Malta has many similarities with Italy, however as my Dad (who has joined us on this leg of our trip) pointed out there is signs of British architecture all over Malta.
Besides leaving their stain on the architecture, the best thing the Brits brought to Malta were road rules that make sense, like driving on the left side :). It’s just what we’re all use to.
Back to architecture though, I love the old style of the buildings in Malta. I find myself checking out the different types of doors. It must be because most of the buildings have the same limestone colour and the doors and windows are the only point of difference. Either way, I wish I had photographed more doors.
Malta has been a much more interesting and place for the kids, compared to Rome.
In saying that, we got a tickets for the Malta Hop on Hop off bus tour, which we could use over two days. On our first day two out of three things we went to see where either closed (the Blue Grotto) or had to be booked a month in advanced. So the only thing of interest that we saw where some bones in caves called Ghar Dalam. I hadn’t expected the cactus to be growing on the island.
Our first day was a lot of waiting around for buses. During one wait we found the Barrakka lift at Valletta. Luke and I took the stairs, everyone else got the lift. Up the top there was a beautiful view. We soon left for our bus transfer back to Sliema, where the kids found a jetty to jump off.
Hopped back on the bus the next day and In Mdina and Rabat the six of us squeezed into a couple of horse carriages for €70. One driver was prepared to take all six of us in one carriage for €30, but I felt sorry for the horse. It turned out I had a hard time squeezing into one carriage with Chloe and Luke, it would have been a little humorous all fitting into one carriage.
Our horses trotted us around the city in 10 minutes. We stopped to look over the walls and in the valley below we could see a car race taking place. It happens this is the one day of the year that this race happens, which later impacted on our bus ride.
We climbed off the horse carriages and still within the gates of Mdina found a scary looking dungeon. Like all dungeons, the kids wanted to explore. The Mdina dungeon was a museum for punishment and torture. They had displays for a wide range of tortures, the worst being the wooden horse seat (legs either side of the seat) where the victim sits on a triangular shaped wooden seat with their feet weighed down. Over time the wooden seat would start cutting into the groin as their legs weighed down.
Once we found out all their was to know about the torturous methods, including what happened to St Agatha we moved onto our next town Rabat.
After Google walked us into a neat little circle around the narrow streets of Rabat, which I didn’t mind, the walking around lost is the best part of a holiday. We eventually found the Catacombs, that are essentially little sheds all over the place that shelter steps that led down to excavated underground tunnels and graves.
The kids were excited and wanted to explore all the Catacombs, but there were too many to see all of them, we needed to get to the beach. So, they picked a handful more to explore.
We finished this day with a swim at Golden Bay Beach. The kids had heaps of fun bopping around on the waves. One of them forget their swimmers and had to swim in their undies. We had chips and pies by the beach. Jem tried more rabbit.
Spent a couple days just hanging out at Sliema and getting more homework done.
The best thing in Malta was going out to the Blue Lagoon, we went there via Captain Morgan cruises. The water is sparkling clear like Esperance in WA, but with the warmth of the Mediterranean.
The kids and Jem went on a wild boat ride. They said was AWESOME.
Everyone loved swimming and snorkeling around the lagoon.
On the way home the boat anchored to allow us the jump ship and do some more snorkeling in the depths of the Mediterranean. Surprisingly after all the jaws talk, they all jumped in and even all had a snorkel.
We all had a blast and fell in love with the Blue Lagoon and Malta. Thank you Malta, we are off to Cyprus for more fun in the sun and to finally meet up with our family.