An Island, Where No One Is In A Rush: Malta

An Island, Where No One Is In A Rush: Malta

At the beginning of July, my friend Linda and I had decided to go for a vacation to Malta. Malta has survived, we have survived as well, saw a little bit of the island, for a couple of times swam in the sea accompanied by the jellyfish and despite it looked like we´d become homeless already during the first night, everything ended up well. On the fifth day the hotel receptionist replied us on Facebook asking what time was our arrival. Welcome to Malta, the place where walking up the stairs is faster than taking an elevator.

The country where I saw rabbits only on the plate

Linda was laughing at me saying I eat a lot. I was surprised she didn´t eat much. Good for her, the prices for the groceries and lunches in the restaurants were exaggerated.
I guess you are not interested in how we eat breakfast in McDonald´s, right. And how about the rabbit stew for lunch? They call it fenkata and serve it everywhere, saying it´s their national dish.
Animals protector and bunny owners, please don´t read the following sentences. Yes, I tasted it. And, to be honest, my grandma cooks it better.
Regarding the pastry you should try is a Maltese bread called holbz which is very delicious but only when it´s fresh. Then it dries. What was not delicious at all, was qassatat tal irkotta. It is a ricotta in the dough and it is very very dry.
Out of their drinks we tried their local drink similar to tonic – Kinnie and Maltese wine. We had bought a white wine Antonin and it was just perfect. Since we didn´t finish the wine in the restaurant, we brought the bottle to our hotel room, turn on our hot tub (yes, we had a one in our room) and finished it there. Okay, I´m lying, it was so hot in the hot tub, that it was impossible to drink the wine there. We drank it in our beds. Straight from the bottle.
Talking about taking the bottle home, I really meant it. It is pretty common in Malta, that when you don´t finish your meal or drinks, you will take it home as a leftovers. About the drinks, you will take the whole bottle. We took our pasta, bottle of wine and a bottle of water and it was just fine. And yes, it is a normal thing to do even at the “better” places.

Romantic Mdina, Serbian taxi driver and the island of Gozo

You shouldn´t see Malta just because the Game of Thrones, Da Vinci Code or Popeye (you can still find here the movie village) movies were filmed here.
It´s capital Valletta is well-known for its iconic balconies. There is a ferry that goes to Senglea Waterfront which is within the city and has an amazing architecture and promenade full of restaurants. In Valletta you will find a port as well, and this is actually a place where we took the ferry to the island of Gozo. Here´s the funny behind-the-scene story. In St. Julian´s which is about 20 minutes by car from there, we just finished our breakfast in McDonald´s. From here we ran to the bus stop to catch the bus that goes to the North part of the island to the port where another ferry to Gozo departures. However, the buses work like this: they don´t. They are never on time and you will stop it by waving at the bus driver. If the bus is full (just like this particular one), the bus driver waves back and he doesn´t stop. It is something like a fuck off, but you will get used to it. Since we really wanted to visit Gozo, we found out that there was a fast ferry going from Valletta there. We took an Uber and drove fast towards to the port. Luckily our driver was a funny Serbian guy and he understood the urgent situation because if we had missed the ferry, we would have to wait for three extra hours for the next one. He drove as a real Serbian crazy driver and thanks to that we arrived to the ferry just in the moment when the stairs were about to move away from the boat. Once they found out the ferry was packed up, they put us to the captain´s cockpit. On our way to Gozo we drank with them a coffee and were asking the captains so many questions. Well, sometimes it just worth it to be late.
Gozo is a very nice island but you need a car while being there. I will talk later about my experiences with driving on the left side. You should visit Gozo if you want to see nice cliffs, such as Weid-il-Ghasin, a beautiful beach Ramla, where you can buy an iconic pineapple with an umbrella for your insta picture, and a cave above Remla, Tal Mixta Cave. In the city of Victoria is an amazing citadel and at the Azure Window the movie Game of Thrones was filmed. Interesting are also Xwejni Salt Pans. I would love to describe to you what it actually is, but I don´t know how. But it´s a nice place.
It is also worth to take a romantic walk in Mdina and Rabat and swim under the cave Blue Grotto. I would suggest to go jump from the cliffs in St. Peter´s Pool. There are also some smaller ones, about 40 inches high, but at the end of the day, Linda and I didn´t have the courage to jump. Because there were plenty of jellyfish. At the beginning of June the sea is still kinda cold and so these jellyfish are still close to the water line. As the sea gets warmer, they move lower and lower to the sea bed and swimming in the sea doesn´t remind some kind of adrenaline obstacle course.
Talking about adrenaline, Malta is being alive especially at night. Café del Mar organizes pool parties, Paceville in St. Julian´s where we lived, is something like a small Las Vegas and all around are promoters who want to sell you the tickets for the boat parties, foam parties, etc… It starts at 11pm and finishes around 4am. Since we used to sleep at this time, we didn´t attend any of them. What can I say, we are like the old ladies.

How is it to drive the manual on the left side of the road

After we arrived to Gozo, I went to the car rental. Linda meanwhile went to the bathroom. The sea was so gusty that we both got seasick. After we left the fast ferry, I felt better, however Linda didn´t. I got the car but after I asked where were the clutch and the gas pedal located, they asked me if I can drive a car. I said yes but I wasn´t sure if there were not on the other side since everything here was located on the other side. Since I was super nervous, my foot on the clutch was jumping like a rabbit. I actually made the car moving but instead of turning the blinker on, I turned on the blades. English cars, I have no idea who invented those. Driving on the left side wasn´t that terrible as I expected and I got used to it pretty fast. Maybe also because I lived in the UK for three months at he beginning of the year it wasn´t that strange to me. What was very strange, were the roundabouts and they were literally everywhere. Actually there was one of them with the two lines a one car almost crashed into me. I´m still not sure who´s fault it was but I believe his of course. The streets are very narrow, there seem to be no traffic rules, the alcohol tolerance is 0,08 bac and it takes about 30 minutes to make 6 miles what is actually a success because if you took the bus, it would take an hour. I was twice in the opposite direction, for 100 times I wanted to shift with my right hand despite the left one was already on the clutch. Also, the Maltese police almost crashed into us once. Yes, that is correct. We are driving down this narrow street where there is barely a place for one car. Our speed is about 9 miles per hour and out of nowhere the police car appears from the other street and takes the whole road for themselves. I grabbed the steering wheel and we ended up on the sidewalk. It was very close. And this happened in the village where there were no people, no cars, nothing. I think the police was just as surprised as we were. Anyways, I´m glad our rented car survived it.

In Malta you can find megalithic temple complexes Mnajdra and Hagar Qim which are older than Egyptian pyramids or the English Stonehenge. Marijuana is legalized here, the carnival is happening in May and they play amazing songs on the radio. The trash from the household is left on the streets in the bags and e-cigarettes commercials have a total ban in the whole country. So everyone´s smoking the classic cigarettes. If only there was more green live, this would be a perfect country. And if you ever come here, try their local honey. As a matter of fact the word Malta is derived from the Greek word “meli” that in translation means honey.
Love,