Given that Malta didn’t charm us with its diversity of attractions, it is no wonder that it is on top our list divine Maltese Pastizza with ricotta cheese. Served hot cake you can get in almost every bakery for a mere 80 cents. Dish is from place to place slightly different, but mostly it is a batter in the shape of a flower, filled with ricotta, spinach or wrinkled peas.
It is more poorer area of Malta, with smaller settlements, which are not too densely populated or tourist developed. For a change, you only meet tourist at two main attractions in this area, the Blue Grotto and Hagar Qim with Mnajdra Temples. They are connected with at times very well and in some sections disastrous rough roads. From Bugibba to another of the many well-know rock in Malta, Blue Grotto it’s 2 hour drive with a bus.
Time spent on these local buses, can be sometimes very joyful. Unbelievably crowd, air conditioning in full swing, amazing skills of drivers, which a lot of times ends up with a sudden breaking, which cause flying drop any of grandmother or weightless condition of many passengers 🙂 Given that we are already taking about local transport, we can tell you that drivers don’t care too much for the tickets, but there are some officials who unannounced enter the bus and check the tickets. Passenger without a ticket must pay € 10 fine.
Mdina and Rabat were sometimes a unitary city, and then were separate by Arabs, which raised walls around Mdina. Mdina is the former capital city of Malta and is located in the centre of the island. It is also known as the “silent city” with narrow streets, which with great architecture takes you a few centuries back. The main attractions are Palazzo Falzon, where the royal family lived, the Mdina cathedral on the main square which was many years ago destroyed in a severe earthquake and the Cathedral Museum, where should be located Mdina treasuries. Admission for the museum is € 5 per person, but we are not really museum lovers, so we admired the building only from the outside.
Since we already received countless offers for boat ride to the islands of Comino and Gozo from various tourist companies, today we finally choose the best one. We have paid € 20 per person, that’s € 5 more, we would spend, if took a local bus to port of Cirkewwa, then a ferry to Comino and another ferry to Gozo. Therefore, we rather choose the first variant, which to us seemed a lot more interesting. You see everything, which itself due to some hard to reach locations, we probably wouldn’t.
We boarded on a boat far away from our hotel in the city port. The first destination with some intermediate tours of some caves – Smugglers Cave, Coral Cave – was island of Comino, which has only four or five permanent residents. You need just a few hours to walk through whole island, and admire the mighty cliffs and rocky coves. The most famous natural landmark is »sparkly« Blue Lagoon. Beach should be one of the most beautiful, but in our eyes was very far from it.
Today we went back in the time of our childhood. We visited Popeye Village in Anchor bay. Anchor bay was named after anchors from Roman times that were once washed up on the shore. It is an artificial village, which was built in the eighties for the purpose of Hollywood movie about the Popeye. A few years ago, you had to walk all the way to here for about 2 kilometres from the city centre, but today the local bus drives you right to the door on the newly opened road. Admission fee for adults is € 14, included swimming, a children’s pool with a playground, a glass of punch and a shorter 15-minute “trip” with the boat.
Our passports could be today without any problems left at home. Officials in Venice and then also here in Malta, checked us in such a hurry like in the middle of the night when you go across the border with Croatia at the checkpoint Dragonja, where usually sits one sleepy guard who normally without any interest let you go through. Yes, night jobs are really pain in the ass 🙂
Landing at the airport gave us know, that Malta is not actually a country which we imagined by online photos. Not modern airport, many unfinished houses without roof, full of dust, garbage… Our first impression of Malta was – European Morocco, because quite similar or otherwise even worse picture, waited for us almost 5 months ago in this small country of Africa. We hope, however, that this first impression will soon left us.
We are already waiting for the third destination of this year, Malta – a small and densely populated island country located in Southern Europe, in the central Mediterranean Sea. Her charms we will discover for a week, from 19th to 26th September. We are flying from Venice Marco Polo Airport with AirMalta airline. Our 7 days accommodation in Malta will be budget hotel Bugibba, which is located on the Qawra peninsula. All together, we booked through the Slovenian Agency EuroGo, because we would in the case of personal booking for the same hotel and airline tickets, pay € 80 more per person.