Malta - October 2012
In October of 2012, Mark and I left the kids at home for a two-week trip to Venice, Milan, and Malta. Knox was a little over one and I'd just graduated with my Masters in history from UNCW. Our last stop on our trip, Malta was our favourite place. The Med in October was still warm, and there was so much rich history to discover throughout Malta. Neolithic ruins, Romans, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Knights Hospitaller (famously remembered for creating the Maltese Cross), even Napoleon all made their home on this small island throughout the centuries. I've never seen more beautiful water anywhere, and the streets and buildings, completely made of limestone, transported you to another time. Breathtaking in landscape and beauty, delicious food and somewhat less visited, we can't wait to bring the boys back soon.
We drove in our rental down the coast and took a car ferry to the Maltese island of Goza in the north. On this smaller island we stayed in the small town of Xlendi.
Xlendi was beautiful and romantic and had the most beach pottery I've ever found anywhere!
We took a little boat with some other vacationers to a swimming "beach" - mostly a rocky outcropping near a large sandy swimming area. I've never seen navy blue water before or since, but this water color abounds on the coastline of Malta.
From here we went back to the main island and stayed in Naxxar near Valletta, the capital of Malta.
In search of a well-known night festival, we accidentally drove to Marsaskala, which ended up being a gorgeous harbour fishing village in the south. It was actually a happy mistake.
Eventually we did drive up in time for the Birgu Fest celebration in Citta' Vittoriosa - the medieval city is lit up by thousands of candles and locals welcome you inside to tour their ancient homes. Folk singing and dancing competitions are held in the street. It's popular with locals and tourists alike and was a meaningful send-off for our last night in Malta.