I could be just reading into this, but it seems whenever I start talking about something that happened in Malta, people stop me to ask either what’s a Malta or where Malta is.
Officially I’ve been back in Canada for one week. However, I have a lot of days of trip to cover still. But before I race ahead, I must address an important question.
What’s a Malta?
Don’t worry, I’m not getting all haughty on you—after all, I had to Google it too.
So, here’s a quick introduction to Malta, the country.
Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily, north of Tunisia, and west of Egypt, Malta was first settled in 5200 BCE. They’ve been occupied by everyone from the Sicilians, Phoenicians, and Greeks, to the Romans, Swabians, and Ottomans. And that only brings us to 1565 on the timeline.
The oldest free-standing buildings in the world stand on the Maltese island Gozo, and there are signs of solar temple complexes dating back to the 2000s. BCE.
Malta’s latest occupier, the British, granted them independence in 1964. Since then, Malta has joined the EU, become a republic, and the euro replaced the lira as the accepted currency.
Something cool about Malta is even at its highest points, marine fossils can be found embedded into the rock, meaning at some point in the past, Malta was completely under water. There have also been fossils of African animals like elephants and some European animal fossils found in Malta, indicating there was once a land bridge connecting Malta to Africa and Europe. It’s quite interesting to imagine this land as it was—and then driving across the country in 20 minutes to check out its current status. Kind of mind-boggling.
Since 1530 the official language in Malta was Italian, but Italian was really only for the hoity-toity educated types. So really no one spoke Italian. In 1934, English and Maltese were declared the sole official languages in Malta and once Malta gained independence, Maltese became the only official language.
February 10 is a public holiday for St. Paul’s Shipwreck and the seasons in Malta are warm to hot (= green all year round) with rain occurring in winter and summer’s being dry.
Hope this helps! And yes I think you should visit.