Monday, 25 March 2013

A Week In Malta

Our gîte season is 1st April to 31st October, so finding time for a holiday for ourselves, when the weather in Europe is acceptable, is quite difficult. My mother came up with the idea of Malta and after some research it seemed the place to go in March. A pinprick of an island in the Mediterranean sea between Sicily and the north African coast, lovely warm weather, little rain, a nice place to go to soak up much needed sun and see interesting sites. So off the three of us went.

Coming in to land in Valletta, the captain announced that the weather was 10 degrees, rain and a very strong north-westerly wind, so strong in fact that they had to abort the landing and go round again and even when we did come down is was reminiscent of landing in a Fokker 50 at Rotterdam airport when there was a fierce cross wind and all this in an Airbus 319. Not exactly what we expected and poor Mum was nearly blown off her feet when we left the aircraft heading for the bus to take us to the terminal. We then took a kamikaze taxi ride to the hotel through the rain and I wondered what we were doing there !

Marsaxlokk fishing village
Things cheered up the next day and by day three we were at a steady 20 degrees, sun, sun, sun and we spent the morning wandering round the bay of the fishing village of Marsaxlokk looking at the Sunday morning fish market and everything in the world was as it should be when you are on holiday.

Malta itself was not at all what I had expected. It boasts more churches than the days of the year and that is no mean feat for an island that is about 316 square kilometres (about size of Rotterdam) that’s more then one church per square kilometre, all of which are almost full on a Sunday. Having said that, the architectural value of most of these buildings was not very impressive and whereas I thought we would spend our time church hopping, wondering at the over-the-top Rocco style, promised to be so abundant on the island, we gave up after the first one or two. Wandering the small side-streets looking up at the covered balconies in Valletta and Vittoriosa in the spring sunshine, was a pleasure in its own right, but the main “attractions” in Valletta itself were not as interesting as I had expected them to be.

Ħaġar Qim Temple
What was an eye-opener, was the amount of Megalithic remains to be found. The islands of Malta and Gozo seem to be littered with these remains and a number of the temples have been excavated and preserved. They are well worth a visit. I was stunned by the completeness and complexity of these edifices and to think that these were built 1,000 years before Stonehenge.

All in all we had a lovely relaxing week, pottering around, soaking up much need sun to revitalise us for the season to come.

It's time to be thinking about your own holiday, so why not click here for details of our holiday homes which are nowhere near Malta but they are in our own little bit of paradise here in Burgundy.

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