My family has been trying to get me to go to Malta for years, but it was the occasion of my mother's 60th birthday that finally got me there. She is very proud of her birthplace, and takes great delight in reminding me that it was the place of my conception. Having been to Ibiza and Cyprus in the past I had a pretty good idea of what to expect; however, it turned out to be something of a surprise.
Malta has a curious blend of Italian, Arabic, Greek, Turkish and English culture. Everything looks very Mediterranean at first glance, but the influence of the British can be found everywhere. We stayed in a dreadful resort hotel in the north of the island, where the poorly-desalinated water was alarmingly yellow, the “king size“ bed was two uncomfortable singles pushed together, feral cats roamed around freely, and there was no air conditioning. Due to very windy conditions outside, we were stuck in the hotel with only a salty swimming pool and lukewarm sodas.
Fortunately, most of our vacation was spent in England. It did not disappoint:
I took my wife to see the estate of Stourhead in the English county of Wiltshire. I knew that the trees would be turning, and although we were a couple of weeks early it still looked absolutely spectacular. We also went to see Stonehenge (which I shall always associate with Spinal Tap) and Salisbury Cathedral on what proved to be the best day of our trip.
It had been almost 3 years since I was last in England, and I craved sausage rolls among other things. It was good to see family (some of whom will be visiting us for Christmas) and friends, and tear around the beautiful English countryside for a few days. I took my wife to the Isle of Wight for our last little English adventure. I've always thought it was like a tiny version of England - it even has the bad traffic you find around London sometimes!