Middle of the Med

Trip Start Feb 12, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malta  , Island of Malta,
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

As the winner (by a nose) of our vote for the June short trip, Malta proved to be quite a hospitable location. The weather was warm and sunny (even if often breezy), the food was great and the wine even better. We arrived late at night and headed the next morning for the pool and beach. That night was spent at the Westin but the rest of the trip was at a less-grand time share. We can't complain though, it gave us an excuse to spend all day and all night out on the islands. The top highlights of the trip:

1. MDINA: The small medival walled city of Mdina was easily one of our favorite little places in all of Europe to date. The traffic free, narrow alleys wound through the hill-top town and around into surprising courtyards and to walls overlooking the island all the way to the coast. We watched a bit of a local wedding, dined at a small wine bar on fondu and drank lots of Maltese wine.

2. VALLETTA: The capital city of Valletta is the smallest European captital yet one of the most attractive by far. Built by the Knights of Malta after the Great Siege victory against the invading Turks, it features some fantastic architecture and one of the finest cathedrals in the world - St. John's Co-cathedral. We took a boat taxi ride around the Grand Harbour and had dinner out on the deck over looking the massive Valletta bastions. The food was fantastic and could there be a better view? We soon found out the answer lied on the island of Gozo.

3. GOZO: The trip to the island of Gozo proved that we should have spent our entire trip out on the smaller, 'secondary' island to Malta. The crowds were never big, but they were nearly non-existing on Gozo. We spent the morning at the Inland Sea - an underwater cave that collapsed, causing a natural phenomenon. Our biggest mistake of the trip - taking the six hour boat ride around the islands of Gozo and Comino in very choppy waves. Something just not great about watching others get sick overboard. Thankfuly we had stronger stomachs. But by the time we reached the secluded bays for swimming, we had lost the mood.

Dinner that night was at a small restaurant perched on the side of the cliff overlooking one of the small villages. The food was okay but the views were spectacular.

It was a nice teaser trip for our next trip... a late September journey from Rome to Milan.
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