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Malta

France & Malta 2020

Route: Hove - Lyon - Grenoble - Morestel - Lyon - Hove - Marsaskala - Hove

sunny 15 °C

JANUARY to FEBRUARY 2020

The end of 2019 was something quite different for us as we spent Xmas and New Year in the UK. Usually this time of year is spent in the southern hemisphere where the weather is much more pleasant. We stayed with our good friend Rob, who really knows how to celebrate this festive season, and was able to catch up with friends and family at the same time.

The Tree

The Tree

Papillote a chocolate speciality of Lyon area

Papillote a chocolate speciality of Lyon area

Our Xmas Lunch

Our Xmas Lunch

In early January we travelled to France. First we stayed in Grenoble to spend some time with Anne’s dad. Then had a couple of days in Morestel with good friends David and Sue. Finally finishing our trip in Lyon catching up with family.

Quai du Rhone

Quai du Rhone

Getting good luck from the LOU Mascot

Getting good luck from the LOU Mascot

Rugby Match Lyon (LOU) vs Northampton (The Saints)

Rugby Match Lyon (LOU) vs Northampton (The Saints)

Lyon Mural

Lyon Mural

The Rhone

The Rhone

One of many murals in Lyon, this one is full of Lyon famous people over the centuries

One of many murals in Lyon, this one is full of Lyon famous people over the centuries

Then after a brief stop in the UK we were off again, this time Malta was our destination. A three hour flight south changed the weather from cold, damp and dreary to bright and sunny with a temperature in the high teens. Immigration and car hire formalities were swiftly dealt with and in no time we were in our apartment in the attractive fishing village of Marsaskala.

Malta view from the air

Malta view from the air

Our apartment was modern and comfortable with a balcony that looked out over the fishing harbour and right in the centre of town. Ideal for a bit of relaxation in between excursions to explore the island.

View from our apartment in Marsaskala

View from our apartment in Marsaskala

I can safely say that during our stay we managed to visit all corners of the island and left with a pretty good idea of what it had to offer. The one exception was a visit to the neighbouring island of Gozo.
The south of the island is the most built up and at times it feels a bit claustrophobic as you drive through the concrete jungle that seems to spread out continuously from the capital Valletta. But usually by the the time you reach the coast the scenery improves and the traffic calms.
The north of the island is much less developed and more pleasing to the eye. Small farms grow vegetables, mostly for domestic consumption, and the lack of buildings allow an uninterrupted view of the island’s rocky terrain.
Away from the urban sprawl Malta has a lot to keep you interested. The old town of Valletta and Mdina are steeped in history and we found it fascinating to look around. The islands archeological sites are also worth a visit, we particularly liked the Neolithic remains at Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. There are a few quaint fishing villages that are worth exploring for the colour and activity, Marsaskala and Marsaxlokk being two of the best.

Fishing Village of Marsaxlokk

Fishing Village of Marsaxlokk

Traditional fishing boat

Traditional fishing boat

Mdina

Mdina

Mdina

Mdina

Street in Mdina

Street in Mdina

Detailed iron work in Mdina

Detailed iron work in Mdina

View from Mdina

View from Mdina

Hagar Qim

Hagar Qim

Hagar Qim

Hagar Qim

Valletta harbour

Valletta harbour

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral

Overview of St Paul's Cathedral, Valletta

Overview of St Paul's Cathedral, Valletta

Inside St Paul's Cathedral, Valletta

Inside St Paul's Cathedral, Valletta

St Paul's Cathedral Ceiling in Valletta

St Paul's Cathedral Ceiling in Valletta

Valletta Street

Valletta Street

Finally just driving around is a pleasure, once you get away from the urban sprawl. Narrow lanes lined with cactus fences take you to tiny hamlets and then on to sheer cliffs that stretch all along the islands coast. The “Blue Grotto” is a the foot of one of these impressive cliffs.

Blue Grotto

Blue Grotto

Gozo from Malta

Gozo from Malta

Cliff

Cliff

Rural road

Rural road

And so to the end of an enjoyable week in Malta and back to the cold of England. Not for long though, Mexico was calling and just 10 days away.

Posted by MAd4travel 13:31 Archived in Malta Comments (0)

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