An American cruise ship entering Valletta

photo by Anne Pflug
The Maltese flag on an American cruise ship

It’s always so exciting to see the nautical Maltese flag on a cruise I’m taking, even ones not  to Malta.  Although the official Maltese flag is white and red with the George Cross insignia, seafaring vessels sport a different version.  This flag, red with a white border and the Maltese cross in the center, is one you’d find on any seafaring vessel registered in Malta.

Not sure about others but I do know that Celebrity Cruises registers its cruise ships in Malta and I always look for that beautiful flag.  It’s usually flying on the same deck where we breakfast.  To me, it’s a beautiful sight!!

This blog annevisitsmalta.com enhances my book Return to Malta by visiting most of the places mentioned in the book with color photos. The book is available through Amazon and other book stores.

A tragedy in Gozo

 

photo by Anne Pflug
The Azure Window, Gozo

It was indeed sad news.  The famous and beautiful Azure Window, in Gozo, Malta, has succumbed to a wild storm that tore it and plunged it into the sea on March 8, 2017. This very famous tourist attraction had been eroding for some time and met its end when Malta was hit by rough seas and stormy weather. The Prime Minister of Malta said that it was indeed a sad day when this happened. The Azure Window  had  been featured in the “Game of Thrones” premiere. It must have been an awesome sight when this 92 foot high limestone arch simply dropped into the sea.

I am so glad I was able to see it before tragedy struck.

 

A man stands atop the cliffs where the natural structure known as the Azure Window collapsed,  at Dwejra on the island of Gozo, Malta, March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

This blog annevisitsmalta.com enhances my book Return to Malta by visiting most of the places mentioned in the book with color photos. The book is available through Amazon and other book stores.

On to Gozo

photo by Anne Pflug
The Citadel being updated

Gozo is a smaller island than Malta.  It is considered a more relaxing place to go if you want to simply get away from it all. It is greener and more rural. One of the high points in a visit to Gozo, and my main interest, was The Citadel.  Also known as the Castello, in Victoria, it has been  inhabited since the Bronze Age.

The area on which the Citadel rests was originally believed to have been the acropolis of the Punic-Roman city of Gaulos. I’ve also read somewhere that it also was once a pagan temple to one of the Greek gods.  A lot of history in this place. And, as happens with most of these ancient structures, it is now being refurbished, possibly to make it more tourist friendly.

We met a lot of tourists who could not make the climb in the hot weather we had that summer.

This blog annevisitsmalta.com enhances the book Return to Malta by visiting most of the places mentioned in the book with color photos. The book is available through Amazon.

The West Coast of Malta

photo by Anne Pflug
A beautiful swimming spot on the west coast

You can see that the west coast of Malta is less populous and less built up that the east coast, where important cities and towns with marinas and beaches dot the area.  Here, on the other side, you see a view of Malta that is not so crowded.  Because of this, tourists who are looking to get away from it all tend to head in this direction.  This swimming hole can be reached after long driving and many ups and downs in the hilly terrain.  If I had taken the photo further back, you would see the many steps one has to take to reach this sweet spot. Beautiful, cool Mediterranean Sea especially enjoyable on a hot day. Put yourself here and relax!!

This blog annevisitsmalta.com enhances the book Return to Malta by visiting most of the places mentioned in the book with color photos. The book is available through Amazon.

The Maltese Language

photo by Anne Pflug
Psalm 23 in Maltese

Whenever I say that I am Maltese, one of the next questions is usually: Is that Italian?  Do you speak Italian in Malta? or something similar.

Although Malta is very close to Italy, in the middle of the Mediterranean, it has a unique language of its own.  In fact, Maltese is an Arabic dialect which uses the Roman alphabet. It is also the only Semitic language to be officially recognized in the European Union.

Above are the first two stanzas of Psalm 23 in Maltese (The Lord is my shepherd).

Actually, Malta has two official  languages.  One is, of course, Maltese but the other is English.  It is the only island in the Mediterranean that has English an an official language.

Now you know.

 

This blog annevisitsmalta.com enhances the book Return to Malta by visiting most of the places mentioned in the book with color photos. The book is available through Amazon.

 

 

 

Scuba Divers at the Blue Grotto

photo by Anne Pflug
Scuba divers getting ready to dive

 

Still on the rocky west coast of Malta, divers congregate to explore the underwater beauty of The Blue Grotto.  As I am not a diver, I am unable to describe the underwater scenery but I did speak to some divers, just returning from their dive, and they were very impressed with the beauty of the surroundings.

This blog annevisitsmalta.com enhances the book Return to Malta by visiting most of the places mentioned in the book with color photos. The book is available through Amazon.

A Rocky Coast

photo by Anne Pflug
Malta’s western coast is very rocky

Traveling on the west coast of Malta is a complete change of vistas.  First of all, it is not well populated. Second, it is extremely rocky; possibly  why it is not too crowded.

Driving on the few roads on this side of the island takes one to exotic views of ancient rock formations.  This side of the island is also where the Blue Grotto is located. The few roads here are also very hilly and one needs a good map to find specific places as there are not too many signs.

However, it is definitely worth visiting here.  It is truly beautiful!

This blog annevisitsmalta.com enhances the book Return to Malta by visiting most of the places mentioned in the book with color photos.