Malta: Did you know…?

The Harbour in Valetta is Breathtaking

It regularly vies with Sydney Harbour for the right to be known as the most beautiful harbour in the world and we can see why.

Malta is home to the world’s oldest underground temple

The Hypogeum in Hal Saflieni is over 4,000 years old and is well protected now from the ravages of tourism. Entrance is strictly controlled but well worth it. Book in advance here: http://heritagemalta.org/museums-sites/hal-saflieni-hypogeum/

It’s Small

No, I mean really small! With it’s neighbouring islands of Gozo and Comino, it takes up less space than the Isle of Wight and has a population less than Bristol.

It was a British Colony until 1964

As such it has an incredible mix of Southern European culture mixed with a British system of governance which makes it quite familiar in many ways.

Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage City

With over 320 historical monuments, Valetta is arguably one of the most important historical sites in Europe – St Johns Co-Cathedral is surely one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in the world today.

Mdina’s gently winding streets had a purpose

This medieval fortified former capital of Malta has famously winding streets and alleyways. The reason: no straight stretch of street should be longer than the flight of an arrow. Escape was always just around the curve of the street or alley.

Malta is regularly voted as having the world’s finest scuba diving sites

Malta has no continental link to North Africa despite it’s proximity.  Many believe that the underwater continental “bridge” gave way aeons ago after massive seismic activity. Whatever the reason, the waters off Malta are the clearest in the Med and there is an abundance of wreck dives to be enjoyed.

Malta is further South than Tunis

There’s nothing else to say on this…I just didn’t realise it!  Perhaps that’s why it has the sunniest climate in Europe with the mildest winters?

Malta is Europe’s most LGBT friendly Nation

Officially.

Europe’s least LGBT friendly country has for some years been Azerbaijan (49th in the list with a Rainbow Rating of 4.7%).  5 years ago, Malta was in 48th place just above Azerbaijan!  In 2019 it’s in first place with a Rainbow Rating of 94%, some 16% ahead of its nearest “rival” of Belgium.

Go on. Admit it. That has really surprised you hasn’t it?  And that tells you an awful lot about the people of Malta.  Historically a deeply Catholic country but with an impressively progressive and accepting attitude. Malta, we salute you!

Oh, and if you get the chance, have a click on the full list here: https://rainbow-europe.org/country-ranking – I daresay there are a few more surprises on the list (Turkey!!!! 🙁 )

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