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Malta

I landed in Malta around 9:30 on Saturday night.  I had made a reservation at a hostel in Valletta, the countries capitol, for that night.  When I got to “Valletta Backpackers” there were two Australians already asleep in the dorm room.  I stepped out to grab a pastizzi (pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese) at a near by cafe before calling it a night.  In the morning I made friends with Beau and Will, the Australians.  They had been on Malta for about 5 days and were staying till Wednesday so I decided to reserve my bed at the hostel until they departed.  I spent Sunday rock climbing with some locals at an amazing spot called Crazy Horse Cave.  I would have been happy to sit there all day even if I wasn’t there to climb.  Simon, the guy who picked me up for climbing that day, runs the local Malta Climbing Club and told me to stop by the climbing wall in Sliema sometime this week.  He busted his finger on his first climb and was forced to leave so I spent the rest of the day climbing with his buddy Mike, a 40 something British ex-pat.  I spent most of Monday in bed after a night of stomach problems from the local water.  It was nice to have a rest day to plan out my week though.  On Tuesday the Aussies and I woke up around ten and decided to make a trip to Gozo, the other big island that makes up the country of Malta.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it out there but having other people to travel with made it a lot easier.  We hopped on a bus north to catch a ferry but after only 25 minutes the bus we were on broke down.  Most of the buses on Malta date back to the 1950’s and 60’s.  It took us another two hours to finally reach Gozo.  We arrived at the bus terminal around 1:30pm only to find out that the bus we were looking to catch stopped running at 11:30!  Well, we had already trekked across the country to be here so we decided to walk the 5-6km to Dwerja.  After getting out of Victoria, Gozo’s capitol, we caught a ride with a retired school teacher to the only Sanctuary in Malta.  It was a beautiful church in the country side with an even more beautiful view.  We walked for about another hour before getting to the first open store we had seen since leaving Victoria.  We bought sandwiches for about 1euro and a bottle of wine to share as we watch the sunset at the Azure Window.   After snacking we headed for the coast and eventually got to where we wanted to be (after several scenic routes).  It was truly worth the 5-6 hour trek from Valletta.  We had the entire place to ourselves except for a few local fisherman.  And to be there at sunset!  I was extremely happy to make it out to such an amazing place so early in my trip.  After sunset we began the long walk back to Victoria, hoping to catch a bus to the ferry terminal, to catch a ferry to Malta, to catch a bus to Valletta.  We caught a ride from a doctor and had literally 5 minutes to spare before the last bus departed for the ferry terminal, saving us an extra 10km walk on top of the 6km from Dwerja to Victoria.  After the ferry landed in Cirkewwa we caught a bus to Paceville because Beau and Will had to show me the nightlife scene of Malta.  It was pretty much everything I have been trying to avoid since going to college but, when in Rome…This morning we woke up for a final breakfast before heading our separate ways, them going back to England for work and me off to another hostel in Sliema.  I arrived at the Hibernia Hostel after the reception had left for the afternoon but luckily they left me an envelope with a key etc.  The hostel is big but nearly deserted.  Both hostels have been considerably nicer than those I frequented in Egypt (go figure) but I think Sliema might be a little more entertaining.  Valletta was nice but the entire city clears out after about 6pm when all the businessman leave (its supposedly the smallest capitol in all of Europe).  Tomorrow I will hopefully head out to the Dingli Cliffs in Northwest Malta before meeting up with some folks at the climbing gym (which is now less than a block from my hostel!)

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2 responses

  1. Kathleen Westgate

    wow malta seem incredible. again we love the pictures. it sounds like you have been getting a lot of exercise….make sure to eat. you need to keep up your energy…

    thanks for all the writing and letting us experience your trip with you.

    be safe. take care. love you lots…

    Love auckie and uncle mike

    January 21, 2011 at 7:30 pm

  2. Jen McKeown

    Hi Ethan! You are such a talented writer…don’t slack off in France…I want to keep reading! I am looking for more photos (need some good ones of the central markets and local fruits and veggies to paint!)

    Heres a job for you- you seem to fit all of the reqs. https://www.peiwei.com/blogasia/Details.aspx

    Have a blast and keep on writing!

    January 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

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