Sunday, November 30, 2008

Looking back on summer

Since Erik is busy with renovating our sauna and bathroom, he hasn't had many moments to go to the nature to photograph wild animals. Here is a reminder from his summer photos... A moose in the grain called 'rape' (in Estonian: raps).
Photographed by Erik, August 2008, Harju county.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Autumn Ball through the years

Each year, our university organizes an Autumn Ball. Usually, the ball takes place in the ceremonial hall of the main building of our university. We have participated in it since 2005.
This year, it was more special as usual since it was a jubilee-year - our university turned 90 years old and for this occasion, the Ball was held in our Opera Theatre "Estonia". It happened yesterday evening and we all had wonderful time there. We could see our colleagues all dressed up, we could drink some champaigne and wine, eat a very good cherry-cake and of course, dance a lot...
Here you can see my colleague Marina, her husband Raoul, Erik and I in the ball yesterday:
And this is the gallery of the photos taken during 2006, 2007 and 2008:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our temporary family member

Yesterday, when it snowed a lot, I and Kert went outside and made a big snowmen. He has a smily face and is watching through our kitchen windows - so we can see him all the time when we're inside. Hopefully he'll be our family member for some more days :).
Yesterday, I also went to the forest to get some fir-groves in order to cover some of my plants (roses, veigelas etc). The road was snowy and all the trees had white coat on - it was lovely to watch!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dogs in the snowy morning

Today, when we woke up, the sun was shining, it had snowed more and I just loved to look outside of the window... Now it's certain, that the snow stays over the weekend which is just wonderful! It gives a very, very good mood to all of us. Even the dogs are excited!

This is the pose how Betu and Tony always stay when they are together - Betu fits so well under the huge body of Tony :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The first snow...

Today, when we woke up in the morning, we could finally see that the ground was white... Yes, it was the first snow this year! It snowed a bit more during the evening and it's minus degrees right now, so we hope that the snow will stay over the weekend. I really love to watch out from the windows of my home when it's all white around :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Letter boxes in Malta

When it concerns letter writing (one of my life-time hobbies), I'd like to live in Malta and have one of those romantic letter boxes. Instead of my normal, brown boring box (which I have at home), it would be wonderful to get my letters from those used in Malta... Aren't they lovely?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Father's Day

Yesterday, we celebrated Father's Day in Estonia. This is Erik's cake to his father which says "To the Best Father".

Monday, November 3, 2008

Malta - Where the Sun Shines from the Heart

Malta is a small European microstate, located in such a good place that it has a pleasurable climate and many nice beaches which makes it a wonderful holiday spot which I and my friends visited in the end of September.
Even when usually Malta is thought to be a beach-holiday-spot, we were aimed to see much of it's culture and sights (which Malta has plenty to offer - the Maltese islands were first settled in 5200 BC!); so we stayed only 2 days in the beach and 5 days exploring the island.
The small island is 314 km2 big and is heavily populated - with about 420 000 inhabitants. It gained indpendence from UK only in 1964 and is now a member of the EU which it joined in 2004.
Malta certainly worth to visit. NOTE - Malta has the oldest prehistoric temples in the world, even older than Egyptian Pyramides!

My travelling mates in Malta Here we are: KRISTI, I, EVE and RAGNAR

VALLETTA- the Capital of Malta
Valletta is called as the city of palaces built by gentlemen for gentlemen. It is such a small capital that you can walk around it within an hour and you do not need a car to explore it at all. It inhabitants about 6000 people and was started to build in 1566 and was planned in rectangular design by by the Grandmaster of the Order of Saint John La Valette, hence the name of the city. Photo: The view to Valletta
Photo: One of the greenest spots in Valletta- Barrakka Gardens
Photo: View to Vittoriosa, situated in the other side of Grand Harbour
Photo: The shelgun shot takes place at 12 each day. A lot of tourists go to see it. So did we!
Photo: Looking to Grand Harbour
Photo: Ragnar, Eve, I and Kristi in Valletta

Birzebbuga - our "home village"
Birzebbuga is a small seaside resort in the south-east of Malta, 8 km's from the capital of Malta (remember - Malta is VERY small, so 8 km's is already far away:)). We looked for something non-touristic where we can see Maltese life better than in a tourist resort, and I think we really succeeded with it. Our apartment was nice and cosy, the village was nice and we hardly saw any tourists at all. We had a lovely beach there (with only a few people besides us), and it was a very good place to stay overnight. Photo: Birzebbuga Beach
Photo: Birzebbuga has manufacturing area, too - beyond you can see tankers.
Photo: Ragnar and Eve and a match of wall with Ragnar's shirt...
Photo: We were proud to be Estonians :)
Photo: Birzebbuga's village centre
Photo: I with our rented car... We were hapy with it, even when the traffic is left-sided... poor Ragnar!

Temples in Malta - the OLDEST in the world!!!
The prehistoric temples of Malta are unique in all the world - they are the oldest standing stone structures which remain to us from ancient times. The temples date from 4000 - 2500 BC. They are older than Stonehenge, older than the Pyramids. I had no idea about it before I visited Malta and those temples!
Photo: Mnajdra Temples
Photo: Hagar Qim Temples
Photo: Tarxien Temples.

Mdina - the Silent City
Mdina - the lovely medieval city - is an old capital of Malta. Evidence of settlements in Mdina goes back to over 4000 BC. Nowadays, no cars are allowed in Mdina, partly why it has earned the nickname 'the Silent City'.
Photo: Narrow silent streets of Mdina.

Photo: The wall of Mdina.
Photo: St Paul's Cathedral in Mdina, built between 1697-1702. Notice the two clocks on the church - one shows the right time, another wrong. Do you know, why? The wrong is to confuse the devil and ward him off his evil ways.

Golden Bay
One of the most popular beaches in Malta is Golden Bay - situated in the western part of Malta. We stayed there for one day, went to swim in the sea and also watched the sunset... Photo: Golden Bay
Photo: Loving couple and sunset.

Blue Grotto
This Malta's natural sea cave, whose main arch is about 46 metres high, cut into the rock face. We made a boat trip to many different caves there which each had different colour of water - the caves sparkle both with blue reflections of the sea and orange, purple and green of the various minerals present in the rocks.
Photo: The beautiful Blue Grotto
Photo: I and Blue Grotto
Photo: We took a boat trip to Blue Grotto caves with a similar boat.

The other places in south part of Malta
The south part is much more underdeveloped than other parts of Malta, yet it has much to offer as well. It has a lot of interesting stone fences, narrow roads and... cactuses!
Photo: A nice view and some damaged cars on the cliffs...
Photo: Mysterious cart rutes are seen all over Malta - noone knows what they are for.
Photo: A cave where people were living still in the 19th century.Photo: Zurrieq windmill
Photo: Cactuses... very usual view in Malta.
Photo: Narrow roads in the south part of Malta.
Photo: Kristi looking over Dingli Cliffs

Marsaxlokk - a romantic fishing village...
The small fishing village - Marsaxlokk - became our favourite destination as we managed to visit it for several times. First, it had a lovely fishing market on Sunday morning. Second, it had many good fishing restaurants on the port. Third, the colourful Maltese boats (called luzzus) are so lovely to watch... And fourth, it was close to our "home village" - only 3 km's from it. So we just couldn't resist going there all the time :). Photo: Luzzus + the Marsaxlokk Cathedral.
Photo: I, Kristi and one of the luzzus. When you look carefully, you see that the luzzu has the Eye of Osiris - the Phoenicians' god of protection against evil.
Photo: Some more views of Marsaxlokk.
Photo: A night view of boats in Marsaxlokk.

Mosta Dome
Mosta Dome is the 3rd largest unsupported dome in the world. It's diameter is 37 metres. On 9 April 1942, the church was nearly destroyed during World War 2. An Axis bomb pierced the dome of the church and fell down to the floor, but failed to explode during the mass when about 300 people were sitting in the church. It was thought to be a Miracle. The detonator was removed and a replica bomb is now displayed as a memorial.
Photo: Mosta Dome outside, built in 1860's
Photo: Mosta Dome inside
Photo: The beautiful dome.
Photo: Kristi and Eve in Mosta Dome.

Maltese food
The best known food in Malta (for tourists) are:
1. Maltese rabbit - I, Eve and Kristi all ate it (I think Ragnar always preferred fish...), and I must say that I was the luckiest one - I got the best pieces while Eve and Kristi had only some ribs of the rabbit... So I enjoyed it a lot, but I'm not sure if Eve and Kristi did... Still, it was a good experience - I've never eaten a rabbit before!
Photo: Maltese rabbit (photo from
2. Pastizzi - the small pies filled with Ricotta cheese. The first time we ate them, they tasted soo good - we were very hungry! Those pies can be filled with peas, too, but we all agreed, that the Ricotta version is the best! We have eaten them at home, too, as during our first Malta-trip-reunion, Eve and Ragnar found a recipe from internet and made them. They looked different but the taste was the same:) Photo: Pastizzi pies
We also had breakfasts at our apartment every day; and sometimes we ate at our apartment for dinner, too. Once, Ragnar made an excellent fish dish!
Photo: Fish dinner we had at our apartment.
Photo: Our brekfast with pasta, tomatoes, basilica and mozarella cheese :)

Photo: Some Maltese wine, cheese and olives...

Kristi's birthday
Kristi turned one year older during our trip. For this occasion, she invited us to a dinner to a fishing village... Marsaxlokk (which we knew very well, as we had been dining there for several times). We had a great evening and managed to surprise Kristi with our present which she had liked in London Airport and which we had bought secretly. It was a cute pink watch.
Photo: Happy Kristi on her happy birthday :)
Photo: The birthday card I had written to Kristi at home and taken it together with me. The gift was wrapped by Eve and Ragnar.
Photo: Kristi's new watch for her birthday.