souvenirs to offer, like this wonderful piece:

img_9534
An interesting Souvenir from the Island

 

But there is hope for those who want to bring their friends and family something nice and unique from Malta!

Here are some places to find unique souvenirs:

1. Souvenirs that don’t suck

The shop’s mission is in the name! These lovely guys provide us with souvenirs from Malta that don’t suck. I can highly recommend passing by their shop in Sliema and get your own idea of the place and their souvenirs. They have lovely ideas: Shirts and postcards with Maltese phrases, Beautiful prints of the Maltese Map and many many different things. They are also very open for a chat and in case you need a space in a coworking environment you can also come here.

108 Manwel Dimech Street
Sliema SLM1055

 

2. House of Gozo

House of Gozo is a small shop in Victoria, Gozo’s Capital, with beautiful products. They sell prints that are designed and printed in Gozo. They offer all kinds of postcards and really beautiful posters of typical images of the islands. The prints are calm and pretty and affordable, so if you are in Victoria make sure to stop by.

1 Pjazza San Gorg
Victoria (Malta)

IMG_9631
My purchase at House of Gozo!



More shops soon to be added!
If you like Jewellery, there will be a separate post about that soon!
Typical Maltese boat colorful laying in harbor
Food, Malta, Tips, Uncategorized

Sundays in Marsaxlokk

The Weekends are always the most special time of the week and of course, everyone wants to do something special or just unwind.

Malta offers a lot of activities for active and lazy weekend planning. One of my favorites for a Sunday in sunny Malta is a trip to the cozy fishing village Marsaxlokk combined with a dip in Saint Peter’s Pool.

Every Sunday there is a huge fish market in the village that offers freshly caught fish, vegetables, local products and all kinds of other stuff. The best part of it is that the fish is sold to the nearby restaurants and served for lunch and dinner on the same day. If you like fish that is your place to have a real feast!

One of the restaurants that can be recommended is the “La Nostra Padrona” the selection of fish and seafood is stunnishing and the dishes are executed perfectly! It is highly recommended for a special experience!

After strolling around the market and enjoying a great lunch, consider a trip to natural Saint Peter’s pool. You can take your own or rented car or consider a taxi (15Euro) or one of the Boat taxis (starting at 4Euros). For hiking and walking fans it can be easily reached by foot as well, just use a lot of protection from the sun if you go in summer and remember to carry a lot of water.

On the rocky seaside and in the crystal clear water it is easy to fight the heat and to have a great time. The natural pool is perfect to jump from cliffs and to snorkel and float in the water.

That place is a little crowded on summer Sundays but empty during weekdays so you can choose what you prefer. It is definitely one of the best places to spend a hot day in Malta.

Pool, coast In Malta , people on beach
Saint Peter’s Pool on a Sunday (My tip: take a turn and lay down a little left of it, more shade and fewer people! )