Where do I begin? What a blissful week. Mediterranean waves, endless sunshine, jeep cruising, Crayola-colored bays, feet dangling over white cliffs above bright, horizon-reaching blue. We played make-believe in fantasy land for a week and it was better than anything I could have dreamt up as a kid. I wouldn’t have been able to draw the beaches as perfectly or sculpt the seaside rocks with more character.I had no way of knowing how freeing it would feel to drive aimlessly around this bitty island, salty-wind in our hair; only to reach an edge and dive off it into a transparent turquoise bay.

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This little island (or islands if you’re including Malta’s even littler sisters: Gozo and Comino) has huge personality. It’s welcoming and laid-back without the least bit of a pretentious air. Malta doesn’t care what you think. She’s known how great she is for quite a long time.

On Malta, the coast of Sliema is pure rock. Ladders are built into the stones to help you submerge in the deep blue water as the salty Mediterranean waves attempt to tackle you. On Gozo, the beach of Ramla Bay looks like a child’s refrigerator-trophy drawing: golden sand and rainbow umbrellas under green hills and a baby blue sky.

The ruins of the Ggantija temples-constructed in 3600 BC-help you understand Malta’s older-than-time vibe. Built a thousand years before the pyramids or Stonehenge, the remaining limestone structures of Ggantija give you an incomprehensible glimpse into life  5000 years ago. You can still see the libation holes in the floor that the people supposedly used to ‘pour one out for the homies’ (my translation to English). And while historians think the temples were used for fertility rituals, a Maltese man we met at a tattoo parlor swears his wife can communicate with the ancestors and she insists much freakier stuff went down. While your brain tries to process the dates, numbers and speculation, your imagination fills in the crumbling gaps.

From the temples, views of dirt highways and farmland surround tiny towns, each dominated by disporportionately massive churches… and you’re instantly fast-forwarded back through history to the present day on this anciently, modernly beautiful island.

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“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” – Anatole France

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