March 3, 2009

A short Hiatus to Malta

This post is slightly late and should have in fact been posted a couple weeks ago. But I am finally getting back into the groove of things. When my friend and cousin were here a couple weeks ago we decided to take a short trip out of Italy. We were looking at where we could take the train for a reasonable price, when it came to us, that maybe we could just fly somewhere instead! Because in all honesty, who wants to sit on the train for 10 hours. So we started checking out flights on Ryanair and realized we could go to Malta for two days! We also found a wonderful 5 star hotel that was renting hotel rooms for a quarter of the cost! After those finds, how could we pass up going to Malta! We immediately booked the flight, the hotel, and packed our bags for the next day.

Malta was incredible. It has so much history and the people are some of the friendliest people I have encountered in Europe. Our taxi driver even gave us a list of things to do during our two days in Malta! The price of food and other things is very reasonable, as they have just switched over to the Euro about a year ago. Public transportation there is also very efficient and you will have no problem getting around the island, and not to mention a bus trip only costs around 50 cents! The weather was mild and I was even able to strip down to a short sleeve t-shirt at one point. But make sure to bring warm clothes too, as the weather changes constantly. When it began to rain, the temperature dropped down into the high 30's. However, this trip was taken in February and the summers I have heard are quite hot.

The first day we arrived there we took a "hop on, hop off" tour bus, which I highly recommend. We were able to see many cities on the Island within a day. The cost is a bit stiff, so if you are on a budget I recommend not doing the tour and instead taking the public buses to the cities of Rabat and Mdina. And of course don't forget to go to Valletta! All three of those cities are some of the most beautiful cities I have seen in all of Europe. The second day we went to the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, which is easily accessible by the public bus system. We had a wonderful lunch there at a cozy little restaurant right on the water. The owner was wonderful and even let us clamber up to the roof for some fabulous photos. Our lunch consisted of fresh fish, salad, and veggies for under 10 dollars. I had no problem eating gluten free in Malta, as almost everyone speaks fluent English. The only thing that I wish I would have been able to try, was some of their Maltese rabbit stew. I am not sure if this dish is gluten free, as we ran out of time and were not able to travel to the part of Malta that is home to this infamous stew. And unfortunately I can't seem to remember the name of the city! But if you ask, I am sure that someone will be able to point you in the right direction.

Finally, I highly recommend our hotel, The Corinthia Marina Hotel. It was right on the water and had an amazing buffet breakfast. I brought my own cereal and bread, but other than that I could eat many items provided in the buffet. The restaurant in our hotel also provided gluten free pasta! The first night we ate there I noticed that at the bottom of the menu it said to inform servers of any allergies or diet restrictions. I informed our waiter and he provided me with not only gluten free pasta, but warm gluten free bed! I would be back to this hotel in a heartbeat.

If you love the ocean, the salty air, fresh fish, some of the oldest history in Europe, friendly people, great food, and good nightlife, then make it a point to visit Malta.


Anonymous said...

There are 2 cities that are know for good rabbit stew. Bahrija and mgarr.

cu in Malta!

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