Old, old, old temples

Trip Start May 01, 2007
Trip End Dec 11, 2008

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Friday, June 1, 2007

Friday Stace and I headed out of town so to speak (although only about 10km!), to see The Blue Grotto and some megalithic temples. These are situated on the opposite coast to Valletta. I had heard that the water in the Blue Grotto is some of the 'bluest' I would ever see. I heard right. We hopped on a little boat tour around the stunning coastline of steep cliffs and huge caves. The Blue Grotto is an streth of coastline about 1km long containing some caves containing crystal clear blue water. In some places I could clearly see the sea floor, and to hear the water at that point was at least 5 metres deep blew my mind. Out little boat tour of the Blue Grotto was all over too soon, and before long we where back on the rock and headed up the hill for a bite of lunch. It was a nice spot, over looking the uninhabited rock Filfla Island, which the British Navy once used for target practice.

Our next destination whilst over that way were the ancient temples of Hagar Qim, and Mnajdra. The age of these temples is absolutely ridiculous. Hagar Qim dates back to 3200BC and Mnajdra to 3600BC. These and other temples on Malta and Gozo are regarded as the oldest man made structures ever discovered. It is almost impossible for me to get a gage on how old that really is. Coming from Tassie, where most structures date back 150 years at the most, I thought stuff 2000 years old was really old! And these are over 5000 years!!! I was absolutely blown away by the temples. The first, Hagar Qim was stunning, and I even spotted an altar. The largest stone there weighs in at about 20 tonnes. I can't imagine how they got it into place all that time ago. Aliens perhaps. The second of the two temples we visited, Mnajdra, was even more stunning. This one was right on the coast line, atop some cliffs that give a superb view of Fifla Island and the Blue Grotto. I can see why the ancients picked that spot. I found the structure of this one more impressive, and I could walk up on the hillside next to it to peer down into it - something I couldn't do at Hagar Qim. At Mnajdra you can see the ancient decorative design on some of the stone work. It is really impressive. Seeing these temples was a great experience, and has really sparked my interest in archaeology. Yet another top day.
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