četvrtak, 03.11.2011.


Malta hotel booking : Marina all suites hotel rio : Family hotel deals.

Malta Hotel Booking

malta hotel booking

St. Mary's Tower Comino

St. Mary's Tower Comino

Though it looks little more than a barren, sun-baked rock from the sea, tiny Comino (just 2 km long by 1.7 km wide) harbours a surprising variety of flora and fauna, as well as breathtaking clifftop scenery and two of the Maltese islands’ most alluring beaches, which offer great snorkeling and diving.
Comino takes its name from the cumin herb, one of the few plants that grow wild in the inhospitable topsoil of this basically uninhabitable island. For centuries, Comino sat orphaned in the middle of the channel separating Malta and Gozo. Now it is a prized jewel, albeit sun-baked and barren; it is one of the few places left in the Mediterranean where there are no cars or roads and the land, including its airspace, is a wildlife sanctuary. The indigenous population remains in single figures, and with the exception of the residents of the one hotel all visitors and day-trippers depart before sunset, leaving only yachtsmen to linger for the night in the bays where 400 years ago Saracen pirates lay in wait.
History: A 3rd-centruy BC Phoenician amphora containing an adult skeleton and anointment oils has been uncovered in Santa Marija Bay. There is no logical explanation for the find (the Phoenicians were far too wise to colonize Comino) and it is now on display in the Gozo Archaeological Museum. Almost the only individual who is known to have survived a troglodytic life here was the 13th-century author and prophet Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia, otherwise known as the ‘Spanish Messiah.’ Selfless and harmlessly unhinged, his quest in life was to be at the vanguard of a new religion, uniting in one faith Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Abraham tried to convert Pope Nicholas III (who died of an apoplectic stroke the day Abraham espoused the idea), and had to flee Rome as his execution pyre was lit. The poor man eked out a subsistence on Comino until the end of his days. Here he wrote up his cabbala philosophy and best-known work, the Book of the Sign.
Even after the arrival of the knights in 1530 the island was no more than a pirate’s lair, with corsairs laying in wait under the lee of the southwestern cliffs for ships crossing the channel. In 1618 Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt finally built St. Mary’s Tower, which linked a line of defence and communication from Valletta to the citadel in Victoria. Doomed efforts were made during the Order’s reign to populate the island and Comino remained no more than another game preserve, where a trespasser ‘armed with gun, dog, ferret or net’ could be sentenced to three years as a galley slave.
The British legacy to Comino (and Filfla) was not a proud one. In 1800, after Nelson saw off the French, some 2000 prisoners-of-war were interned on the island before being sent home. At the beginning of the First World War, the British built an isolation hospital, now the village, in an effort to contain the many frightful diseases imported with the sick and dying servicemen of the Crimean campaign. During and after the Second World War, their imperialistic habits continued, as the Royal Navy fired torpedos at it for practice; the waters were so clear that the unexploded torpedos could be retrieved from the seabed. Their final act in 1961 was to sell the island to a British development company who subsequently built both the Comino Hotel and Club Nautico. Their 150-year lease was surrendered back to the independent Malta government in the 1970s.
A tower on Comino to guard the troublesome channel was first mooted in the early 15th century when King Alphonso V of Aragon levied a local wine tax to pay for it, but having collected the money he squandered it elsewhere. Nearly 200 years later, in 1618, Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt built St. Mary’s Tower to the design of Vittorio Cassar. As a partnership they had already beefed up the coastal defences with the Wignacourt Tower, and Forts St. Lucien and St. Thomas; St. Mary’s Tower was their final and most costly effort. Commanding the high ground on the southwestern dliffs, St. Mary’s is smaller but no less robust and fierce than its Maltese forerunners; Cassar had by now perfected his technique. The classical four-square fort has a commanding presence of both channels from its raised podium and it housed a permanent garrison of 30 men. Today it is a lookout post for the Armed Forces of Malta and a snoop around it to see its far-reaching rooftop views is at their friendly discretion. The crumbling escutcheon above the makeshift drawbridge is de Wignacourt’s. The fort has strled with the elements for nearly 400 years and is not in good condition, but when crossing the channel at night the powerful uplighting imposes its strength on the channel once more. The old isolation hospital is 300 yards away. Scattered around in front of what is daftly known as Liberty Square is the detritus of bygone conflicts and ancient rusty machinery which no one has bothered to cart away.

Best Western Hotel in Olbia

Best Western Hotel in Olbia

As time goes by, I continue to read D.H. Lawrence "Sea and Sardinia" and I like it. It is strange that I should enjoy such an out-of-style (fro me) book. But I do. perhaps it is because he writes about what I experience and brings two properties to the "table": a) superb language and literary ability (he is like a mouth to my feelings) and b) it is non-fiction in the sense that he gives a subjective, yet detailed, almost-100-years-old account of places I see and visit now.

Here is an example:

But it still reminds me of Malta: lost between Europe and Africa and belonging to nowhere. Belonging to nowhere, never having belong to anywhere. To Spain and the Arabs and the Phoenicians most. But as if it had never really had a fate. No fate. Left outside of time and history.

The spirit of the place is a strange thing. Our mechanical age tries to override it. But it does not succeed. In the end the strange, sinister spirit of place, so diverse and so adverse in different places, will smash our mechanical oneness into smithereens, and all that we think the real thing will go off with a pop, and we shall be left staring.

And this is perfect:

I have been to Malta, at the same time that I visited Cagliari when I was 13 years old (as part of this Mediterranean cruise). I recall Malta, but not Cagliari from that trip. I am not sure if Cagliari (Sardinia) is really outside of time and history. But it is "retarded" relative to the modern developed world, this I do feel. And then, it is humbling to think about how our technology overrides the natural spirit of places. Today is the knowledge age, not the mechanical anymore (that was the age of my father, really). And during this trip to Olbia I selected a hotel that had Internet in all rooms (according to the web sites). But in practice, the hotel had no interent in the rooms... the people there tried very hard to make good on the promise, let me work in the manager's office, and brought technicians to fix the problem... which was fixed for a few hours before fading away again and again, until I stopped demanding it fixed and just enjoyed the hospitality and the beauty of that red part of the Island.

malta hotel booking

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03.11.2011. u 08:49 • 0 KomentaraPrint#

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