24 March 2012

Malta- Part 1

I will miss Malta every day for the rest of my life. There's no place like it in the world. Prapti & I wanted to go somewhere for the first half of Spring Break that was WARM, so we looked on a map and went as far south as possible. Malta is about as far from Sicily as it is from Tunisia. We never got in the water, but I definitely got a tan / burned a little. Like most small islands, Malta has seen its fair share of foreign empires take control of the island, but the people maintain a very strong culture.

Maltese is a mixture of Italian, Turkish, Arabic and English. Quite a combination. I couldn't even begin to understand it, but because the country gained independence from Britain about 50 years ago, everyone learns English in school. Still, the British come to Malta by the thousands .The cultural influence is everywhere, in the shopping (Marks & Spencer!!) and restaurants.

Did I mention we were there for St. Patrick's Day? This Irish girl was very excited to celebrate with some distant family from the British Isles. People packed out the pubs starting at about one, and didn't leave until late after dark.

Flags outside Saddle's Pub
Happy Irish Girl. Thanks for the hat, Guinness!

In Malta, almost every older building had galleries, like an indoor balcony, that were usually painted amazing colors that matched the door or other accents on the exterior of the house. Such a beautiful architectural feature!

We stayed at the Westin Dragonara Resort. Those guys sure do know how to pull off an amazing hotel. It was the nicest place I've ever stayed without my parents and I kept wondering when they were going to show up, because there's no way I should have been there without them. The views were amazing, the workout facilities were the best (and only) gym I've seen in Europe thus far. The front desk was so helpful with restaurants, tour information and my flight logistics. (still flying standby, possibly even MORE stressful abroad... But worth the cost). I just wish we had been there when it was a little warmer and the pool would have been open, because it looked spectacular. We tried not to eat there TOO often, because of the price and we didn't want to miss Maltese food. But we had lunch the first day, and an incredible breakfast while we were packing to head back to Rome. Prapti couldn't have been happier to have Eggs Benedict!

Malta-- Part 2 coming tomorrow. Get ready for some beautiful pictures of the Mediterranean!!

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