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Published: November 6th 2013
As soon as I landed in Malta, the relaxing, slow way of life hits you at the airport. Everyone is friendly and nobody is in a mad rush to run you over at the passport counter. The warm air and breezes are relaxing right away, and it just makes you want to run for the water. Right from the first minutes, Malta was inviting. The taxi drive into town took 15 minutes, and the driver was able to joke and tell stories the entire ride. I get dropped off at the hotel near Valletta, and it is great! 3 pools, diving shop at the hotel, 4 restaraunts. Awsome! First thing is first, and after check in, its time to hit the pool and figure out what the adjenda is. Tomorrow is sailing to a small island North of Malta called Gozo.
There were two boats scheduled to sail that day, and it was super windy, so only one left the harbor, ours. After a relaxing cruise through the harbor, we enter the waters of the Med, and the big waves begin pounding the boat. A relaxing sail turns into a stomach turning ride after about 30 minutes and
most are running for the side of the boat! I think it's quite fun to try and balance, and I've never tried to see if I have "sea legs" or not. After an hour or so of pounding seas, we pull into a harbor and dismount. It's on the north side of Malta and you can see Gozo across a channel to the North. We stop in a relaxing place, and many swim across a small channel to an uninhabited island to relax. I decide to take a walk to the other side of the island, and am rewarded with a small resort. The water was cold, but clear, and after jumping in there was plenty of water life to check out. After a bit, we re-board the sail boat and head for Gozo.
From the harbor we catch the convienient public transit system and ride to a small town in the center of the island. We enter a huge church, and nearly have the place to ourselves. It is so large and peaceful, and the light and architecture and acoustics are simply amazing! From the top of the towers there is a commanding view of the
island! Back on the bus, and off to the Blue Hole area. A super popular dive area, and a massive arch way there. You dive down 20 meters or so and emerge in a briliant blue light from the hole. You can dive under the archway for some amazing light, and through a cave system next to the archway, a real adventurer's dream!
One day I took a trip inland to an underground cave system 3000-5000 years old that was discovered 50 years ago. The people were able to engineer massive underground caves before the bronze age. They carved large circle patterns by hand that are seen all over the island. Pretty amazing to think of what can be done without modern technology, and the caves were used to bury the dead.
There are 365 Catholic Churches in Malta, and all are very overdone. One had a 500lb bomb dropped on it during WWII but it didn't detonate! Instead it stuck into the ground, and after being rendered safe, it is still there today! There is no hustle and bustle, and everything about the place is relaxing. We spoke with a local, and noted
that for being so close to Africa, we didn't see any imigrants. He said they have very strict policies and he was right! Almost all of Malta and Gozo is a limestone crag, perfect for rock climbing, and there are thousands of pocketed routes. After some dives from the hotel in clear water, this short vacation was coming to and end, and it was way to quick that I had to board a plane for other destinations.
I would love a relaxing return trip of diving and climbing here..
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