For a number of years the family visited Malta, having a place over there. I was going through some historic photos and remembering the lovely architectural details, especially in the silent city of Mdina. I shall take you through the gate of this medieval walled city with me now.
I first visited Malta in 1994, before traffic lights and McDonalds had arrived. No one locked their car door and everyone still kept a best room, where the furniture remained covered in plastic. Membership of the European Union wasn’t even on the horizon and therefore the Maltese government were under no obligation to maintain the roads. As we drove down a back road, we hit a rather large pot hole and bouncing off my seat, my head hit the car roof. B drove everywhere far too fast considering the state of the roads!
My last visit was in 2008, so this story I’m afraid has a sad but sweet ending: after Malta there was the space and time to embark on a country-house tripping journey. Around this time I also started learning Italian, without which I wouldn’t have visited so many wonderful places using la bella lingua and without which I wouldn’t have realised how many doors can be opened when one speaks the mother tongue.
I can imagine my last trip to Mdina now, sat in the little rooftop cafe, looking out over to Mosta. First, though, D and I took a tranquil walk around the narrow, car-free streets.
The view towards Mosta (below)
I’ve often been told my Maltese friends that none of the beaches in Malta naturally have sand: the government shipped it in for the tourists.
If you do visit Malta, I recommend spending a couple of days on Gozo, where the sands are red and the tranquillity is on another level. You can easily take a day trip if you’re staying near Mellieha (where the ferry goes from).
Dingli Cliffs are worth going to as they are the highest point on Malta. The cliffs below though are not at Dingli and were reached by a road on which one had to pass a sign reading “Do not Enter”. Our friends told us to ignore that sign, which we did. However, it was a single-track road and the turning spot at the top was so small that I nearly drove the car off the edge. So I have to include this photo as I’m not driving up there again to take it!
The Maltese Stonehenge
While you may just think of Malta as another sunny but cheap holiday destination (hint: avoid Bugibba if you like culture, not matter how cheap it may be), there are beautiful places. The Blue Grotto is one, and on the way to the boat you’ll pass the Mnajdra Temples, which I’m led to believe are older than Stonehenge!
Valetta is also worth visiting; in fact I think it’s become something of a hot spot since I was last there in 2007.
You did hear me rightly when I said that it was B who was driving when my head hit the car roof while we were driving along on a particularly bumpy road. D had never joined me or B on the trips to Malta. It was B who introduced me to Malta.
Sadly, B didn’t realise the dream of living full-time in Malta.
The UK doctors couldn’t find an answer to B’s problems. It was only when B used connections in Malta to get an appointment with one of their top consultants that the diagnosis was made.
B’s ashes were put on the hillside below. B loved Malta and so there is where we decided upon for a last resting place.
When visited: 1994-2008
More about Buskett Gardens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buskett_Gardens
More about Mdina: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mdina
Heritage Malta: http://heritagemalta.org/museums-sites/