"Malta? Where the heck is that?" This was a pretty common response to people when I told them I would be traveling there for a few days. So for those who are unfamiliar with this cool little island here are the facts: Where is Malta? Somewhere in-between Sicily and Africa in the Mediterranean Sea. Are they their own country? Yes, they used to be under British rule but are now an independent country. What language do they speak? Maltese is the primary language (it sounds like a hybrid of Italian and Arabic) but nearly everyone speaks very good English.
Malta was one of the most interesting and intriguing places I have ever been. It is so unique in the sense that I think the country is culturally confused. They don't seem to have a defined, strong culture but rather they are a melting pot of different cultures. The best way I can describe it is that the country is a blend of European and African culture with a lot of arabic influences. My favorite part of my time there was being near the ocean. The 70 degree heat wasn't terrible either. The country, while being relatively small, has beauty in every direction. From the crashing waves of the Blue Grotto in Zurreiq to the rolling hills of the Island's north side, there was so much natural beauty to absorb.
Parts of Malta look straight out of ancient times which may be why Game of Thrones, Troy and Gladiator were all filmed there. On our second day, we visited the Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra temples. These ancient, megalithic temple complexes date all the way back to the fourth millennium BC (WOWZA that is old). It is pretty sweet to say that I stood inside one of the most ancient religious structures on Earth.
Best bits of my time in Malta: The Mac N Cheese from The Dubliner Pub in St. Julian, sitting on the beach of Golden Bay with my toes in the sand for 3 hours, the Blue Grotto in Zurreiq, the Sunday morning fish market in Marsaxlokk, sangria on the beach, and wandering the hilly streets of the capital city of Valletta.
Thanks for reading,