Entering and Exploring Malta with a Dog

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There is nothing I love more than traveling – especially when it involves seeing my family and being able to take my puppy, Zaphira, with me. Due to my family living in Malta, as you may know by now, I tend to visit them ever so often. Traveling to Malta with a dog in general is rather easy – even easier, if it‘s a small dog (up to 8kg in weight) that you can take into the plane cabin with you. Zaphira has flown around 3 times with me to Malta already now, and is getting more and more used to plane rides. It calms me to know that she is less panicky now and I do not have to give her any tablets anymore (which I tried in the beginning to calm her down but did not feel was the right thing to do).

When entering Malta with a pet (cat or dog) it is of utmost importance to register the animal prior at the customs. Recently, this process has been simplified and can be done online here.

Likewise, you must see a vet around 3 days prior to entering Malta to confirm the dog is healthy (get a statement of good health) and it must be treated for worms (in the form of a tablet).

Once you arrive at the airport, you will be awaited by the customs to check that the above processes have been done and to verify the mircrochip number with the one entered onto the online form.

Discovering Malta with your dog is fairly easy when it comes to walking through the streets and visiting utmost touristy places. Dogs are allowed in most public spaces, given they are on a leash, and can run freely in certain areas. Yet, although people living in Malta love dogs, many of them are not used to having their dogs play with others. You will notice that they are kept rather tightly on leashes and are often even scared towards other dogs.

When it comes to Restaurants, one wants to call beforehand to see whether dogs are allowed. It seems that some do not allow dogs at all – not even in the outside areas, whilst others offer your dog their own chair to sit at the table with you. The same thing goes for hotels – make sure that you check online or by calling before booking any rooms.

Funnily enough, and in contrast to what we are used to in most other countries in Europe, dogs are allowed in supermarkets. That is, not all dogs. Big dogs usually need to wait outside and are not permitted. In case you have a small dog, however, no one will tell you to leave the dog outside by itself. Simply carry the dog around whilst you go grocery shopping!

The best seasons to visit Malta with you dog is anything from very late summer / early autumn up until mid-spring. Already in April, and most definitely in May, Malta reaches very temperatures already and walking with the dog for outside for hours is almost impossible and surely not recommended. If you don’t want your puppy to melt away in the sun, and likewise if you don’t want to sit around in the shade all day, the summer is not the best time to exploring Malta with any pet (nor without, as most Maltese that have the possibility leave the island as it becomes too hot)!

If any of you have any recommendations of where to best stay with your dog in Malta, do let me know – as I am still in the midst of further exploring the island; of course, with Zaphira. Likewise, I have planned quite a few trips this summer with her and am always looking for new places to explore that are dog-friendly. Up next with Zaphira is Munich! If you wish, I am more than happy to sharing some tips with you after my visit. Until then, I wish you all safe travels wherever you go! Xo

A Sunday Hike in Einsiedeln

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I love all season – really. I love winter and the Christmas season – when all is covered in white (at least in the mountains here in Switzerland) and there is nothing better than putting on the fireplace and drinking a glass of red wine whilst sitting on the fur. Then comes spring, when finally everything awakens again and the birds start coming back to slowly build their nests. The greatest flower fields are usually found in spring and near summer. Summer is just fabulous because of the weather – there is nothing better than being able to wear a t-shirt and shorts and not freezing our asses off. Yet autumn,.. it something special to me. Perhaps because so many of my beloved people are born in autumn, or maybe because we are getting ready for the festive season. Surely, I love the magic of nature – when all leaves turn turn their colors and everything becomes yellow, orange and red. When the sun turns gold in the evening and every look at nature takes my breath away – that is when I enjoy being outside the most.

One of my closer friends and I decided to use this time of the year and start exploring Switzerland just a little more. I can’t believe I have been living in Zurich for nearly 4 years (in spring) and I still don’t really know the country. There is so much beauty – and we decided we want to explore as much as possible of it. Because Zaphira (my puppy) is only 4.5 months old now, we decided not to do a huge trip (she does not have the energy, yet). We wanted something nearby but still go outside the city – outside of Zurich. Quickly, we decided on Einsiedeln. It is a super tiny town just about 1 hour away from Zurich city. There is a huge monastery one can visit, see the Black Madonna inside the church and go for an amazing short hike (or longer, if one has time and feels like it).

Stepping out of the train already made us realise we are definitely out on the countryside. The air was brisk clear – and that is almost surprising as I always believed Zurich already has such clean air. No, Einsiedeln topped it off immediately. The second smell that we immediately welcomed was the smell of horses. Oh, how I love those graceful animals. It reminded me of my childhood, when I used to horseback ride once in a while and loved every minute of it. It now is back up on my to-do list for the future. First, however, I need to get Zaphira used to those “long-legged dogs” which she saw for her first time last Sunday.

After a plentiful lunch that we jumped into right when leaving the train station, we went up the hill and enjoyed nature to it’s fullest. Of course, being “big city girls”, we had to stop about every 5 minutes to either take picture of the surrounding, my puppy, or ourselves (selfie-time for the win!). To not bore you in trying to explain the beauty, I wanted to share some of the photos with you.

I cannot say it often enough – people, go out into nature! There is so much to explore. Sometimes just around the corner – perhaps a few streets aways, but there is always something beautiful if we only just try to see it. It seemed like all the pressure, all my worries, all open tasks – everything just went away for those few hours we were outside. I really recommend it to everyone; for your heart and health!

from up above

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Finally back in Switzerland, Zurich, and finally back home. As much as I love traveling, there is no feeling that can beat coming home. Yet, I love traveling, exploring, seeking adventures and discovering what nature has to offer for us. It doesn’t matter how often I jump on a plane, I still cannot get enough of the breathtaking views one gets when flying over the alps leaving Switzerland, flying over the ocean or desert when flying into other exotic places. I just finished my business travels to Las Vegas (with a pit stop in San Francisco) last week, and then jumped on another plane the next day to fly out to Alicante. There, I met my grandmother, relaxed a little bit over the weekend and enjoyed the beach.

With so many bloggers nowadays using special drones to take bird-view photos, I obviously needed one, too. It’s a toy, I admit it – but I love it. I really don’t need it, given that this does not finance my life, but it is so much fun to not only explore nature whilst walking around or diving in the sea, but suddenly being able to see what usually only birds see daily. This perspective opens a whole other layer of creativity one can work with and, personally, makes me respect the nature around us just so much more.

The DJI Mavic Pro not only allows you take photos of the views you see on your iPhone, but likewise let’s you shoot videos. I personally love it, though do admit that it needs some practice on my side. I almost completely crashed and destroyed it on my first flight – jup, only happens to me – but managed to fix it and thankfully did not destroy the camera. I’m slowly getting better, though hope to improve my skills further in the upcoming weeks. What are your thoughts, experiences with drones (if any) and favorites? Also, can anyone recommend a good program or app to work on the video – one that is not overly-technical and complicated? xo

ps. I have had some great news come at me the past days, which I am hoping to reconfirm and then share with you guys in the upcoming 2-3 months. Can’t wait to tell you more!

Tate Modern, London

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Oh London, you always do surprise me a little bit more with every time I visit you. As a few of you might have seen on Snapchat and Instagram, I am currently back in the city of (what I like to name it) business. That is, I usually only come here for meetings; fly in early and back out late. This time, however, due to meetings on Friday and tomorrow, Monday, I was able to stay over the weekend and explore London just a little bit more than usually. I loved it thus far. I’ve been walking around for kilometers every day, from the St Paul’s Cathedral (opposite my hotel) to the famous Palace, across several bridges – and of course, to the Tate Modern.

I don’t go often to museums. In fact, I barely go at all. Another fact: I don’t go often enough. Having visited the Tate Modern today for a couple of hours really reminded me how much I love looking at art. It is inspiring, intimidating and really makes you think twice. Then there is art I simply don’t understand – but that is another topic to discuss. Seriously though, I don’t understand some of this stuff. But hey, it’s art, and who am I to judge, right?

I wanted to share some of my favorite pieces with you. Generally, I love art that is a little provocative to the mind. Be it discussing or demonstrating certain historic events or political happenings, or simply making us re-think certain daily routines or objects we use. I also love photography that is .. a little edgy? Perhaps that is not the best word to use, but I wouldn’t know how to better describe it. I love photography that displays the not-so-perfect scenes. I love photography that makes you think, that gives the viewer new perspectives, that shows the un-perfect of the world, the truths we often close our eyes towards, and contrasts we often overlook.

Also, I went to the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) Open-Air today. It. was. brilliant. I love classical music in general – and this experience, seeing it live on the streets, was breath-taking. It likewise reminded me I don’t go to concerts enough (especially orchestra ones. And actually, I have never been). So hey, another to-do that I want to add to my list. One more to remind me to enjoy life and simply “let go” from time to time. Life is so short. We should enjoy it to the fullest and damn it yes, do what we want to do and what makes us happy.

Barthélémy Toguo, 1967, “Purification 2012”

One of my favorites; btw.
Andrea Bowers, 1965, “The Worker’s Maypole, An Offering for May Day 1894”

Loved the idea behind these pieces and the thought-provoking part of it. Seriously, why are we in the 21st century and women are still not seen as equal to men in so, so (!) many places of the world. This must change.

Also, I know I’ve been MIA these past view weeks. I will change it – just give me a little more time (I am almost done with my Masters! yay.) xo

Private

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Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful start into 2017! We have exactly 361 days left this year, to make it our greatest – what’s the plan? I’m out and about a lot this year and will try to tick off all my goals within the next months. First and far most, however, I need to write (well, start) and finish my master thesis. Joy. New Year’s Eve was amazing by the way – we had a house party at my bfs place with another 14-15 people. We had some great food, bubbly wine and a whole lot of fun. Luckily, I had Monday off and was able to get my energy back – ready for the new year at work. Yesterday started rather calm at the office. I organised quite a bit and tried to read through all the emails that piled up over the last few days. Today is seems, is the real start. I’ll be out for a business lunch and am jumping right back into a few large projects that were slightly on hold due to holidays.

I also wanted to share these photos with you my sister took of me in Malta two weeks ago. It’s incredible how warm it was there compared to the weather here. It’s freezing now, a bit snowy and it seems we are still far away from spring. These photos were taken at the Dingli Cliffs. Wherever you looked, you saw nature’s beauty. The cliffs are breathtaking. Yet, what really struck me, were these cute little stone houses (?), which were quite frankly fully falling apart. I am not sure what it was, but I assume they used to be some sort of shelters for farmers when the weather turned bad all of the sudden? Either way, the fact that they were so tiny and, quite frankly, broken down – yet had No Entry & Private written all over – made them especially cute. I had to take a few photos there. It’s a great contrast to the rather fresh velvet trend that everyone is going on about. Well, same here. I love love love velvet. Here, I am wearing my velvet pants from Zara (a few years old), a velvet body also from Zara (this season), and my adidas originals (which are so dirty they must be thrown out, soon). The sunnies are from Dior. What are your thoughts on velvet – keep or throw for 2017?