• Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola

TRAVEL Diary: Malta

Updated: Jun 9, 2019

Prior to March 2018, I was not aware of Malta's existence. I literally found this country by googling "European countries with beaches" when I was in Manchester. I was looking to spend my birthday on the beach and to escape Manchester's rainy + cold winter.

Malta is an island country that lies on the Mediterranean Sea. It is south of Sicily (Italy) and north of the North African coastline. Malta is also home to several of the filming locations for HBO's Game of Thrones. If you have never been or heard of this country, you should definitely add it to your bucket list! Here's a recap of my time (4nights) in Malta.

I: Mdina:

This was one of my favorite locations in Malta. Mdina, also known as "The Silent City," is an ancient fortified city in Malta. To enter the city, you must go through the Mdina Gate (one of the filming locations for Game Of Thrones--> Gate of King Landing). Inside the city you can find the Fontanella Tea Garden, a cafe that overlooks the island. This cafe serves homemade cakes, drinks, pizza, pies etc. I recommend trying the chocolate cake and the Bric Royale cocktail. The views from Fontanella are impeccable. If you visit Mdina, you are in for a treat.

II. Sliema, Malta- Tigné Point:

Tigné Point is a peninsula in Sliema, Malta. The views at this location are gorgeous. There are also a number of modern apartments, restaurants and a shopping mall within walking distance.

III: Valletta:

Valletta is the fortified capital city of Malta. When you walk through the city, it is almost as if you are in a museum. It is full of stunning architecture, cultural events, theatre/concert shows and has a different vibe than the rest of the towns/cities in Malta. The Upper Barrakka Gardens is a must see if you ever find yourself in the city of Valletta.

IV: St. Julian's:

If you visit St. Julian's, I recommend having a meal at Piccolo Padre. This Italian restaurant has great pasta and pizza for a decent price. I also recommend tasting the famous maltese bean dip called Bigilla. Bigilla is served with bread and serves as an appetizer. Walking by the water in St. Julians at night is quite the view.

V: The Blue Lagoon + Comino:

Visiting the Maltese Islands are a must. I have never seen water as clear or as blue as the one in Comino. The islands are isolated from the rest of the country. To get there I went on an hour cruise ride in the morning and spent the day at the island. Food and drinks were available on the island, and lunch was also served on the cruise.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go to Gozo, another popular island of Malta, however, I passed Gozo on the way to Comino and was able to get a few pictures. If you are the type to get sea sick, I wouldn't recommend taking the cruise. I believe there is an alternate option than the cruise that will get you to the islands in one piece.

The day I went, it was very windy and the motion of the boat got to me on the way back to Malta's mainland. Despite, getting sick I really enjoyed myself and I don't regret going. It was such an amazing experience!

Passing through Gozo:

VI: Rabat, Malta:

Rabat is a town that borders Mdina. In Rabat, we came across St. Paul's Church. The church is said to have played a huge part when it comes to Catholicism in Malta. I didn't go in, but you have the option of exploring the interior of the church.

"When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die..." -Cersei Lannister

You can also find another one of the Game of Thrones filming location in Rabat. I was able to visit St. Dominics Convent where Ned Stark confronted Cersei about the legitimacy of her children.

Lastly, I recommend trying a Pastizz (plural: pastizzi) when in Malta. Maltese Pastizzi are a traditional savory snack that can be found across in Malta and Gozo. It is made of flaky dough on the outside and can have fillings of chicken, peas or ricotta cheese. I tried my first Pastizz from a pastizzeria across the street from St. Paul's Church. I loved the ricotta cheese Pastizzi and I didn't mind the chicken either. Pastizzi are very cheap and can be bought from street stores/pastizzerias for about 0.30c.

I really enjoyed my trip to Malta. I made new friends from across the globe and had the opportunity to see some neat things. It's crazy to think how many people do not know about the existence of this country. I spent 4 nights in Malta but I think a week would have been perfect. I didn't get to see everything, so I definitely have to come back soon. Have you ever been to Malta? If so, what was your favorite part of your visit? If you have never been, what are you looking forward to? Sound off in the comments section down below.

Much Love,

-Kris x

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