MALTA: A PLANET WITHOUT TREES


Picasa - Valetta 2.jpg

Malta is a rocky island stuck in between Europe and Africa where green is rare to find. Due to its historical connections with the Ottomans, I had always wanted to explore this country. As soon as we arrived in the airport lounge, the Maltese language grabbed my attention. First, the language sounds a bit like Turkish, then it transforms itself into Arabic and finally into Italian. Malta’s geographical location and its history may be the cause of this blend of Italian and Arabic languages on this island.

Cities in Malta are very small. In this country, which has joined the EU relatively recently, traveling between cities is easy and quick with public transport buses, which were manufactured in India in the 1970s. As soon as you enter through the gates of the capital city Valetta, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, you find yourself on the buzzing main street of the city. The yellow stone-built houses in the old town of Valetta add a mysterious charm to the city. A simple way of navigating the narrow streets and the sea side of Valetta is through renting horse carriages.

I would recommend sitting in one of the cafes in Sliema and while sipping your coffee getting a dominant view of the Valetta Place across the pond. Your best options for dinner are in the Italian restaurants with the sea view around the St. Julian Bay.

The one must-see city in Malta is Mdina. The Mdina buses stop by a town called Mosta on their way to their final destination. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the Mosta Cathedral with the magnificent dome. In Mdina, you’ll find yourself in a different century. In this town where cars are not allowed, you will see the remnants of the Romans and the Arabs and you can easily get lost in the winding streets. No matter where in Mdina, you can be sure of encountering a beautiful building or landscape.

Even if you can spare only a weekend to visit this island, which is sunny almost every day of the year, you can manage to see a lot because of the size. If you are looking for a beach holiday, you should try St. Julian, Gozo or Qawra. Unfortunately, Malta has also been caught up in the swirl of tourists, which caused unsavory high-rise hotel buildings to be constructed on the seaside. To avoid disappointment, make sure you do thorough research about the region and hotels before your visit.

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