November 07: First impressions of Malta
ST. JULIANS, MALTA – This is the first day of mine in Malta and for the very first time in my life I visit this island for which I heard so much. Of course I still have 10 days to discover more but I felt the urge to write about my very first impression of the island.
Landing to Valetta (earlier than the flight schedule said) impressed me. The image from the sky view on the airplane gave me the impression I am visiting a place like this never seen before in my life. I was right. I cannot describe it with other phrase than: a raw emerald.
If I wanted to point out how exotic this place this is I would say “I landed to an exotic modern Cuba”. If I wanted to describe my first contact with Maltese people I would say “I am talking to Italians”. If I wanted to describe the sightseeings I saw in the route from the airport to the hotel I would have said “I am in an island version of London”.
Yes, this island has something mystic, an unexplained feeling – so far – which can only be explained if you actually visit the island and not by words. The people are as if you are in Rome, the stores (restaurants, mini markets and breweries) are as if you are in Manchester. Now that’s a combination you can never experience anywhere in Europe. Oh guess what: Malta is a European country and they do use Euro, all of them speaking English. In sum: the best place to be!
I also had the chance to visit a modern casual house in which two Greek friends of mine stay. When they came to Malta, they thought they are coming to a village with limited options for a good life standards. One and a half year after they are happily working here, they love the Maltese people and their mentality, their friendship and generosity. But still they love more the way that although Malta might look like a huge village is totally European in every single aspect.
When you respect Maltese and their traditions, their way of life and their way of expression, they make you your family. Peaceful nation and very kind when you ask for information I found a tourist operator when needed guidance for my transfer to the city half Greek. Immediately she said “kalimera file mou” (good morning my friend). Now, that’s what made me already feeling like home.
Yes, another assumption is that as a Greek I immediately felt home. What a better motivation for me to look forward for my next 10 days in the island of the knights. Exotic, hospitable and peaceful. The raw emerald of the Mediterranean welcomed me as if I was Maltese. You better come and feel the experience!