I blindly visited Malta on a trip to complete my Padi diving course, to discover a vibrant island full of culture and beauty. By absorbing ourselves in to the local festivities we experienced Malta in a true sense that celebrated the community in a way we never anticipated.
Mdina is the old town, rich in elegant stone architecture and it is there that the infamous Fontanella is well worth visiting for both the cakes and the breathtaking views across the island. However it was our spontaneous visit to Zurrieq where we attended the annual Feast of St. Catherine which was… extraordinary. The firework display lit up the sky while the catherine wheels gave a whole new definition to the name; the huge frames twisted and transformed while the wild sparks of colour mesmerized the crowed that was alive with ecstasy. If ever you get the opportunity to be in Malta during the summer festivities, be sure you don’t miss this fantastic celebration!
It is the capital Valletta though where you will find the city buzz. The harbour is stunning, full of history and the endless stone streets are full of character on every corner. HMS Maori is a fascinating dive site just off the harbour and the locals are brilliant (very proud of their heritage!). During our visit here, we stumbled across this little gem called Lupanara which is set in the walls of Fort St. Angelo and serves generous portions of deliciously fresh seafood in an unforgettable setting.
After a lot of diving, a bit of sunburn and swallowing a lot of seawater, we spent our last evening wondering around the local town of Fgura before a charity tomato fight. To our surprise, we were impressed (as musicians) at the outstanding singing talents of the local youths and then quickly devastated when the event had to be cancelled due to a massive electrical storm that lit up the sky like something from an apocalyptic movie! This did not however, stop the local bar stall who made the best of a bad situation with those of us left standing in the torrential rain! What a great crew who lived the moment and embraced this shared experience with optimistic smiles. What fantastic people.