Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Category: Malta

Gozo – diving around the former Azure Window

Malta and Gozo are known to be good for diving, so we had to descend below the surface here. Our main purpose of our visit to Malta was the Corax conference, but we had one day scheduled for diving and the choice fell on Dive systems Malta and their “Diving around Gozo”- package.  We only had time for two dives, so we went to the “Inland Sea and Tunnel”- and the “Blue hole”-dive sites. The Azure Window is not standing there any longer, but luckily for us, it is now part of the marine life next to the Blue Hole, which was one of our dives here.  If we had more time on Malta, we would have loved to dive around some of the spectacular wrecks from the world wars that are laying around at the bottom of the sea next to Malta or explore more of the fantastic underwater limestone-caves here, but we have to spare them to another time. Going to Gozo was also interesting, we had been to Malta one time before, but we had saved the Northern part of the Maltese archipelago, because we knew that we were coming here for the conference. Below are pictures from our last days on Malta for this time.


Malta och Gozo är kända för bra dykning så vi var tvungna att ta oss en titt under ytan. Vårt huvudsakliga syfte med besöket på Malta var Corax-konferensen, men vi hade en dag planerad för att dyka. Valet föll på “Dive systems Malta” och deras paket “Dykning runt Gozo”. Vi hade bara tid för två dyk, så vi bestämde oss för att dyka vid “the Inland Sea and Tunnel”- och “the Blue hole”. Azurfönstret står inte  längre där, men lyckligtvis för oss är det nu en del av det marina livet bredvid “the Blue Hole”, vilket var ett av våra dyk. Om vi hade haft mer tid på Malta hade vi dykt vid några av de spektakulära vrak från världskrigen som ligger på botten runt Malta eller utforska mer av de fantastiska kalkstensgrottorna, men vi får bara spara dem till en annan gång. Att åka till ön Gozo var också intressant, vi hade varit på Malta en gång tidigare, men vi sparade då den norra delen av den maltesiska skärgården till en annan gång, då vi visste att vi skulle komma hit för konferensen. Nedan finns bilder från våra sista dagar på Malta för den här gången.

We went diving with a fellow conference-attendee during our last days in Malta. We would only have time for two dives, so we choose the smaller island Gozo to be where we would explore the underwater wildlife of the Mediterranean sea. This is the first time diving in this part of the world so we were quite excited about what we would encounter down there.

We had gotten to know our dive-buddy Per during the conference and now we met up with him early in the morning outside our dive center.

We got suited up with dive gear, not this old relic though – it is just a historical piece standing in the dive shop.

We went with Dive Systems Malta and they had nice new sets of dive gear. They also give you bigger tanks in their standard equipment. With a bigger oxygen tank you will be heavier, mind that when you have to walk to the dive site from the parking lot (see the videos further down), but you will have plenty of oxygen. This is good if you’re a heavy breather.

It takes around 2.5 hours to go from Sliema on Malta to the East part of Gozo, where we were going to dive, including taking the ferry between the islands.

We got to see the landscape in Northern Malta while we we’re getting closer to the town Cirkewwa, from where the ferries are departing.

Malta is mainly beige, with a few colorful spots here and there.

They do have a few parks here and there so when we saw a bit of green, we just had to take a picture.

Even an old English phone booth breaks the seemingly endless sandy look of Malta.

The ferry departs frequently, so we didn’t have to wait long for a ferry to take us to Gozo.

Mġarr is where the ferry takes you when anchoring on Gozo. Gozo is the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago and Gozo has long been thought to be Ogygia in Homer’s Odyssey, where the nymph Calypso held Odysseus captive for seven years.

Gozo is more rural than the main island Malta and Gozo has been inhabited at least since 5000 BC.

We arrived at Dwejra around lunch time and suited up for our dives. It was really hot this day, as you can see in our videos below. We were curious what we would see below the surface and we concluded that it was different from diving in Southeast Asia and in Central America. However, we loved the limestone underwater caves and the different corals and fishes here. The parrot fish, a common and really colorful fish in SE Asia, where not colorful at all here. The famous Azure Window, that fell into the sea in early spring of 2017, was also interesting to see. The Azure Window was a main tourist attraction of Gozo, but is now laying in pieces at the bottom of the sea next to the Blue Hole. We had two great dives here, then it was time to head back to the main island Malta.

Peculiar thing seen in Gozo – be aware of the CCTV cameras in the toilets :p

Back to Malta and the sunbathers! If you want sand beaches instead of cliffs, go to Gozo or Comino!

We also had time to participate in the Balluta Parish Our Lady of Mount Carmel – festival, which happened in Balluta bay in the end of July 2017.

The first Carmelite friars went to Balluta bay on the 22nd of May 1890 and first had a small church, but the increasing number of followers made it so that they had to rebuild the church many times since then. This is the current church today, standing in S:t Julians.

Close up on the top windows in the church, looks kinda like a scary movie with this light setting.

“Our Lady of Mount Carmel” or “the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order” is what is celebrated during this festival. Here, the friars carrying around a statue of her at the festival.

The festival ended with fire works and our time on Malta ended here as well.

We said goodbye to Malta and headed North again, this time to Prague visiting our friends there.  Our hostel had an interesting map of Europe hanging on the wall, picturing the main products of agriculture in different parts of Europe.

The Corax Conference 2017

Corax Conference 2017 blew us away! Ever since we heard about the 2016 conference, we knew that we wanted to attend this year’s version and we bought our tickets before the first speakers even were announced. When the first line of speakers finally were revealed, we knew that we were in for a treat. Corax conference aimed to cover most viewpoints existing under the big umbrella called Libertarianism and we think that they did a really good job attracting diverse speakers from different standpoints. Most interesting was to hear from Professor Hans-Herman Hoppe and his clarification of his and his predecessor Murray Rothbard’s visions of Libertarianism.  We highly recommend purchasing a remote ticket so you can listen to his and the rest of the speakers talks from the Corax conference.

However, the most controversial talk of the conference was surprisingly Jeff Deist’s speech, which was broadcasted from Mises University, and we can’t understand why really. We can highly recommend listening to Tom Woods show episode 966, where you’ll find the whole speech and good points from Tom Woods, really explaining why this speech is nothing more than highlighting the importance of decentralization.   

Ulrika also thought that talking to and listening to Julie Borowski was especially fun, since she has been following Julies work on Youtube for several years now. That’s why she gets the honor of being on the first picture in this blog post. More about the conference can be read in the figure texts.  We had a fantastic week on Malta, so thanks to Bubb.la/Cor.ax for making this happen!


Coraxkonferensen 2017 fick oss att tappa andan av glädje och lärdomar. Ända sedan vi hörde om 2016 års konferens visste vi att vi ville delta i årets version och därför köpte vi våra biljetter innan de första talarna ens hade tillkännagivits. När den första raden av talare äntligen presenterades visste vi att vi skulle få vara med om en enastående tillställning. Coraxkonferensen syftar till att täcka de flesta delarna under det stora paraplyet som kallas Libertarianism och vi anser att de gjorde ett riktigt bra jobb. Höjdpunkten var att höra från professor Hans-Herman Hoppe där hans förtydligande av hans och hans föregångare Murray Rothbards visioner av Libertarianismen var väldigt klargörande. Vi rekommenderar starkt att du köper en fjärrbiljett så att du kan lyssna på Hans-Herman Hoppe och resten av föreläsningarna från Coraxkonferensen.

Den mest kontroversiella föreläsningen på konferensen var överraskande nog Jeff Deists tal som sändes från Mises Universitetet. Vi kan starkt rekommendera att lyssna på avsnitt 966 av “the Tom Woods show” där du hittar hela talet, samt bra poänger från Tom Woods, som verkligen förklarar varför detta tal inte är något annat än ett framhävande av vikten av decentralisering.

Ulrika uppskattade också att få chansen att prata med och lyssna på Julie Borowski, eftersom hon har följt Julies arbete på Youtube i flera år nu. Därför får Julie äran att vara med på den första bilden i det här blogginlägget :). Mer om konferensen kan läsas i figurtexterna eller lyssna på sammanfattningar från både radio bubb.la och radio frihetligt. Vi hade iallafall en otroligt bra vecka på Malta, så stort tack till Bubb.la/Cor.ax för anordnandet av detta!

Julie Borowski, one of the speakers that Ulrika was looking forward to listen to. Her Libertarian Youtube-channel is funny and makes Libertarian viewpoints accessible on topics that are discussed today. Libertarianism in social media was her main topic during this conference.

Sofia and Martin, the founders of bubb.la and Cor.ax, made this conference happen. There aren’t any conferences in the world that gather speakers from such different stand-points that can be found under the big umbrella called Libertarianism, so we didn’ẗ want to miss this for the world.

The main speaker was the legendary Professor Hans-Herman Hoppe, a rare sight on the international speaker scene. We feel blessed to have had the opportunity to listen to his current viewpoint.

Adam Kokesh, the NOT president of the USA 2020, was also a speaker on the conference. We had the pleasure of listening to Adam last year on the Anarchapulco conference in Acapulco. He will do a European tour 2018 and he will come to Sweden, so don’t miss him when he comes to your country!

Matthew Reece, writer on the Zeroth Position, had a great lecture about the neo-reactionary and the alt-right movement. Highly informative.

This is Corax conference for us. Matthew Reece and Adam Kokesh wouldn’t be invited to the same conferences in the US, but here they could meet and have a discussion on stage, a rare event in the Libertarian movement. Unfortunately, Adam had to leave early so we just have to look forward to the next time Matthew and Adam can meet on stage.

Jeff Deist, the president of the Mises Institute  in the US, held an interesting lecture on decentralization for both us and the Mises University with the help of Skype and cameras. It was one of the best speeches we listened to and it was also one of the most controversial apparently. We highly recommend you to listen to the Tom Woods episode linked above in the text, if you want to learn more about what Jeff actually said. Also in the picture, Hans-Herman Hoppe waving to the Mises University attendants.

Brendan O’Neill, a Marxist-Libertarian journalist from Spiked online. He talked about his case for a Libertarian-marxism, but we found it confused and we didn’t agree with his advocacy for democracy.

Bubb.las own doomster ;), Johnny Mellgren, held a spot on lecture about the next financial crisis.

Other speakers were not familiar to us, but were very interesting. Moritz Bierling held two lectures during the conference. The first one was a Jordan Peterson-inspired lecture about SYSO – Sorting YourSelf Out, instead of the degenerative YOLO (You only live ones)-view of life.

The second lecture was about the internet phenomenon memes and trolling, and what it means.

We got good laughs from his lecture. We were really bad at taking photos, so we don’t have any pictures from the Lichtenstein as a Libertarian utopia lecture by Andreas Kohl or the lecture about free economic zones in the world by Simon Sarevski, which is a shame.

We do have one blurry picture of Simon wearing his T-shirt displaying a nice quote by Bastiat.

We found more nice T-shirts worn by other conference attendants.

Dinners and activities were also on the schedule, so we had the chance to talk to each other all night if we wanted.

Or take sneaky pictures on Hoppe! Btw love the look on Sofia’s face when she discovers what Pontus is doing 🙂

We also met friends that we haven’t seen in a long time. We had the pleasure to get to know these guys in Acapulco last year. It was great catching up with Shamus and David on Malta.

We noticed a stricking resemblance between Pontus and Aron Askew, the campaign manager of Adam Kokesh’s presidential campaign.

We also had time to enjoy the cliffs of Malta before we left the conference. Pontus is not naked 😉

Last, but not least, we want to thank Sofia, the organizer of this Conference, for this excellent and well-organized week and we hope to meet you again soon!

Corax Conference on Malta

We are excited for the Corax conference on Malta, which will take place 28-30 July this summer. Ulrika monitored the day of ticket release earlier this winter, so that we would not miss out on the desirable tickets. Only 150 tickets are released to the Corax conference. Cor.ax is the international edition of the Swedish Libertarian news aggregator bubb.la, and we are extremely happy to get hold of two tickets. The first speakers have already been announced and the line up looks very promising. The legendary Hans Hermann Hoppe will be speaking at the conference, as well as Julie Borowski, that Ulrika follows on Youtube and twitter, and Adam Kokesh, that we listened to when we were at Anarchapulco 2016. The reason that the Corax conference takes place in Malta is that the founders of bubb.la /cor.ax, Sofia Arkestål and Martin Eriksson, have migrated to Malta. We visited them this winter before we started our trip in Southeast Asia, and Ulrika has finally edited the pictures from our visit to Malta and uploaded them to the blog. You can see below what is waiting for you if you are going to Malta this summer. It will be very fun to meet more bubb.la and cor.ax people this summer – hope to see you at the Corax Conference!


Vi har siktet på Corax-konferensen den 28-30 juli på Malta i sommar och Ulrika bevakade biljettsläppet tidigare i vinter för att inte vi skulle gå miste om de åtråvärda biljetterna. Endast 150 biljetter släpps till Corax-konferensen. Cor.ax är den internationella varianten av den svenska libertarianska nyhetsaggregatorn bubb.la, och vi är oerhört glada att ha varsin biljett. Första talarna har redan släppts och det ser väldigt lovande ut. Den legendariska Hans Hermann Hoppe är en av talarna, samt Julie Borowski, som Ulrika följer på Youtube och twitter, och Adam Kokesh, som vi lyssnade på när vi var på Anarchapulco 2016. Anledningen till att Corax-konferensen tar plats på Malta är att grundarna till bubb.la/cor.ax, Sofia Arkestål och Martin Eriksson, har migrerat till Malta. Vi hälsade på dem i vintras innan vi begav oss mot Sydostasien och nu har Ulrika äntligen redigerat bilderna och laddat upp dem till bloggen. Nedan kan ni se vad som väntar er om ni också tänkte komma till Malta i sommar. Det kommer bli väldigt roligt att träffa fler bubb.la och cor.ax människor i sommar – hoppas att vi ses på Corax-konferensen!   

Flying to Malta in January 2017.

We left Sweden covered in winter for a bit warmer weather.

Our mission was to explore the island and hang out with the Swedish ancap community on Malta. Here having dinner with a few of them.

First day we walked around in the capital, Valletta, and visited S:t Johns Co-Cathedral, a Baroque church built in 1572. The church is known for the architecture and the paintings by the great artists from that time. The most notable is the oil painting “The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist”, which was created by Caravaggio. We were not allowed to take pictures there, but we can tell you that it was one the most extraordinary paintings we have seen so far. You should go to see both the church and the painting if you’re ever find yourself in Valletta. Below you’ll find a slideshow with more photos from this place.

Photos from S:t Johns Co-Cathedral and Valletta:

 

On our second day on Malta, we decided to try out their public transportation system. The infrastructure on Malta works great and for 1.5 Euro (2 Euro during the summer), you can ride the buses for 2 hours before purchasing another ticket. You pay in cash to the driver and then you sit down and enjoy the ride. The good thing is that you can go almost anywhere on the islands during that time, so we decided to jump on a bus that could take us to the west side of the island.

Our goal today was the Dingli cliffs that Ulrika had spotted while coming in for landing, and she immediately said that she wanted to visit those cliffs. We changed bus in Mdina and our second bus broke down, so we had time for a coffee while waiting for the next bus.

The Dingli Cliffs. Most people watch them from the road, but we’re not most people so we hiked down the limestone rocks to get as close to the edge as possible.

Finally next to the edge and Ulrika is making good use of our new camera. More picture from the Dingli cliffs can be found in the slideshow below.

Photos from the Dingli Cliffs:

 

On our third day on Malta, Sofia felt well enough to come with us to explore Marsaxlokk, a fishing village in the southeast part of Malta.

Seafood was our choice for lunch and it was the best octopus we’ve ever tried.

Most of Malta is beige, so nice coming to Marsaxlokk and seeing all the colorful boats at the harbor.

We also walked along the coast looking at the industrial parts of the harbor.

More pictures from Marsaxlokk and Zejtun can be found in the slideshow below.

Thanks Sofia for a wonderful day.

Photos from Marsaxxlokk and Zejtun:

 

Sliema has a big Swedish expat community living there. Malta has favorable tax system so you’ll find a lot of Swedish people here working in the online casino industry and online loans industry. You’ll find “little Sweden”, a grocery shop with Swedish favorite food brands, including a “lösgodishylla”, a Swedish Pick-n-mix sweets shelf. You’ll find more pictures from the shop in the slideshow below.

The Maltese are mostly Catholic, so you’ll find a lot of churches here. Maltese people are also very fond of cats so in Sliema, you’ll find a park inhabited by street cats that the Maltese people take care of and feed voluntarily.

Paceville is the backpacker place and the party streets, where you find these kind of places.

Photos from Sliema, S:t Julians and Paceville:

 

We returned to Sweden after five days on Malta to plan our present trip. However, we will see the island again in July when the Corax Conference is scheduled!

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