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[Man's Tour] Republic of Malta——Mediterranean Slow
浏览次数:303次 更新时间:2021-10-31

There is a place where the sidewalk ends

And before the street begins,

And there the grass grows soft and white,

And there the sun burns crimson bright,

And there the moon-bird rests from his flight

To cool in the peppermint wind.

 

There is a place in Shel Silverstein's poem where street winds and bends, has blue ocean, that is Malta.

 

On a map, Malta looks like a tiny speck in southern Sicily, Italy, but you'd be surprised by its diversity. As a strategic stronghold in the Mediterranean, history has proven Malta island allures explorers and invaders alike. Today, Europe, North Africa, and the United Kingdom's influences intertwine here, leaving a unique mark.

 

The entire Republic of Malta is only 316 square kilometers. It contains five islands, the largest of which is Malta, with an area of 246 square kilometers and many natural harbors; the second largest is Gozo, with 67 square kilometers. Its capital, Valletta, has a population of just under 70,000.

 

Malta was once a British colony, and traces of Britain can still be found everywhere. The red British-style telephone booths and mailboxes, the serene blue Mediterranean, the yellow brick in the old town, and the vivid green cactus are covered in the natural filter during sunset, making these simplest colors shine with the most beautiful hues.

 


St. Julian's 

The hotel is located in a city called St. Julian's, Malta's fashion district. It is full of upscale hotels, apartment communities, stores, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The streets of Malta are full of handsome, wheat-colored men and women. Their healthy skin tones glow in the sun and create Malta's most dazzling scenery.

 

The old bus costs 1.16 Euros per person. Although there is no air-conditioner, it's fun to ride the bus and wander around the ancient city while enjoying the breeze.

 




 

Mdina

The central part of the island of Malta rises up and slides out all-around towards the Mediterranean Sea, lying there a bit like a pregnant woman who is not quite in full term. The hill in the middle of the island was naturally the high point of the island, and one could look farther out and even can see the ships passing on the Mediterranean standing there. Thus, the Phoenicians built their fortress here, hence the earliest urban pattern of Mdina.




Most of the tourists who come to Malta have a good impression of Mdina: the old buildings of the city are very well maintained and have beautiful windows and doors; the narrow and winding streets protect people from the direct sunlight; and the street corners are full of Bougainvillea, which are exceptionally beautiful comparing to the old houses. Apart from that, the biggest difference between Mdina and Valletta is the tranquility of the place. After the Great Siege, the capital of Malta was moved from Mdina to the new city, Valletta, and since then, Mdina has gradually fallen into silence. Later, in 1693, during a Mediterranean earthquake, Mdina was badly hit and had to be rebuilt, at which time the history of Western architecture had entered the Baroque era.

 

Due to these natural and historical changes, Mdina's unique combination of architectural styles has become a vital tourist resource in Malta today. In the management of the city, the local government has implemented a ban on motor vehicles except for special vehicles, thus making Mdina a genuine "city of silence."

 

The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John was initially founded in Jerusalem in 1080 as a charitable organization to care for the sick and disabled pilgrims and gradually became one of the two Christian Church's jihad forces in the Holy City of Jerusalem and the other force was the prestigious Knights Templar. However, the Order was eventually overwhelmed by the growing power of the Muslims and was forced to leave the Holy City and take up temporary residence in Rhodes, only to be expelled by the Ottoman Turkish army. The Order chose Malta to be the base because of its natural harbors, which made this place an ideal base for the fleet. Upon arrival, the knights began to renovate the former Arabian fortress, which had been infested with pirates.

 

In 1565, when Suleiman the Magnificent marched in with an army of 40,000 men, the knights, with the assistance of the local inhabitants, succeeded in repelling the incoming Ottoman Turkish army and became famous because of one battle. This crucial battle decided the fate of Malta, and the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John became Europe's hero all of a sudden. Other countries provided money and technology to build Malta into a solid Christian maritime fortress. With the financial support from European countries and the cooperation of artists, the capital Valletta was planned to be a solid fortress and a city of culture, art, and religion.

Since then, Malta's business, art, and science flourished, and magnificent palaces and various cultural institutions were established one after another, and today we can still recall the prosperity of those days from the well-preserved cityscape of Valletta.

 

When visitors come to Mdina today, they will see a wide and deep trench and a stone bridge that connects the entrance first. Inside the high walls is the city of Mdina. This deep trench, made of brick and stone, was built at the end of the 11th century when the Normans established their kingdom in Sicily. Malta, as an outpost of the Mediterranean, was naturally in the picture. Perhaps the Normans had underlying concerns in their bones, so when they took over Mdina from the Arabs, they dug this trench and blocked out the city of Rabat, which was just a street away. The Norman buildings in the city are now a tourist attraction of Mdina.

 




Stroll along the old city walls and enjoy the unique scenery. 

Here, you can have the same magic as the little witch.



The warm sunshine of the Mediterranean is always able to make people's hearts extra quiet.



When you come to Malta, you can breathe in the salty sea breeze blowing from the Mediterranean Sea in the megalithic temple groups or dive into the deep blue sea to explore the historical relics from thousands of years ago. You can go crazy for modern music in the city of Valletta, which represents victory, or taste the toughness of Maltese people in the delicious rabbit stew.

 

Today's Maltese speak the same language as the Greeks, eat Italian-like food, drive British right-hand cars while enjoying the warm breeze of the Mediterranean. The mix of cultures makes Malta more than a "trophy" with a blue coast, and the warmth of unchanging seasons heals the scars from its war-torn past.

 



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