Hi Honey, I’m Ho-ome!

A view over Grand Harbour, Malta, from the Upper Barrakka Gardens

A view over Grand Harbour, Malta, from the Upper Barrakka Gardens

I’ve just enjoyed a gorgeous week in Malta. I spent nearly five years of my childhood on the island and a piece of my heart will always be there. (Especially when I come home to very British weather after a week of 30c Maltese sunshine.)

I had some brilliant snorkelling and so wished I’d taken an underwater camera when I spotted a ray. I’ve never seen one in the wild, even when I was scuba diving. It was about 10″ across with tails extending to around 3′. It didn’t seem at all bothered by my presence and I accompanied it on its circuits of the seabed at Ghar id Dud for about twenty minutes. It was such a privilege. I went right down to within a foot or so of it – then remembered that some rays sting, so backed off again. I’ve looked it up since I came home and it looks as if it was a marine ray of the type often referred to as skate, less likely to have a sting than some of its cousins. Amazing experience.

One of my favourite places in Malta is the Upper Barrakka Gardens on the edge of Valletta. You can see from the pic what the attraction is. The view of Grand Harbour is awe inspiring. I can stand there for hours.

The Auberge de Castille, Valletta, Malta

The Auberge de Castille, Valletta, Malta

The other pic shows the nearby Auberge de Castille et Leon. It’s the official residence of the Prime Minister of Malta now but in the Sixteenth Century was the auberge (lodging house) of some of the Knights of Malta – those of Castille, Leon and Portugal.

More importantly, it’s where my dad worked when he was attached to British Army GHQ. And those canon? They were put there for me to sit on to wait for him to come out at the end of the working day.

14 thoughts on “Hi Honey, I’m Ho-ome!

  1. Is it my imagination, or do you not see Malta touted as a holiday destination as much as some other places? Which probably isn’t a bad thing, come to think of it. One of my dearest friends is Maltese and has just come back from there himself – just after a big storm apparently, and they were still trying to tidy up.

    Glad you had a good time. I’ll have to be satisfied sharing other people’s holidays this year. OH and I missed out because we couldn’t get the same week off work in the summer, and daughter due to give birth any time now, so would rather be at home.

  2. Hi Liv,

    There were three massive storms the week before, with flooding. We were lucky that the weather behaved beautifully whilst we were there.

    Lovely re your daughter. Worth missing anything for. x

  3. Malta is one of the places I’ve visited and was so pleasantly surprised at the amount of history dating back to biblical times. We had two weeks of great fun some years ago…what with the lovely fresh fish and fabulous weather ….and a trip to the island of Gozo too.

  4. I love snorkelling too, am very jealous re: the ray! Great that the weather behaved for you though, not much sunshine here 🙂
    Liv – how exciting! Definitely worth missing a holiday for.

  5. Looks absolutely beautiful – would love to visit Malta one day. Maybe when I no longer work in a school, where holidays can only be taken at double the price-times! Seeing a ray when snorkelling sounds completely fantastic, and the pictures look so inspiring…

  6. It looks absolutely fantastic. Ever since I translated a holiday brochure for Malta, which included some of the island’s turbulent history, I’ve wanted to go there. Sooo jealous! And the Maltese language is interesting too – the only Arabic language to be written in Roman script.

  7. LindyLou, Italy is popular with the Maltese, too – I wanted to watch the F1 and the person at the desk pretended he’d only let me do so if I said I supported Ferrari. 🙂

  8. Sounds like you had a wonderful time Sue – and v v envious – espeically of the snorkelling! We had the pleasure of visiting Malta a few years back when we went on a bargain basement cruise. I will never forget the trip into port. One of those lifetime wow moments. A stunning place. Hope returning home after such a holiday wasn’t too difficult:) X

  9. Late to the party, just back from Poole. Hardly the same, but not too bad! Your holiday looked fantastic x

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