Last week we went on a trip to Malta. If you ever want to feel fat and hideous, I highly recommend a vacation to Malta—everyone you walk by looks perfect and thin—and often with a pair of stilettos. People dress like they just stepped off the runway in Milan—no pressure at all. You will find that your envy quickly melts and then you are left with a general feeling of awe. People take their aesthetics quite seriously in Europe. This is the place of the Renaissance and Enlightenment, after all. Another thing I observed was that there seemed to be about 5 young women to a single man.
Our trips are always so busy and packed. With a baby added to the mix things felt a bit chaotic—with diaper changing and breast feeding in random places and lots of crying, holding and consoling, but we managed to make it work. Everyday we were off doing something—like visiting ancient Temples, going into medieval cathedrals or seeing artwork by Caravaggio. The food was good! I highly recommend McDonald's breakfast (as 22 Euro per person at the Hilton is MUCH too expensive, and frankly, fiscally stupid). Our hotel was situated along the crystal blue sea. The Mediterranean Sea, alone, is a sight to behold; it transitions from aquamarine to cobalt blue the further out you look. Our hotel was unduly luxurious. The bed in our room made me feel like I was sinking into a heavenly cloud.
The highlights of our trip were scuba diving in the Mediterranean (our first time!), visiting Gozo Island and seeing an ancient temple--Ggantija (3,600 BC—the oldest above ground religious structure on Earth) and also the Azure Window (used as a scene in Game of Thrones). We went to a really cool Aquarium on the main island of Malta too.
We enjoyed plenty of strolls along a promenade that flanked the Mediterranean Sea and we spent a half-day in Valletta which is the capital city of Malta. Valletta took me for surprise. Such an incredibly beautiful, baroque city. It is my favorite city in Europe so far.
Malta is my favorite country that I have been to in Europe. It has an almost 3rd world feel to it but for the population density, it is kept clean and they recycle there. There isn’t lots of garbage on the streets and in the water–like what I’ve witnessed in other Third World countries I’ve visited/lived in like Mexico, Benin, Togo, Liberia, Senegal, Gambia, along the border of Nigeria…etc. I could write entire books on the littering and flippant dumping of garbage on the land and water that I witnessed in some of these countries.
My husband and I can’t stop raving about our Scuba Diving experience into the Mediterranean Sea. At first it was daunting–I felt like I was suffocating under water until I started reminding myself to just breathe. Eventually I was able to calm myself down and we were able to spend a good 30 minutes under water. Breathing air from an oxygen tank deep in the ocean isn’t as satisfying as ambient air. This said, scuba diving was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. We were so thrilled that my husband will be getting his certification in Scuba Diving over the summer and we plan to go on more scuba diving adventures in the near future.
My list of favorite European cities at this point is. 1. Valletta, Malta 2. Taormina, Sicily 3. Krakow, Poland 4. Rome, Italy, 5. Prague, Czech Republic, 6. Salzburg, Austria 7. Bergen, Norway. (In case you were curious). Of course, I just LOVE Paris and Amsterdam too!