At the beginning of January, Mr. C and I were convinced that we were heading to Costa Rica for our honeymoon. It appealed to us for a number of reasons: it’s a relatively short flight from Georgia, we would remain in a similar time zone (no severe jet lag), and it offers the opportunity to spend time relaxing on the beach or exploring the rainforest and local wildlife. It is tropical and romantic, with its beautiful white sandy beaches and hidden rainforest waterfalls. For these reasons (and many more), the idea of honeymooning in Costa Rica was very appealing. But something was off. I wasn’t over-the-moon excited about our honeymoon. I’m not even sure why. What I do know, is that by the first week of January we had a very chance conversation with a coworker that forever changed our honeymoon plans and unfortunately our honeymoon budget as well.
Our school district has a social studies coach who works with all the middle and high school social studies teachers in our school district. Early this semester she was at my school meeting with the social studies teachers. Somehow we got onto the topic of vacations and she mentioned that she had family on the island of Malta. Honestly, I can’t even remember the sequence of events but somehow, in literally five minutes, Mr. C and I were convinced that we should go to Malta for our honeymoon. After our coworker left and my heart was stirring with excitement, Mr. C mentioned that he had noticed a marked difference in my attitude towards our honeymoon. I had an excited twinkle in my eye. He could tell that my curiosity and interest were awakened by this sudden turn of events. So here we are, making plans and booking flights to visit a little place called MALTA.
So where is this Malta place, you might be wondering. It’s a small island out in the Mediterranean, below Sicily. It is part of the European Union and as such they use the Euro as currency. They speak Maltese, but are also known for their use of British English.
|Malta, located just below Sicily in the Mediterranean. Image source via Wikipedia|
Because of its convenient location between Europe and Africa, it has experienced many of the major historical events of Afro-Eurasian history. For someone who teaches world history, this is a dream come true. We’re talking neolithic ruins, Roman roads, the spread of Christianity (St. Paul is said to have been shipwrecked on the island), the Byzantine Empire, fortifications and churches of the Knights Templar (from the Crusades), and Malta heroically endured more Axis bombings than London during World War II. Oh, and did I mention that many believe it could be the inspiration for Calypso’s island in Homer’s Odyssey? So. much. awesome. And I’m such a dork that I can’t wait to take a thousand photos and incorporate them into my world history lesson plans for next year. I can already imagine the lecture: Malta: A Microcosm of Afro-Eurasian History. (happy sigh)
We are dividing our time between the two islands that make up the country: Malta and Gozo. We will spend a few days on the main island in the capital of Valletta and a few days on the smaller, slower-paced island of Gozo where we are actually staying at our coworker’s cousin’s 200+ year old Maltese farmhouse which she rents out. It has a private pool. It was built in 1789 (coincidentally the beginning of the French Revolution).
|Where we will be staying on Gozo! Images via: Gozo Farmhouse Rentals|
Things I’m really excited about:
|Image source via: Tourism: Popular Places|
We plan on sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling out in the gorgeous blue of the Mediterranean. Although Malta has rocky rather than sandy white beaches, this will not deter our enjoyment of the ocean!
|Image source via: Golden Compass|
I’ve already touched on this, but I cannot wait to see all the historical sites that Malta has to offer. One that interests me the most is the prehistoric site of a mysterious underground necropolis that was cut from solid stone. It is the Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni. You have to book your tour tickets weeks in advance because they only allow 50 people per day to visit this delicate historical site. We already have our tour tickets booked!
|Image source via: National Commission for Higher Education Malta|
Because of its location along major trade routes, Maltese cuisine is inspired by both Italian, Middle Eastern, and Arabic influences. And of course, lots of delicious seafood. I can’t wait to try Maltese cuisine, especially the famous Maltese pastizzi that everyone keeps telling me about. It’s a flaky pastry filled with savory ricotta cheese or peas.
|Image source via: Gerald Brimacombe|
Oh, and another awesome thing about going to Malta? It means that we have to fly through Paris to get there. We are going to spend three nights in Paris on our way home and I will finally get to see the fountains on at Versailles on a Saturday! We plan to attend the Versailles Musical Fountain Show which they hold during the summer months. Just writing this post has me giddy with excitement!
This biggest downside to this change in plans has been our honeymoon budget. We have been saving like crazy to make this work!
Where are you honeymooning? Did you experience a change of heart with your honeymoon plans?