Saturday, January 30, 2010
The stuff that dreams are made of
After being in Libya for 6 months, Cay and I decided it was time to visit another country. We thought a little weekend trip would be nice, so a country close to Libya would be a good choice. Well, going to Malta, an archipelago located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, was the easy and logical decision. It had all the comforts of a European country, comforts which we've been looking to enjoy after months in North Africa.
How was it? Just like the Maltese Falcon from the movie of the same name, the country has the stuff that dreams are made of. Each place we went to was enjoyable. All stress and concerns one would have would all disappear thanks to the charm and beauty of the country's islands.
The church of Mosta is a beautiful building with an interesting history. During World War II, a bomb was dropped by the German air force but surprisingly did not explode, sparing the lives of the churchgoers. The bomb can still be seen displayed in the church and the repair job done on the hole in the roof caused by the bomb is very much visible. The 3D art in the walls of the church are also worth admiring.
Ta' Qali Crafts Village
Ta' Qali is a village where tourists can go to if they are interested in buying items like glassware and silver jewelry. The place also has a nice view of the Mdina.
Aside from the wonderful architecture, which is worth the trip on its own, tourists will be filled with stories of knights, saints, and invasions. Just walking in this place let's all that history sink in so easily. The tour guides won't only tell you why this is called the "Silent City," they'll actually show you why.
Tourists should not miss visiting the Catacombs of St. Paul. The guide in the church will tell you the tale of St. Paul the Apostle when he was shipwrecked in Malta. He ended up starting the spread of Christianity in the islands when the people were impressed by his miracles. I don't believe in religion or miracles, but the story was nice to listen to.
The view of the Grand Harbour from Malta's capital is amazing and the architecture is truly picturesque. The gardens in Valletta are a nice place to sit and relax in. There are also numerous cafes providing ambiance that makes cups of hot coffee or chocolate taste so much better. Walk along Republic Street to mingle with the busy crowd and shop in the markets found along the street.
Walk along the Grand Harbour to see the nice looking yachts.
Tourists can go here to try the many seafood restaurants stretched across the road by the bay. One can also admire the quaint little boats called "luzzus" and shop for souvenirs.
Tourists can see here a number of sea caverns by boat (depending on the weather, though) and enjoy a nice view of the Mediterranean Sea, with the coast of North Africa lying on the other end.
The best thing about this place is that it has a shopping mall and cinemas to be found in the Bay Street Complex. I considered that important since there are nothing like those in Libya. That's how much I miss malls and cinemas. The big international fast food chains are also found here (also not present in Libya).
Sliema is where I did most of my shopping. Stores selling books, PS3 games, DVDs and other stuff I consider essential are to be found here. My better half enjoyed shopping for clothes. To top it all off, this city has the only comic book shop in Malta. Yes, this was my favorite place.
The harbour cruises here will take you on an enjoyable trip around Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour. Just cruising around is good enough, but seeing the sights around the 2 harbours made it great. As "the Lonely Island" said, "I'm on a boat m'f**ker take a look at me."