I don’t think Malta was ever on my radar as a place I wanted to visit. Until, a good friend of ours moved there. We decided that after Germany the next stop would be a few days in Malta. I am so glad we made the trip. Malta stayed one of my favorite parts of our entire vacation.
We started our first day of exploring by getting locked out of the cabify app. So, instead we had to figure out how the buses worked. That turned out to be not that bad and pretty easy to use. The first bus we took to Mellieha which held the beach Ghajn Tuffieha. We spent half the day relaxing on the beach and in the water. The juxtaposition of blue sky that met at the horizon with clear blue turquoise water was breathtaking and certainly put you at instant relaxation upon being greeted by the landscape.
You see, the thing is - Nihar didn’t grow up going to the beach or hanging by the pool. He can’t just BE by a body of water. So he kept going in the water in shifts and trying to entertain himself in the water. Me, on the other hand - can spend hours by the water just being at peace in the sun and sweat. I instantly feel much better when I get that first tan of the summer and if on a day off I wake up cranky I just bring myself to the beach with a book and feel much better instantly when I am approached by the sweet salt water.
So in the nature of true compromise, we left the beach a few hours in when Nihar had sufficiently enough time by the sun and water. We headed to the ancient city of Mdina.
We started off our time in Mdina by going to the Tea Garden with an amazing view. I felt like the food and drinks were just alright, but you go there just to take in the view. We spent the next few hours just strolling through the ancient streets of Mdina while taking in all the architecture and small intricate lanes. We had dinner at a fancyish Lebanese restaurant called Ali Baba. When we got there, Nihar drops on me that our anniversary was the day before. I had absolutely no idea and couldn’t believe he didn’t say anything. I always get confused if it’s in July or August and somehow this year I had it set in my mind that we were not going to be traveling on the date. I did however know how many years it had been which Nihar wasn’t sure on. I guess after so many years when you start referring to each other as partners it all starts to blend together. After a lovely meal, we met our friend at his company party on the rooftop of the Intercontinental Hotel which was close to Paceville.
The next day started with doing some touristy things in Old Malta. We visited the church that is known for having paintings done by Caravagio. I always say traveling is my biggest inspiration. I tell myself that these are inspiration trips. Each and every time something from the trip finds its way into my work. The story is known only to me, but left up to interpretation for the viewer. Over the past five or so years, I have really come a long way with how I talk about my work and in return has left me with more success from my viewers. I hate getting the annoying and generic response of “it’s beautiful.” Helping the audience see what I intend helps understand the work better, but still leaves space for one’s own interpretation. I continue to seek the balance between intention and intuition and it has been amazing to see how my process has evolved because of this.
I try to bring my slr along whenever I travel, but i don’t always use it. The moment I saw these columns in the church, I oozed with inspiration! I quickly took out my camera and could not stop taking pictures and admiring what I called in my head “party columns.” I am still uncertain how they will show up in my work, but rest assure they will in a huge way. That moment inspiration hits every trip is a moment I cherish and don’t take for granted ever. It keeps happening, so I shall keep on traveling.
We checked out what is apparently the only good coffee in all of Malta and it hit my quota of finding a hipster coffee shop in every city I visit.
I put my party pants on and we were ready take on an evening of going out. It’s rare that they are on and especially rare to wear them without a huge pep talk from my brother.
We started the evening at Chalice. Where to even begin with how much I enjoyed this spot? The playlist was absolutely on point with playing all my favorite hip hop throw backs. The interior was well designed with some special touches I so appreciated. Every cocktail we picked out was especially well crafted. It was on the smaller side and was the type of place that lets you sit in nice fancy chairs/couches and provides an atmosphere where one can hold a nice conversation without raising your voice to the person next to you. Dinner was next door at ImPasta. Somehow I had never heard of arrabiata sauce until our trip to Italy a few years ago. Since then I have started making it at home and if it's ever on the menu at a restaurant I always choose to order it. European spicy is usually somewhat of a joke, but Impasta had my lips tingling from the spicy flavors of the sauce.
Our last day in Malta included lounging by a pool called Pearl. Everything was served right to your pool side chair and I think Nihar was loosing his patience by doing nothing for so long. But, I enjoyed every moment of it!
Just like that we were headed to our second to last destination - Barcelona!