One could say you cannot go back in time. With the rapid advancement of technology, we, humans, have managed to change the landscape of almost every inhabited place, building concrete blocks of flats, crowding the streets with cars, erecting skyscrapers and cutting off trees to have more parking space. You could find some historical sites, of course, but they will be either swarmed by tourists or run-down because of a lack of funds - inauthentic. Time flies and changes everything, “everything flows”, as Heraclitus once said, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.
Imagine a place where everything looks the way it did in the Middle Ages. A place where all the houses are less than two-story high and built out of beautiful peachy limestone. A place where the lampposts look like torch holders and there are Medieval fortresses within a walking distance. A place where there is a centuries-old Catholic church around every corner, a grand masterpiece of architecture, yet modestly cuddled up in between a craftsman’s workshop and a family house. This is what Malta looks like.
Malta is a country located in the Mediterranean Sea, between the Italian island of Sicily, Libia, and Tunisia. It consists of three inhabited islands – Malta, Gozo, and Comino – and a few smaller islands. With a territory of only 316 square km and a population of about half a million people, it might not seem like a big deal. But what a big deal it is.
Some die-hard fans of Game of Thrones probably remember the gorgeous location of Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s wedding or the otherworldly streets of King’s Landing. They were both shot in Malta. The choice of shooting location is just perfect to match the medieval yet exotic vibe of the show exactly because this is how you feel everywhere you go in Malta.
Words can hardly describe how otherworldly is walking the narrow streets of Mdina, decorated with colorful doors and terraces, or enjoying the shade of a palm tree, while looking at the crystal-clear water. There is a mild silence, only interrupted by the church bells and the sound of the waves, a feeling of coziness lingering in the salty air, a growing desire to go on an adventure and get lost – deliberately.
There are also carts led by horses and cat sanctuaries, duck sanctuaries where geese live together with Guinea pigs, red British telephone booths (Malta was а British colony until 1964) and tiny little overcrowded busses driving on the left. And flowers everywhere. Malta is like a Mediterranean version of the UK, except people speak a Latinized version of Arabic and are very Catholic. Take the best of Northern Africa, the UK, and the Mediterranean, and you get this incredible mixture of cultures and traditions that is Malta. It is hard to describe – you need to experience it yourself.
Author's note: As I am writing is, the number of cases of Covid-19 in both Malta and Bulgaria, but also worldwide, is increasing. So, please, stay at home and protect your loved ones. And while you’re staying at home, feel free to read some articles.
Together we can overcome this!
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