Trip To Malta
Me and my friend were working on a thesis pertaining to countries which were a part of the British Empire. Normally any thesis work involves arduous working hours, collecting massive data and sieving through tons of information .To make things interesting, we planned to go to Malta during the last phase of our thesis and believe me it was one of the best decisions we had taken in years. We had to plan the trip alone to ensure I worked on the thesis properly and finished it on time.
We both are adventure freaks and when it comes to holidays, we only head towards the places which offer plenty of outdoor activities, food, and lovely panoramic views. Trekking, rafting, kayaking and many more such activities, not just give us the adrenaline rush required often, but also refreshes and enliven our dead spirits due to continuous hectic work schedule at our offices. So, last month, we took a week long holiday, for what? Of course to enliven our spirits!
We love Europe and when it comes to outdoor activities we look for places that offer a variety of things to do. We decided on Malta. It is one of the three islands in the country of archipelago situated towards the south of the island Sicily, Italy.
We intended to stay in both contemporary and medieval capital of Malta. Both the names are exotic ,Valletta as well as Mdina .I first wanted to explore Valletta ,which is studded with many historic sites and going by the remarks on UNESCO’s website ,wanted to visit as many places as possible.
Malta looked beautiful from the plane and we reached the Valleta city’s airport at around 8 PM in the evening. We kept our first three days for outdoor activities only and the rest days for checking out the popular site seeing places. We checked into the hotel at night and got ourselves ready for the MANY outdoor activities that we had planned in our upcoming days.
The next morning, our first destination was the Xaqqa valley for rock climbing. We had already booked our place through one of the popular clubs at Malta that regularly organises the events. They provided us with harness, climbing shoes, climbing rope and helmets. Rock at the xaqqa valley is for abseilers and slab climbers which worked for us. We started climbing the slab in the morning that is smooth, forming the north wall of the valley. The valley is the huge and popular destination for rock climbers in Malta. It is a natura 2000 site, which is protected legally for its unusual aesthetic and geological features. This place is protected from dumpers and vandals. After spending around 6 hours in climbing the rock and coming down, we were completely exhausted under the Sun and high temperatures.
After a short break of eating and relaxing in the camp, we headed towards the Blue Grotto Abseil. There are plenty of abseiling sites in Malta due to perfect limestone rocks offering abseiling experience for young, beginners and experts. This place offers the most exciting abseils in Malta, which is abseiling into the blue waters of the Mediterranean sea. We spent another two hours here and we were dead tired by the time we came down.
The same day we visited the Blue Grotto sea cave, showcasing the lovely emerald and blue light. This was magnificent as the light comes from two ends, with one hole located at the waterline. And the second hole has the surface area which is 10 times bigger than the previous hole and located on the surface area. The cave was the lovely sight to our eyes and a perfect way to end the day. We clicked several pictures to cherish the beauty of the cave.
We were completely tired as we were walking and down to our hotel, ate at the hotel’s restaurant and dozed off. The next morning, we had planned for the water sports. The first activity on cards was the scuba diving. Malta is perfect for scuba diving because of its warm waters, caves, colourful marine life and ship wrecks. The waters does not offer dangerous fish and the clarity makes the diving a truly memorable experience. It is perfect for first timers and for the seasoned divers, there are other locations offering challenging dives. For our scuba diving, we went to the Ghar Lapsi dive point, located towards the south of Malta offering two kinds of dives. We explored both of them and enjoyed the underwater life to the heart’s content. One of them had caves and tunnels to explore, well this was very thrilling and the other one was the reef dive with a depth of 15 meters. The exhilarating scuba diving came to an end after few hours and we came out of the door, completely amused and thrilled with what we experienced.
Our next thing-to-do on cards for the day was snorkelling and we chose the most secluded bay on the island. Fomm ir Rih is one snorkelling spot that is guaranteed to give you lovely warm waters for swimming and panoramic views that would refresh all your senses. So, we were completely awe struck by the beauty of the bay, not just underwater but above water too.
The bay is a pebbled bay, which makes difficult to walk, therefore good shoes are recommended for this bay. The bay is accessed by a boat and the beach is perfect for relaxing under the Sun after a good snorkel activity.
After enjoying the marine life of Malta, we headed back to our hotel and in the mid way, had food at one of the top Maltese restaurants, where we had the traditional rabbit stew and the Maltese bread with oil.
We started with kayaking as we already had some past experience and felt confident. Malta is an archipelago meaning a group of islands and Gozo appeared to be the place where I could try kayaking. The water was so clear that I wished I was a poet. To be able to indulge in all these activities was a tribute to nature and its ever amazing beauty. I felt alive and there was a sync in body, mind and soul. Who knew that adventure sports could be this spiritual.
In contrast to all the action, we were lucky to laze on the beach and were amazed at the beauty of Golden bay .One could see why the beach was so famous but decided to spend some more time at Ghajn Tuffieha.
Our later part of the trip was interspersed with visits to Azure window, Mdina including an aborted visit to Hypogeum .Azure window is a nature’s gift to Malta that is predicted to disappear and one can request people to stop walking over the top of the arch. This place has been a part of many Hollywood movies and it gave a different kind of happiness to be at this place.
Needless to say after visiting all the possible ancient and historical places and buildings, the sea water and the beaches attracted me the most and this trip to Malta (alone) was not just a visit but also a tuition of a kind wherein I taught myself to find me.
Malta, Malta oh Malta! Well, this lovely holiday has created an impression on my mind and my heart forever. I and my friend enjoyed a lot together over food, lazing around on beach, getting the incredible adrenaline rush through various activities, exploring the lovely marine life together and what not! You got to see it to believe it! Hope you enjoy your trip to Malta as much as we did! Chao!