A Maltese Wedding

Almost three months ago Ann and I made a trip to Malta. We went to catch up with her family and friends and to attend her cousins wedding. It was going to be my first wedding in Malta.

The events started at the village church in Å»urrieq where most of Ann’s family lives.

The church in the setting sun

The church is a typical Maltese church sitting in the center of the village and as the front door faces West it is always lit by the most golden light when the sun is starting to set. The ceremony started at 18.30 so as we walked up the roadwe got to see the church in all it’s grandeur.

Waiting for the bride

We went inside and the ceremony started. It was in Maltese so I’m not really sure all that went on. My liturgical knowledge is not really up to scratch but there were some different talks by the priest. Some of the aunts of the bride and groom went to the podium and read some bible verses. And in between there was music being played. Initially I thought it was just recorded music as I could not see the musicians but it turned out there were a singer and a keyboard player behind one of the columns. The songs were more modern that what we are used to hear played by organs in Danish churches.

Running around during the service was a cameraman with a huge light, a photographer and two light assistants with long booms. The photographer looked like a secret service agent in his black suit and an ear peice directing the cameraman and two assistants around. With the church ceremony lasting about an hour and a half I had plenty of time to look at all these guys running around trying to get the perfect shots.

Wedding 072

Afterwards we went outside to greet the newlywed as they exited the church and we threw confetti at them while they made their way to the veteran car that would take them to the venue. Here’s the sweet couple.

The newlywed

And then we headed to the venue of the reception. In church most of the family had been present but at the reception more friends and family showed up so we were in the neighbourhood of 300 people there I think.

The outside garden

The reception was held at Ir-Razzett L-Abjad which is an old farm house beautifully converted into a venue hall with a big outdoor garden. It was a huge place with people flocking around either the indoor or outdoor bar.

The hardworking bar man

I had already met a most of Ann’s uncles and aunts on this side of the family on previous trips but here I got to meet all the cousins as well as we came across them at the party.

Unlike Danish parties they don’t go around shaking hands or giving hugs. Instead you find a place to stand or sit while the waiters make the rounds with hors d’oeuvres and other foods. I didn’t take picture of the food and forgot all the different options but there was a lot (maybe it was something like this). A band was playing some background music but there wasn’t really anybody dancing and the food kept coming.

The band

I was quite hungry when the food started to arrive and didn’t realize that it would keep coming all through the night so I indulged a lot in the first couple of items and was struggling as we were halfway through the list. Anyways there was a lot(!) of food and as always in Malta it was really tasty.

The evening ended with the cutting of the cake (more food!) and coffee. An open bar and good food in a steady stream is the perfect combination to keep a Maltese happy so I think everyone had a good night.

Enjoying the cake

Check flickr for the rest of my pictures from the evening.

For me the wedding season continues later this summer with two weddings in Germany. I’m looking forward to seeing friends and joining more happy celebrations.

A weekend in Tuscany

Ann spend the month of May in Pisa doing research at a dye analysis lab (correct me if im wrong 🙂 ) at the Università di Pisa. The last weekend she was there I went down to visit her and together we explored a bit of the region.

Us in front of the tower

My dad has been going to Tuscany to bike each spring for the last 4-5 years and my mother has been there a couple of times as well and they have always talked very fondly of the region so I was looking forward to finally seeing it myself. And let me just say that I was really taken with Tuscany – I really have to get back there some day and see more.

I arrived in Pisa Thursday where Ann finished up at the university and we saw a bit of Pisa. Friday we headed to Cinque Terra (which is actually not in Tuscany but Liguria).

Manarola

Cinque Terra means Five Lands and consists of five small villages clinging to the edge of the rocks next to the Mediterranean. Pictured above is the village Manarola. To get between the villages you can either walk on a trail, take the train that runs in a tunnel beneath the villages or take a boat.

The harbour in Vernazza
See a bigger version of the panorama here.

We took it easy and walked part of the way and took the train for the rest. The weather was just right and the scenery between the villages as well as the atmosphere in the villages was excellent.
After we had spent most of the day taking in the sights we found a small rock beach where we could cool down before heading back to Pisa.

Rock beach where we went swimming

Saturday we headed inland for the city of Siena and this was as Tuscan as it gets. Set in a landscape of lush, green, rolling hills the train ride there was nice.

Red roofs of Siena

With all the houses made from a red-brown stone this place is really like something out of a movie. We brought a picnic lunch with us and ate it at the huge Piazza del Campo in the center of town.

Palazzo Pubblico in Piazza del Campo

It is easy to get a little lost in the small winding streets. But that doesn’t matter. For every corner you turn there is another interesting view.

Narrow street of Siena

On our way back to Pisa we made a stop in quaint town of Certaldo where we could take a cable car up to the old town on top of the hill. It was quite small but we also had it more or less to ourselves and the locals.

Deserted street in Certaldo

Sunday I was already heading back home again. So short time with Ann and so short time in Tuscany. I will have to see them both again soon 😉