The Mediterranean has seen a lot of activity in history. Ancient civilizations and all major religions trod its waters to spread and protect their message. In the middle of the trade routes to Europe, Africa and Asia lies Malta - an island nation of small size. In the shadow of Sicily, this archipelago of three inhabited islands is reminiscent of numerous struggles. Its strategic location and favourable harbour conditions made it a sought-after piece of land in the eyes of its numerous settlers.
From the ancient Greeks to the modern colonialists like the French and British, many sea-farers including the Arabs and the Crusaders, tried to rule it. It peaked with arrival of the Knights Hospitallers who set up charitable infirmaries. The failed Ottoman siege of 1565, accession to Napoleon in 1798 and possession by Great Britain mark the power shifts in its history.
The fact that Malta has been civilized for ages is attested by the still-standing temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra that date back to the Neolithic era. These structures from the 4th millennium B.C. stand on the cliffside of South Malta. Another reminder of its history is Clapham Junction where the bedrock bears ruts formed by wagons and carts in the past. Fortifications enclose the three historic cities of Birgu, Isla and Bormla in the Cottonera cluster.
Mdina and Rabat too house ancient catacombs and villas. Among the hills, one can explore the Blue Grotto in Southern Malta. This series of seven caves and inlets is renowned for its amazing rock formations and azure waters. They can be accessed by small traditional boats from the south coast. If you tire of the rocks, head for the sands. The best beaches are at Mellieha, Golden Bay. Its cousin Long Steps Bay is beautiful as well.
Modes of transport include the affordable buses, boats and bikes. It is advisable to explore small countries like Malta on bike as it gives one the much-needed flexibility and time for oneself. A trip to the fishing village of Marsaxlokk enables you to taste typical Maltese cuisine consisting of fish and vegetable. Lampuki is a dolphin fish dish that is prepared in late summers. Vegetable ensembles like Soppa ta'l-armla and Arjoli are simple yet a true ambassador of Malta. On a full-stomach, you are ready for shopping and partying in the cities of Sliema, Marsaskala and Saint Julians.
Traveling back to my 2009 trips
Watching travelers in an airport coffee shop while waiting for my flight, I couldn't help but wonder what 2010 has for me when it comes to traveling. Of course, 2009 was a good one. I have covered almost 20,000 miles, visited four countries, and enjoyed several beaches and landmarks. It was my first time to cross the Pacific, expanding my journeys beyond Asia, and to travel during my birthday. Looking ... Read full Blog post
What to see in Sydney, Australia
Sydney is a beautiful and livable city and is one of the most famous and representative in Australia. It 's definitely the cultural capital, although the administrative capital is the nearby Canberra. Despite his poor beginnings as a British penal colony, now Sydney has a diverse population that seems to live quite well by its variety. This city has many hotels to choose from. Pick up one that has ... Read full Blog post
Bali - Bromo - Ijen Crater - Bali 3D 2N
Tour Itenarary Day 1 : Bali - Bromo Hotel our staff will pick the clients up from their hotel in Bali. then take them to the most western tip of Bali for about 3 hours by private car with AC to reach gilimanuk ferry port then proceed to take a ferry to cross Bali strait for about 1 hours to reach ketapang ferry port in Banyuwangi (in eastern tip of java). the trip goes through th rural ... Read full Blog post
A road trip around Australia
For this trip we rented a Nissan Patrol 4x4 and we have traveled 13,756 kilometers. Of course we had carefully read an auto blog in order to pick up the best car for this long trip. The Australian roads are in excellent condition, the maximum speed is 100/110 miles per hour. Potentially dangerous situations encountered driving outback, due to kangaroos or cows crossing the road. However there ... Read full Blog post