Thursday last saw Team DG pile on to an all too early, too packed and too costly flight. Down on the ground just over three hours later, we escaped from Ryanair’s uncomfortable seats and relentless selling … to charming, rocky, friendly Malta.
Our hotel sits in the heart of Sliema’s residential district, about 10 minutes walk away from hustle and bustle of the seafront.
The benefit of this arrangement is immediate. It’s peaceful, apart from the bell towers of the nearby parish church of Stella Maris marking the passing of every quarter of an hour with the gentle ringing. And even better, the narrow streets are lined with picturesque houses that have to be photographed, so a short walk takes a while.
Malta’s past links to Britain are clear and present. Lovely old red telephone boxes, red post boxes and Marks and Spencers are all here, along with apple pie and curry. Also very evident is the work of the Knights of the Order of St John, who were given the island around 1523, by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (in exchange for tribute of two falcons, one for Emperor Charles and one for the Viceroy of Sicily) after the Order left it’s former base on Rhodes. The capital, Valletta, was built and fortified by them.
Heavy bombing of the island by Axis forces during WWII clearly took it’s toll on the buildings and the population, who were awarded the George Cross, en masse, by King George VI.
So, if you like a bit of history, interesting things to look at and a warm climate, come to Malta – something old, something new.