A Mediterranean Getaway

I’ve been a little disconnected from the internet-world near the Christmas holiday, which honestly has been refreshing. Instead of checking email, facebook, instagram, etc… I was checking out the Mediterranean Sea and all it’s beauty on the island of Malta.

The beautiful scene we saw each day when we walked out the front door of the lovely place we stayed in Malta.

Another Peace Corps Volunteer and I took a little break and ventured off to spend our Christmas holiday in a warmer climate since we would be missing far-away friends and family. We opted for a warm, island adventure and found ourselves in Malta days just before Christmas, enjoying the sunshine and warmer temperatures (low 60 degree temps).

Thanks to the wonderful world of facebook and the returned Peace Corps volunteer community (RPCV) we found an amazing place to stay with a host family who lives right along the water and not far from the capital city. We had lots of laughs and felt so welcome in their home during our short holiday stay. Thankfully the family spoke both English and Maltese, but it only took me about 2 days to stop responding in Romanian when asked simple questions.

The host family home we stayed at during our visit.
My fellow traveling companion and PCV friend, Ellen and I on the bus.
My fellow traveling companion and PCV friend, Ellen and I on the bus.

Also, thanks to how we had to travel in order to get there and back, I now have added 3 new countries of places I have been to visit. We took the overnight train to Bucharest, Romania — where we met some new people, learned all about how long it takes to cross the border via train, and what it feels like to be rocked to sleep through the country of Romania. The sunrise in Bucharest was beautiful and thankfully we had extra time to figure out how to get out of the train station and how to get a ticket to ride and find the bus to the airport. I am grateful that my travel companion was willing and patient to follow my traveling-instincts even when I was wrong.

The sunrise in Bucharest at the train station (after a little detour to find the bus).
The sunrise in Bucharest at the train station (after a little detour to find the bus).

We had a lovely time — trying out some great Maltese and Mediterranean cuisine, learning some history, checking out the sites, and getting in little bit of quiet time next to the sea.

Enjoying the beautiful streets of Valletta, the capital city of Malta.
Beautiful blue skies and green fields surrounding Mdina, the old capital city of Malta. A beautiful walled city with Medieval and Baroque architecture.
On the ferry to Gozo we pass by the island of Comino, known for it’s clear-bluest water around Malta.
Heading into the port of the island of Gozo from the ferry.
An amazing overall-view of both Comino and Malta islands from Gozo – winding up the hillside to see the treasures of this island.
Some of the oldest -freestanding structures in the world at the Ggantija temples.
A beautiful lookout over one of the beaches on Gozo island.
The winding smooth road to one of Gozo’s most important natural landmark knows as Dwejra which includes the Azure Window among other natural beauties.
The Azure window – one of the most popular natural landmarks on Gozo island.
The Mgarr Harbour on Gozo island – where the ferry comes and goes each day.
Amazing sunset at St. Paul’s Bay – where it is said that St. Paul had been shipwrecked and where the locals lit a fire to welcome him.
So many amazing Christmas lights all over the island of Malta – such a fun way to explore at night.

Mediterranean cuisine – amazing fresh, Maltese bread, stuffed olives, special cheeses, beans, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and of course, wine.
The dome in the church in Mosta – this is the 3rd largest unsupported church dome in Europe. In World War II the church took a direct hit from a German bomb that pierced the dome, but failed to explode. If you look close enough you may be able to find a repaired spot on the dome where the bomb came through the dome.
Beautiful streets of Mdina, the old capital of Malta where its origins trace back to 1500BC.
Horse carriage rides are offered in many cities throughout Malta and Gozo.

We started our departure back to Moldova on Christmas day – spending most of our time in airports… first in Malta and then in Istanbul, Turkey. We had a 13 hour layover in Istanbul and since it was overnight and a long layover, they put us up in a hotel. We didn’t see much of Istanbul — we got there when it was dark and were boarding the airplane in the early morning hours as the sun was coming up. Even still, we got to see a little bit of what it’s like at night (and at 4 am).

Ellen and I dining outside at one of the cafe's on Christmas eve.
Ellen and I dining outside at one of the cafe’s on Christmas eve.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend Christmas in Malta with my friend, Ellen — it will certainly be a Christmas that I will not forget. I do miss my friends and family terribly, especially during this holiday season and I am oh, so grateful for the technology to be able to Skype and message with so many during this time.

Want to see all the photos from this trip? I took a lot, and even deleted many too… you can see all the photos from Malta here: https://sarajoyphotos.shutterfly.com/5171.

What would a trip to Malta be without dipping your toes into the Mediterranean Sea on Christmas day?
Farewell… until next time!

5 Replies to “A Mediterranean Getaway”

  1. I’m glad you could get away for Christmas …ot certainly does help the longing for home! It looks beautiful there! Thank you for sharing the photos and your heart 🙂
    Happy New Year! Enjoy the fireworks!


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