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Mdina is lovely!! And such nice crafts too

Mdina Travel Blog

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Oh Klimt, how I love thee!!
FINALLY!!!!

I think it was because the driver Joseph, on today's tour was such a cool guy and the whole crowd of Brits and Scots were really sweet and wished me lots of luck when I told them about my stint with UNICEF and having to go back and find a job, etc. So it set the mood for a good tour, and Joseph pulled out all the stops along our very thorough tour of Malta, including Mdina and lots of other places that I can't spell! So this entry will be mostly about Mdina and the craft village that we saw.

Our first stop was at a glass store and then a craft village. I have to say, when it comes to like.. glass and pottery, Malta has some talent and some artistic vision. I was immediately drawn to all these "In honor of Gustav Klimt" and "In honor of Da Vinci" pieces.
Nun keeping schoolchildren in line!
They were GORGEOUS, but so expensive!!! I couldn't afford them and considering they were glass will probably get broken. So I took some pictures instead and bought a couple of vases from the "seconds" shelf, which is like.. imperfect glass. I really hope they make it all the way back to LA because they're very pretty and a nice memory of this otherwise colorless place.

Off we went to the crafts village and we stopped by a filigree store, a pottery place, both wonderful shops if I were living there but kind of .. impossible to get back home in one piece. The pottery especially was like nice, old-fashioned Mediterranean style. Everything was handcrafted. And damn filigree is some exhausting/daunting work! If you ever see filigree jewelry, don't bargain too much because it takes a lot of time and effort to do, much less WELL!

We stopped by St.
Horse carriage in front of the cathedral in Mdina
Peter's grotto I think it's called? This was kind of interesting, basically when St. Peter was shipwrecked in Malta, he was bitten by something and stayed in this horrible cave for 3 months. I don't know what he was doing and I don't know how he was rescued, but he was here for a bit and the cave is terribly small and cold and I felt very bad for him being there.

Then we went to Mdina, which is "the Silent city" because not a lot of cars are allowed within the walls, and I visited a Carmenite Museum from the Middle Ages - finally some history!!! It was very rich in culture and humbling to witness how they lived and what they cared about. The people there were also very friendly and helpful, and the space was very modern for Mdina. Mdina had lots of lovely nooks and crannies despite the fact that it was the same urine-colored limestone that is so pervasive in Malta.
Inside of one of the cathedrals.. sorry I've lost track I've seen so many on this trip!
But here, there was more of a sense of the Knights of St. Johns, the persecution from multiple empires, and the constant frenzy of attacks and bombs that Malta had to endure. This is what I had come to Malta to see. Toughness, pride, sense of community. And maybe some non-urine-colored buildings?!?!

Unfortunately this was the hour of bad luck. When I was walking into the Heritage museum, this man was lying on the floor and his tour group or maybe his family were kind of standing around him. I think he had sunstroke or heat exhaustion, he was conscious just needed some medical attention. Damn being way too out of practice with my EMT training!! My first thought was to ask him if he had a numb sensation in his left arm, whether or not he'd been drinking enough water/gatorade, etc.
Traditional fishing boats in Marsaxlokk
Basically I found myself absolutely useless but very concerned. Then I walked out towards our tour van and we were about to get some coffee at an outdoor cafe when we noticed a huge tree had fallen onto the patio of this cafe! This lady was rubbing her head and this man had scratches on his back! Damn, poor Mdina. I suppose things like this are bound to happen when most of the tourists are over 55. Once again, I rued the day I decided to give up on medicine! Boo on me!

After that we went to the Blue Grotto. Unfortunately today was another windy day, so the boats weren't going out. But wow, it's such a pretty view, so much nicer than the Azure Window in Gozo! The water is very very blue and some of the sandy bits on the bottom showed off how clear and unspoilt it was. I think this is primarily because there aren't lots of sandy beaches, so people aren't around to pollute everything.
Blue Grotto
Oh, and something I learned at lunch is that the greatest concentration of great white sharks is in.... MALTA! Not Australia, not the California cost - but MALTA. Some tour guide's friend came back the other day having caught a shark - IN THE BLUE LAGOON! What a nightmare!! Yes, this is Malta.. it's almost as ridiculous as Bangui..

And our last stop was to Marsaxlokk - yeah try pronouncing that one! Here all the fishermen's boats were hanging out and a large stretch of vendors were selling some crap. I bought some beeswax because my skin is super dry after leaving Africa. And some souvenirs for the LA TBers of course! And that about wraps up my time in Malta. Now I have the unfortunate duty of packing to go back to France and then off to Portugal the day after! Farewell for now!

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Oh Klimt, how I love thee!!
Oh Klimt, how I love thee!!
Nun keeping schoolchildren in line!
Nun keeping schoolchildren in line!
Horse carriage in front of the cat…
Horse carriage in front of the ca…
Inside of one of the cathedrals.. …
Inside of one of the cathedrals..…
Traditional fishing boats in Marsa…
Traditional fishing boats in Mars…
Blue Grotto
Blue Grotto
glass scultor
glass scultor
little shards of glass
little shards of glass
sculpting little things with a blo…
sculpting little things with a bl…
ohhhh I really wanted one!!
ohhhh I really wanted one!!
Beautiful glass collections
Beautiful glass collections
Making pottery!
Making pottery!
painting little teacups!
painting little teacups!
Entrance to Mdina
Entrance to Mdina
inside Mdina
inside Mdina
plain but lovely alleyways
plain but lovely alleyways
a typical kitchen from the Middle …
a typical kitchen from the Middle…
rooftop of one an old Carmelite ch…
rooftop of one an old Carmelite c…
Across from the blue grotto!
Across from the blue grotto!
Mdina
photo by: sariu