We’ve spent five days now in Malta, so naturally we’re experts. We have navigated the excellent bus system to destinations far and wide. Picturesque Mdina (30 minutes by bus), Marsaxlokk with its colorful fishing boats (25 minutes by bus), historic Vittoriosa (15 minutes by boat). Yup, that’s pretty far and wide in Malta.
So, being an expert now, let me share a few observations in no particular order.
The Maltese are prolific wall builders. There is literally (and, yes, I know the definition, I’m not a millennial) no piece of land on the island that has not been parceled, cordoned or otherwise delineated with a string of rocks.
It does not require a particularly tall hill to survey most of Malta. A medium sized hill should do.
There is a village in southern Malta called Marsxalokk. 70 percent of Maltese fishermen are based here and 100 percent of their wives know the secret to cooking octopus, which I will share with you now. Freeze for three days, cook for eight hours, serve with garlic and parsley. After lunching here I can also say that they should come to Maine to learn the secret of cooking mussels.
Gozo cheeselet, it’s true love. Radek may be partial to the bread that’s just past burnt and tastes like it was baked in a volcano. But, Gozo cheeselet, I will always love you the most.
Malta is home to some of the most ancient worship sites in the world. Remember all that beautiful limestone? Well it doesn’t weather well over thousands of years. It’s impressive to be surrounded by such old and mysterious stone, but when the placard tells me I’m looking at the ankles of an obese woman carved in relief, I’ll just take the experts word for it.
Maltese is the closest living language to ancient Phoenecian.
Speaking of the Phoenicians, they founded the tiny, pristine city of Mdina. It was subsequently ruled by Romans and Arabs. Today barely anyone actually lives there which accounts for it’s nickname “the silent city.” It’s narrow passageways that slowly reveal the next square’s magnificent facades immediately reminded me of Petra.
The Order of St John still exists. But for what purpose? The Crusades are over. So what are they up to in there? Very curious.
Kinnie is the best soda ever. Why there is no export market is completely baffling to me. It tastes like an Aperol cocktail without the booze.
Early 90’s Christmas music is piped into all public spaces from God knows where. It appears to be well- received.
There aren’t as many British people here as I had expected. House Hunters International had me convinced that they’d all moved here.
Add Malta to the list of places we will return to someday.