Tag Archives: church

Llandaff Cathedral, Wales

Possibly one of the most underrated cathedrals in Wales, can be found in Llandaff, in the outskirts of North Cardiff. The Anglican cathedral is extraordinary, both visually and historically.

On the 2nd of January, 1941; during world war 2, Cardiff suffered the worst bombing of the war. With around 165 people killed and another 427 seriously injured, the city was at a chaotic state. The UK’s major towns and cities have been bombarded by then. And so, was Llandaff. Landmines have fell and exploded in the churchyard, cathedral spire and the roof. It destroyed many a graves, but especially the roof which collapsed inwards destroying most of the furnishings. Luckily a lot of its valuables such as the Victorian stained glass was taken out and put into into storage, and there was no outbreak of fire.

The architect, wanted to restructure the remaining parts of the cathedral by including a modern additional plaque to support the building itself and give it a new feature. To this day, visitors comment about this choice; you either love it, or hate it!

 

 

 

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Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey has been in my must-see list for years. The reason it took me this long to visit is because it is in the South of Wales, and I have mostly traveled to the North and Mid Wales as it is more accessible for me, due to Manchester and Liverpool airports being so close to my destination (also I have never driven in the UK, but I probably should…).

I would say that the Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of the most beautiful monastic ruins, not just in Wales or the UK, but within Europe. The location of the abbey is very scenic, and the village of Tintern is tiny. In fact, after spending hours in this serene place, we walked to the village for a snack. We even watched River Wye which runs behind the abbey and through the village. The river has been an important source of water which sustained the villagers and monks, and is till useful at this day and age.

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The abbey was founded in 1131, by the lord of Chepstow and the building and its surroundings kept growing exponentially until its closing down around 400 years later. In the 13th century, Roger Bigod rebuilt the church, and as a thank you his coat of arms was put in the glass of the east window. This church forms the largest part of what is still remaining today, and is a great example of welsh architecture of the medieval period, even if in ruins.

Although it did not have much importance history wise, what is left of this abbey is a major tourist attracting in the South of Wales, as is Caerphilly Castle, Raglan Castle and Cardiff Castle in the capital city of Wales.

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What’s Up

My blog is a priority to me, however there are times and things that surpass my blogs. Such things are travelling and starting a new job; which in this case are very, very true.

In the last month and a half, I have taken time travel and in total I have visited 5 countries in almost 3 weeks. This has not only led me to learn new things about different cultures and do plenty of sightseeing, but also helped into finding myself again. To me, traveling is the very best thing. It is new and exciting… an adventure!

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For more photos of my travels and my endeavors please follow me on Instagram: SteffiWorld.

After making it back to Malta, I have spent a few days catching up with friends, doing the laundry and relaxing. This is because two weeks ago, it was time for me to change my job. This time, my role is Reporting Specialist, which is highly focused on reporting – gathering data and specs, creating the reports and reconciling. It is a very exciting role as there are a lot of changes going on, and my role is a part of it, and in two years time, I am hoping to see myself in a managerial position. I have been aiming for this for some time, and it has gone unnoticed in my past job, so I am very happy to be in this position now.

I have noticed in the past weeks, that my followers on WordPress have been increasing exponentially which is great to say the least. While I would like to welcome you all to my humble blog of anything that comes to mind, I would also like to excuse myself for the lack of writing, and hope that going forward I will have more energy to entertain you!

524 years ago, King Henry VIII was born

Wishing, a very happy birthday to King Henry VIII; my favourite king from all British history. My fascination about this king started when I was around 8 years, and I was assigned a project at school about this king. Back in those days, we did not have internet available, so we had to go to the library to look up information. During this I learned so much about the king and how much he achieved, and to this date the Tudor age is my favourite era. On the 28th of June, 1491 Henry was born, and at the age of 18, he was declared the king. If his older brother did not die, he would have never become a king, or at least not at a such young age.

There are three things that you need to know about this king:

  1. tudorsHe broke off from the Roman Catholic Church in order to establish the Church of England – all for one purpose; to get his first divorce.
  2. He remodeled the government, adored art and architecture and encouraged modern politics
  3. He  had six wives, two of which have been executed in the Tower of London:
  • He has married Katherine of Aragon, as Spanish princes and they were married for 18 years. He had to introduce divorce in England in order to be able to divorce her. His reason for this is because Katherine was pregnant six times but never has managed to give him a male heir. Only one of her babies survived, a daughter; Princess Mary. At her death bed, she wrote a letter to Henry VIII telling him that throughout her life she has no eyes for anyone but him. She was the most devoted wife he has ever had.
  • Ann Boleyn was his second wife, and their relationship lasted 3 years. She has given him another Princess by the name Elisabeth. Ann Boleyn was not very well accepted as a queen and had a lot of trouble at court. Right after a miscarriage, she was arrested and executed at the Tower of London for adultery and incest.
  • The only wife who has managed to give him a male heir was Jane Seymour. King Henry VIII was very happy and in love, as he felt that his mission was fulfilled, however when his son Edward was one year old, his wife died on him.
  • Henry has first saw his new wife on a painting by Hans Hoblein. He married Anne of Cleves and soon after he found her to be unattractive. To this, he started pursuing on of her maids of honour Catherine Howard. Anne and Henry annulled their marriage after six months, but they both remained friends. In fact, he commanded that she should be treated as the King’s sister.
  • Three weeks after his annulment, he married Catherine Howard, who was still almost in her teenage years. As such, there were rumours going on about her infidelity, about her past and ongoing love affairs. Henry was enraged about this and had her arrested at Hampton Court Palace and later beheaded at the Tower of London.
  • Kateryn Parr was Henry’s last wife. She evidently loved another (Thomas Seymour) however she could not refuse the king’s proposal. She was known for her devotion and intelligence, and she stayed with Henry until his very last breath. She did marry Thomas in the end, but irony had it that she died 15 months later, after giving birth to their daughter.

Prince Edward VI has become king at the age of 9 when Henry VIII passed away. Edward did die from a terminal illness at the age of 15. Upon which, the reign of his half sister Mary started. If you are interested in watching a TV Series about the life on Henry and his wives, I recommend the series by the name of ‘Tudors’.

Farewell to Someone who I used to know

This weekend, while I was browsing through local online newspapers, I came across an article about a missing young lady with the name of Ruth Attard. Later on, I learned that she is from my home town Hal Qormi, and that she is the same age as me. When her body was discovered in Ghar Lapsi, my childhood friends started getting in contact with me over Facebook and on a group we are all part of.

Turns out that Ruth Attard went to school with me both at primary school and secondary school. She was a year younger than me, but a very sweet looking and well behaved girl. She always carried a smile on her face and was ever so cheerful. We were all trying to remember instances from our childhood where we met her; How she was in Mr. Saliba’s class and how she was Snow White during one of the yearly school plays; How she was so devoted to gym and how often we glimpsed her at the gymnasium during the school breaks.. climbing up ropes, doing somersaults. But none of us stayed in contact with her when we finished school. We never spoke again, we only remember her beautiful face. 5498932469_fd0886c60d_zIt comes to us as a shock, that Ruth is no longer with us. Even more so, because we wouldn’t have ever expected something like this to happen to her, or any one of us.

We are so young, we still have all our life before us. Truth is, we take these things for granted.  We should be thankful to be alive, thankful that we are happy… Glad that we are strong, and surrounded with people who love us, appreciate us and are there for us. That because of all of this, we won’t break apart from ourselves or one another…

While we keep Ruth and her family in our thoughts and prayers, let’s learn something from this. Let’s be more thoughtful about those around us; forgive and move on. Love not hate. Teach not shout. Let’s all communicate with one another. Let’s be in contact while we can… Let’s not forget one another… Farewell to Someone who I used to know… May you rest in peace, dear Ruth.

Funeral is tomorrow 10th June at 14:30 at Saint Sebastian Church, Qormi.

Laferla Cross walk

Another great area for walking, is the surroundings of Laferla Cross in Siggiewi. The walk is uphill and a bit tiring, however, you get to see the best views of Siggiewi and all the countryside which is part of the town I am living in. The photos below are of what you can see once up the hill. In the coming days I will also include other photos of the walk which leads to this cross. I encourage you to go here, as it is very peaceful and relaxing. It’s also really clean, and has just been renovated by the Siggiewi Local Council, thanks to the funds from the European Union.

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20150319 - Laferla Cross Siggiewi Walk (48) copy

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20150319 - Laferla Cross Siggiewi Walk (34) copy

20150319 - Laferla Cross Siggiewi Walk (38) copy

20150319 - Laferla Cross Siggiewi Walk (41) copy

Summer in Cardiff

Cardiff is going to be the first holiday I will be planning for this year. I will be visiting end of June and currently I am trying to decide whether I should book a hotel or self catering accommodation. Usually I tend to choose the latter as I cardifflike my privacy and have a kitchen, if I fancy to cook something myself one of the evenings. However it looks like it’s going to be quite hard to find what I want, as during the same time I am visiting, there’s a motorcross show, and as such some of the best self catering places are already booked. I have decided that if I have not decided my accommodation by end of the week, then I will be staying at Travelodge.

Obviously, I chose Cardiff for a couple of reasons:
1. I have not yet been to the south of Wales; I usually tend to visit the North (I’ve been to Chirk, Llandudno, Conwy and their surroundings so far)
2. Cardiff Castle
3. Doctor Who Experience and related fandom
4. Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve
5. Mermaid Quay
6. Gothic architecture (St. John the Baptist Church, St. Mary’s Church St. Fagans)
7. Hopefully a ghost tour in the castle itself but the dates are not yet out for summer!!