The #nomadcruise was well underway. Our next stop was Malta, an island I had not yet been to. I once received a job offer from there which I didn't accept because of the too hot weather in summer. Though, I have to admit, I was curious what I had been missing out on. And so I went on the half-day best of Malta trip.
I must have fallen asleep on the bus on our way to our first stop because I missed a lot of background information about Malta. Our guide told us that Maltese as a language is too small so they made English their second official language. And Maltese is heavily influenced by Italian, Arabic and French.
What I found interesting (and sad) was hearing that Malta was bombarded way more heavily than Dresden, which I earlier wrote a blog about. It makes sense that it happened though, with its massive strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea.
Blue Grotto discovery by boat
Our first stop: The Blue Grotto. I had a bit of a hard time getting motivated to leave the bus (disco & sleep deprivation). But I totally forgot everything as soon as I saw the view of the Blue Grotto from above.
We were going to be sitting in one of those small boats that you can see in the photo. I was getting excited despite the yawning!
The Blue Grotto gets his name from the multiple shades of blue that the water gets, thanks to the many different angles of the sunlight hitting the water in and around the caves.
The caves are just massive and they reminded me a lot of the caves that I saw in the Algarve in Portugal. This time there was a little bit more room in the caves, which honestly made it less exciting. Having to duck to get into a cave and becoming claustrophobic just makes it a little more special...
I lost track of the number of caves that we've seen and didn't really listen to the stories. I was mostly trying to make a few nice photos without too many of the other nomad boats in them.
A fishermen-town called Marsaxlokk
After the caves, the bus dropped us in Marsaxlokk, an important and fun fishing town of Malta. The guide explained to us the reason for the different colours on the small boats, also Luzzu (yellow=sun, blue=water, red=colour of the country, green=colour of hope). Also on most boats, a pair of eyes is visible. These Eyes of Horus are supposed to protect the fishermen while at sea.
I just fell in love with the colourful boats. The houses at the water's edge are mostly sand-coloured and the boats are a welcome change to that. It won't be a surprise to you that most restaurants in this town serve fish, fish and fish 😉.
There wasn't much to do here, besides taking photos and eating fish. There was a small church that was open to the public. It was beautiful inside, but again...just another church. I decided to just get myself some souvenirs and take a photo of the telephone booth, whose confusing location might come in handy for #whereisitwednesday.
Valletta, the capital
It was already time to get back to our cruise ship. The bus dropped us in Valletta and we could see our boat from the terminal. All we needed to do is take the elevator 20-something stories down from the park to get to the dock.
But first, we wanted to quickly explore the streets of Valletta, the capital of Malta. The guide told us that there are basically 2 major streets that are interesting and plenty of side-streets. But it was a rather easy grid. I initially thought that the rectangular grid was the result of the destruction in the second world war, but it was actually an initial city plan back in the 1500's. The idea behind it was that you would be able to see the sea from every street.
Valletta was lovely to get to know a little and I'd love to see it again, more thoroughly. I have not seen anything like this. The colours of the houses, the baroque facades, the gorgeous wooden balconies, etc. It wasn't really European, so I assume it is a mix of North African style with European. But whatever it is, it just works really well! I will be back one day!!
Also in this series:
- Somewhere in Europe #1: San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain
- Somewhere in Europe #2: Bilbao, Spain
- Somewhere in Europe #3: Algarve, Portugal
- Somewhere in Europe #4: Alghero, Sardinia, Italy
- Somewhere in Europe #5: Dresden, Germany
- Somewhere in Europe #6: Genoa, Italy
- Somewhere in Europe #7: El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain
- Somewhere in Europe #8: Lisbon, Portugal
- Somewhere in Europe #9: Helsinki, Finland
- Somewhere in Europe #10: Málaga, Spain