Malta in May 2013

March was one of the coldest on record and April wasn’t much better. I had some gigs in Florence, Italy at the end of May and was looking forward to that but in the meantime I was freezing in Leicester. Time to get some Sun. Found some cheap flights and even cheaper hotel on the island of Malta for the first two weeks in May and, yes, the weather was beautiful. Every day was mainly sunny with the occasional shower and the temperature was warm but not too hot. Still warm enough to sit out at night!  Superb! Only downside was that on the second day I had my pocket picked on a bus going to Valletta. It was all good after that though. Yes, Malta is a beautiful and historic island and will become part of my yearly schedule I think. Anything to get away from the cold!!

In Malta a lot of people live in a small space. It is the smallest country in the European Union and has the biggest density of population. It doesn’t feel claustrophobic though and most people live in the areas around the capital city Valletta. Valletta is a beautiful town which is a World Heritage Site. It was built by the Knights of St. John and is extremely well preserved and traffic free. A nice place to sit outside drinking coffee and watching the world go by. There is a magnificent cathedral there as well.

St. John's Co-Cathedral, Malta
St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Malta

Here you can see one of the most remarkable and famous paintings by Caravaggio “The Beheading of John the Baptist“.

You need to get here early as it closes at 3.30 p.m. and 12.30 p.m. on Saturdays. You can’t visit at all on Sundays or public holidays but you can attend services on those days. Their web site is here:  St John’s Co-Cathedral, Malta

The Beheading of John the Baptist by Caravaggio.
The Beheading of John the Baptist by Caravaggio.

Apart from this blast of culture we spent most of the time driving round the island and visiting  Gozo, a tiny island you can go to free on the ferry. Mind you, you have to pay to get back!  Mdina is very interesting and old and was the original capital city. There are lots of great beaches and some unique neolithic monuments. There are some amazing sights and the restaurants and bars are generally good. Here are some pictures I took of the trip. They are from all over the island:

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