My Travels

Exploring Malta

I’ve been a bit slow in the past month or so with posts. It’s not that I don’t have fresh content, part of the reason has been due to the fact that I’ve honestly been a bit busy and secondly, I’ve travelled twice in the last six weeks. I enjoying getting out and about and of late, I’ve become more and more interested in photography (although I’m not particularly good at it!), so I’m constantly updating my Instagram profile nowadays.

Anyway, I’m rambling as usual. At the beginning of last month, I flew out of the UK for a five-day trip to Malta. It was my first time visiting the country and I really wish I had had more time to see more of the island. Malta is extremely beautiful, many quaint medieval buildings, interesting beaches, rock formations and caves. What struck me was how similar to Ghana it is. There were parts of the city that reminded me of several cities and towns in West Africa and I pointed this out to my sister as the airport shuttle took us to the hotel.

We stayed at the Hilton in St Julians, which, according to an English woman I met on my first evening, is the best hotel on the island. Her husband is half Maltese and they have been travelling between the UK and Malta for 20 years, so she must know what she’s talking about.

 

Hilton View

 

Hilton Marina
The view from our room

 

Indeed, the hotel was lovely with views of the sea and marina. The hotel has a fabulous swimming pool set within a sprawling garden. The food is good and the breakfast buffet quite overwhelming with its choices.

A few places were recommended to us by frequent travellers to Malta, all happy to share as much information as they could:

  • The Blue Lagoon – About an hour and a half by ferry from Valletta. We booked the excursion through the hotel. Word of warning, the excursion desk is not exactly the most organised in terms of coordinating with their suppliers. Also important to note, most beaches in Malta that we saw are rocky, not sandy beaches. And EVERYONE goes to the Blue Lagoon so it was recommended that we go on a weekday as opposed to the weekend.

  • The Caves – Blue Lagoon – For an extra 12 euros or so, you can take a speed boat out to the caves. You book it on the ferry and can even rent a snorkel and flippers at an extra charge. If you suffer from motion sickness, bear in mind that the speed boat is fast and bumpy!
  •  Mdina – A gorgeous ancient town that is apparently thousands of years old. The village is home to the very rich and there were very few cars around as the streets are so narrow. You can take a horse and carriage for about 30 euros, which is pretty expensive considering the ride is about five minutes long! At the top of Mdina is an AMAZING tea garden called Fontanella and I highly recommend that you have lunch there. The food was delicious and their cakes, to die for! The history of the church is pretty interesting. The two clocks tell two different times; one is the real time and the other incorrect, supposedly to trick and confuse the devil.
Mdina
Strolling down the streets of Mdina

 

My yummy cheesecake at Fontanella, Mdina

 

 

 

Fontanella rooftop garden
Mdina Church 2
The church with two clocks

 

 

  • Rotunda of Mosta – This church survived a bombing during WWII. It was closed when we reached there around 2pm so we did not get to go inside :(.

Mosta Church

 

And of course, we visited the capital. The architecture amazed me. You will find for instance a modern shop within an ancient looking building. It’s clear that the Maltese are very proud of their heritage, and rightly so. I wish we were more concerned about preserving more of our old buildings in the UK. The high street had many shops and restaurants you would find in the UK, lots of souvenir shops as well as glass blowers which I found fascinating as I haven’t seen glass blown since I was about 12.

 

Valletta

 

Glass blowing

 

Glass blown figures

 

 

All in all, we had a great time. I’m fortunate as I have friends living in Malta who extended an invitation for me to stay with them the next time I visit the country. Looking forward to hopefully spending a week there in early 2016, when the weather is not as hot!

 

 

 

 

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