Malta Once More – 2018

20180512_105411Malta gets under your skin…deep. If you have a penchant for Mediterranean food, a soft spot for history and culture, an affinity for warm sunny days, a propensity for relaxing vacations, or a weakness for gelato, you will most definitely fall under Malta’s spell.

I recognized the first signs of the boy’s addiction to the tiny island when he booked his third trip in less than a year and a half. It took me three years to return to Malta. You can read about my first Maltese experiences here and here. And I’m a thrilled to report that I have fallen head over heels in love with this country. Again. My return felt like coming home. A warm hug filled with promises of great food, good times, and reconnecting with family.

Although the island isn’t much bigger than the city I currently live in, there is so much to see and do. And definitely too much to put into a blog post. As with most of our other vacations, we parked ourselves in a rental apartment for two weeks. This gave us plenty of time to explore and relax.

I hope you enjoy the glimpse I will share with you here.

20180428_10392520180428_104333 20180428_104432-120180509_16193920180428_104658  20180429_07113120180501_14122320180507_05475020180428_183317   20180504_143223  20180501_14000520180501_140233   20180501_14244820180501_14243620180501_16055720180501_160640   20180508_05470720180430_16351520180508_063344  20180502_173535 20180508_05452720180504_125554  20180501_15534620180504_12443720180504_12450020180504_065203  20180504_125124 20180504_12450720180512_17092420180502_17140620180429_141611 (2)   20180429_13120420180502_172455   20180502_17233120180430_07062320180510_08070320180512_065358-1    20180512_190236  20180510_19313520180503_204000-1  20180429_21212220180429_15160020180429_141742 (2)  20180429_14090920180509_14262920180429_205011A stay in Malta is definitely a celebration of the best life has to offer. At any point in time, there are festivals and events around the island that highlight the culture and the beauty of one of the smallest islands in the Mediterranean.  I hope you don’t just take my word for it, go visit!20180430_163755Sign-off

Door Knockers of Malta and Gozo

Lion head knocker on red door, MaltaThere is one more thing I have to share with all of you from my trip to the magnificent islands of Malta and Gozo. At every turn, and down every street, beautiful knockers dot the doors of Maltese buildings like opulent jewels. Known as “Il-Habbata” many are intricate works of art in bronze and brass.

The sea-faring nature of the island is reflected in many of the motifs like dolphins, seahorses, and sirens. But you will also find faces, coats of arms, and animals. More importantly both the knocker and the colour of the door, some dating hundreds of years, represent the personality and taste of the home owner. And based on some of my examples, I would be more than happy to make their acquaintance.Brass hexagon door knocker, MaltaBronze angel knocker on wood door, MaltaCoat of arms knocker on red door, Mdina, MaltaPig head knocker on red door, Valletta, MaltaEagle knocker on pink door, MaltaLion head knocker on purple door, GozoAngel head bronze knocker on wood door with studs, Valletta, MaltaDetail of angel knocker on wood door, Valletta, MaltaBronze dolphins and Malta Cross knocker on wood door, MaltaBacchus face knocker on green door, GozoBrass Bacchus face knocker on cream door, GozoBrass Bacchus face door on brown door, GozoBronze creature face knocker on white door, GozoDolphin knockers on blue door, GozoBronze stylized dolphin on blue door, Valletta, MaltaBrass circle door knockers, MaltaStylized dolphin on purple door, Valletta, MaltaGirl Scout clover knocker on navy door, Valletta, MaltaBrass mythical creature knocker on wood door, MaltaBronze mythical creature knocker on wood door, MaltaThere are many more whimsical knockers and colourful doors than I could possibly include in this post. I encourage you to discover them yourself on a trip to to the mystical island of Malta.

Charming Valletta – Malta Part 1

View of Sliema from Hastings Gardens Valletta Malta has spent a long time on my bucket list and I’m thrilled to say that it has lived up to every expectation (and has now moved to the “Must Visit Again” list). This minuscule country is in fact a series of islands that seamlessly blend European culture, Mediterranean food, and  an unbelievable historical and archaeological footprint. And let’s not forget all that sunshine, over 300 days per year!

Strolling through Malta’s beautiful 17th century capital city, I wasn’t surprised that it placed in the top 5 Best European Destinations for 2015. The diminutive UNESCO world heritage site offers everything a tourist can desire and more. I felt like I stepped back in time strolling through the narrow, undulating streets lined with tall honey-coloured buildings which provided cool shade on the hottest of days. The colourful balconies dotting the facades provided perfect camera fodder for some gallery-worthy vacation photos.

St Paul Street VallettaColourful hanging laundry with a cat on the windowsill in Valletta MaltaHarbour Club restaurant Valletta MaltaRed window frames Valletta MaltaEstablished in 1837 and brought to Valletta in 1944, Caffe Cordina is a daily must stop for locals and tourists alike. Whether you gather under the umbrellas on Victoria Square or slip into its baroque tea room, it is a place to relax and savour what life in Malta has to offer. Tea Room Caffe Cordina in Valletta MaltaPastry counter Caffe Cordina in Valletta MaltaPastries Caffe Cordina in Valletta MaltaService counter Caffe Cordina in VallettaCaffe Cordina Victoria Square in VallettaHot chocolate Caffe Cordina in Valletta MaltaTables Caffe Cordina VallettaCat on outdoor table at Caffe Cordina in Valletta MaltaValletta is a canvas, painting itself with a brush of both modern and timeless design. Decreed by it’s founder to be “a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen”, it is truly a place to work and play.  Malta Fashion Week Posters VallettaMalta Fashion Week Posters Valletta MaltaCobblestones and Cappuccinos outside a restaurant in Valletta MaltaInterior garden Grandmaster's Palace Valletta MaltaLion statues Grandmaster's Palace VallettaTemple at Lower Barrakka Gardens in Valletta MaltaUpper Barrakka Garden VallettaValletta waterfront cruise shipSiege Bell Memorial VallettaBalcony sculpture Valletta MaltaLion fountain St George Square Valletta MaltaA treasure trove of secrets are hidden in plain sight waiting to be discovered. Stepping through the doors of the stunning St. John’s Co-cathedral or the Grandmaster’s Palace, I was dazzled by the quantity of riches both monetary and historical that are hidden behind the walls.Vaulted ceiling St John Co-Cathedral VallettaVaulted ceiling St. John Co-CathedralHall Grandmaster's Palace VallettaHerald Emblem Valletta MaltaI found pleasure around every corner, and in every nook and cranny. And the food was only the beginning….Tiko Tiko Bar Valletta Grilled Octopus Salad from Elias Greek Restaurant in Valletta Round about harbourfront VallettaOutside New Parliament Building VallettaRepublic Street Valletta MaltaPig door knocker on the streets of Valletta MaltaExterior Building facade VallettaTraditional Exterior Building facade Valletta MaltaShop fronts on Republic Street VallettaMetal Scroll work with Maltese Cross in VallettaVegetable truck Floriana MaltaSunset Argotti Botanical Garden VallettaAnd no day in Malta was complete without a generous dose of gelato. Afterall, there had to be a reward for all that walking!Amorino Gelato cones on Republic Street in Valletta

Stay tuned for Part 2!