Friday, June 16, 2017

Malta (30.05.2017 - 06.06.2017)

For a quick getaway (and our first holiday in more than a year) we decided to fly almost last minute to Malta.

Malta because of the distance (I'm not flying to the other side of the planet for a one week holiday), the climate (some of us wanted to work on their tan ;)), the history (having something to do and see) and the many ship wrecks in the area (diving!).

We checked out the old city of Valletta, hit the beach and then of course went diving. There are 14 official wrecks around the island and many more unofficial ones. I visited four of them, one up to 110m long! Also the marine life was the best I've seen so far in the mediterranean!
Besides that we did of course also travel around the island. In hindsight we should have rented a car... There is an extensive public transport service on the island but it doesn't run that often and was always late. Not like in Japan ;)
So we had a look at the cliffs, the blue grotto and the old city of Mdina which I liked more than Valletta the capital. We found a small and quiet plaza where we had wine and some platters. What more do you want?

Malta has a long and changing history which has shaped the island, its cities and its language (a variety of arabic and an official language of the EU!). And because it is quite close to Sicily, there was no lack of good Italian restaurants. :D Sadly there is a lot of construction going on and the main commodity seems to be real estate...

A visit to the neighbour island of Gozo was also on our schedule so we headed north by bus and then by ferry. On the even smaller island (67 km2) we rented a scooter for the day which allowed us to visit everything with ease. Cruising around the island we saw some of the many stone quarries of Malta. If there is one thing in abundance then its (lime)stone! Sadly the famous stone arch, the Azure Window,  broke apart this march but there were enough other impressive cliffs to see.

And then the week was already over and it was time to fly home :(