Malta In Photos and Some Observations

Malta, what a fascinating and confusing place. A mix of cultures throughout history that found themselves on these islands. Islands not tropical, nor lush by any means, but full of vegetation and limestone. Some say that Malta is the lost Atlantis, evident by all the cliffsides that drop straight to the ocean. 

Prices

Compared to our current home in Germany in the land of Mercedes and Porsche, Malta was relatively inexpensive. We could get a good meal for under 10 Euro, and a glass for wine or beer for 2-3 Euro. The public bus was very cheap, about 1-2 Euro, and in our short experience reliable. The ferry to Gozo (the other main island) and back was 4.90 Euro. The only thing that was expensive were the cab rides. I'm about 100% certain they ripped us off, but we only took a cab to the airport and back. 

This was the view from Sliema, right next to the ferry to get to Valletta.

A short few Euros got us from Sliema to Valletta. Once in Valletta the mood changed quite a bit. Many of the streets looked like the one below, stairs upon stairs. It's too bad we waited until the last day to visit Valletta, as I think it was one of my favorite places in this small country. There were many cathedrals hidden within these streets and a wide mix of architecture. Some things looked like Greek temples, others Roman, and then some had other mediterranean or even Middle Eastern influence.

Gozo

To get to the island of Gozo is a short 10 minute ferry ride from the north shore. In the summer you can ride from Valletta to get to Gozo, but in the winter you have to drive to the north ferry point. From Malta you can also take a ferry to Sardinia, but it was broken down when we were there. Either that or it was closed. The bus ride from Sliema to the ferry was about an hour, so in total it was about 90 minutes including wait times.

Ahead is Gozo!

We had a late start to our day so we only had time to visit the Azure Window and drive around on the main hop on hop off bus, which is basically the cheapest and best way to get around the island. 

Below is the Azure Window, it's quite the sight to take in.

This town below is Victoria, the largest town in Gozo, and looked like a nice area to stop by and walk around but we didn't have enough time. If you visit Gozo be sure to have a full day to stop by these places as the hop on hop off buses stop at around 5pm.

Back on Malta, the main island where we were staying, is the view of Sliema from Valletta. I do think the sunsets we saw in Malta were quite beautiful, and something that I'll miss from our few days there.

Fairy Ponds, Castles, Cliffs, and Wildlife - Day 2 of our Highlands Tour

How is it already 2015?! I am still catching up on photos and images from last summer. Yes, LAST SUMMER! What is wrong with me. Anyway, better late than never right? So our tour of the Isle of Skye this past summer continues, and will be full of photos today! 

To give a quick recap here is what we saw that day:

  • Fairy Pools
  • Neist Point
  • Short Stop to Quiraing
  • Old Man of Stoor
  • Skye Museum of Island Life and Cottages
  • Kilt Rock
  • Dunvegan Castle
  • and of course Portree, where we were staying

Whew! That sounds like a lot, but many places listed are rock formations or geological sites that we would pull up to for a few minutes before continuing on our route. I was watching Made of Honor (that corny movie with Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan) and realized that the town where they stayed at with the colorful homes on the waterfront was actually filmed in Portree. And, the castle is not just a hop, skip, and a jump from Portree, so it wouldn't have really worked out to drive a few hours to Portree then back to the castle. Anyway, if you've seen it you know what I mean.

We saw a castle (different from the one in the movie), that is apparently not original, and then some seals. The scenery differed a lot throughout the day and was really pretty.

The magical mystical Fairy Pools! Honestly, in person it wasn't as crazy as it's made out to be. It's a beautiful area but there were only a few pools found in the river. It was a nice little walk/hike and we learned that you could hike the mountain in the background to a beautiful view on the other side. Maybe next time.

Here is the town of Portree. A cute and small fishing village, just my type of place.

Every week there is a small parade in the streets with bagpipes and other instruments. Portree is a very small and sleepy town, and this was a nice surprise to see.

On the way back we stopped to take in another view before ending our trip..

And of course, we had to stop to see the famous Lake Loch where Nessie herself sleeps and lives....