Malta 2011

 

Before we went to Malta we visited some Swedish cities in Södermanland: Nyköping, Oxelösund, Trosa, Vagnhärad, and Gnesta. We also walked on the island of Femöre, a few kilometres from Oxelösund. We saw cannons and a lighthouse.

 

Malta is a small island in the Mediterranean Sea, and we were there between 30 October and 6 November 2011. The weather was quite ok, with the best day being the very last one. The temperature was around 20-25 degrees centigrade every day. Valletta, the capital of Malta, has only 7,000 inhabitants, but the flair was that of a much bigger city, with a lot of souvenir shops lining the main shopping street, the Republic Street. We saw more or less the whole island by bus and private cars. We hitch-hiked our way around the western part of the island as public transport was not as good as in the eastern parts. The Maltese people were nice and friendly and made us feel welcome everywhere.

 

We stayed at a hotel at Sliema and took the bus everywhere we wanted to go. The fishing village of Marsaxlokk was extremely interesting with its many fishing boats in bright colours and the bay in which George H.W. Bush and Michail Gorbachev met in 1989 and declared the end of the Cold War. We visited the bishopric of Mdina and the grotto of St. Paul at Rabat and learnt that the apostle Luke had accompanied St Paul, when they were shipwrecked in Malta. The vista of Grand Harbour from Upper Barraka Gardens was truly a pleasant sight. We could see the cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua. Later we visited them, as well. The island of Gozo was a daytrip on 2 November. We saw the city of Victoria with some shopping centres.

 

Malta Falconry Centre was certainly a fine experience. We saw bald eagles, hawks, vultures, owls, and the peregrine Falcon (also known as the Maltese falcon). The staff was extremely friendly and showed us what the birds could do. An owl sat on my hand for a while. We then went to the temples of Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra, and later to the Blue Grotto.

 

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