It wasn’t long ago that I couldn’t even locate Malta on a map.
For the record, this tiny island nation is sandwiched between Europe and Africa. Malta is only about 80 kilometres south of Sicily, and 280 kilometres west of Tunisia.
Malta is one of those places that you’ve probably heard of, but know nothing about. I knew a little about it only because my hometown, Toronto, has a sizeable Maltese population. In high school, I had Maltese-Canadian friends who would abscond to their parents’ homeland every summer. Still, my knowledge of Malta was hazy, at best. Still, I never imagined that I would go there myself.
And then I moved to London.
|The depressingly grey skies as seen from my bedroom window
The heavy grey skies and damp, frigid air native to London at this time of year make me sad
. Some days, I find it impossible to drum up the energy to even leave the house if it’s not necessary. A little over a month ago, feeling particularly listless and uninspired, I pronounced to Liebling that I desperately needed some sun. The best excuse for travelling, no? Leaving no stone unturned (as usual), we scoured the internet for good flight deals to sun-drenched destinations within a 3-hour flight of London.
We couldn’t help taking the Malta bait.
At 145 British pounds ($225 USD) per person for a round-trip, direct flight to Malta’s Luqa airport, it was obvious that this trip was meant to be. With no hesitation, we relinquished our credit card numbers and parted with our hard-earned farthings. We were off to Malta for a three day weekend!
After a sweaty, mad dash to meet Liebling at Heathrow (I am nearly always late!), the three hour flight to Malta passed without incident. We arrived to the island late on Friday night and were whisked via private car to our accomodation. Now, before I continue, I have a confession to make. A while back I was contacted by Hostelbookers
, who said they would be happy to host me at one of their properties should I find myself in close promixity. I was delighted to see that they had properties in Malta. And thus it came to be that Liebling and I were invited to stay at the lovely Argento Hotel
I’ll admit that I was a tad concerned about potentially being a talking head for a brand. I know that you take my recommendations to heart and I’m not in the business of misleading people. As a result, this sponsored stay filled me with trepidation. What if the hotel was beneath my (highly critical) standards? While I wouldn’t dream of slagging the place (I do have tact!), my sharp tongue and moral fortitude beg me to speak the truth. Thankfully, my moral compass was not tested. The Argento has recently been renovated and is absolutely splendid. Hostelbookers hooked me up. In addition to the monstrous bed and stylish decor, I was particularly geeked by the spotless bathroom facilities. I mean, if you *ahem* have to spend a long time in the bathroom, you want to make sure it’s a nice one. Just sayin’.
Spoiled, I slid between the cool sheets and let Liebling’s snores lull me to sleep (just kidding!). The next morning, I awoke to the most soul-stirring view from my hotel room window. London, this place ain’t.
One hearty hotel breakfast later, we were out on the bustling streets of St. Julian’s, the area of Malta we were staying in. St. Julian’s is home to a flurry of activity, rammed with hotels, restaurants, and lots of nightlife. It is also home to the dazzling Spinola Bay, which was just steps from our accomodation. I spent a full 10 minutes trying to capture the beauty surrounding me.
An impromptu walking tour took us along the promenade, past large bodies of cerulean water, and through narrow streets book-ended by abodes with beautiful balconies. I shook off the dreary London doldrums that had been weighing down my spirit and smiled as the intense sunlight seeped into my skin. Yup, Malta is that amazing.
|I have NEVER seen such pretty buildings.
We seemingly erred through the streets, but we had a destination. We were walking from St. Julian’s to Sliema, where we purchased tickets for a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of the island. Weaving through the streets for 45 minutes, we arrived at Sliema, a little dewy from the heat, but warm and happy. There we were to board our sightseeing bus, which would take us on a tour of the northern part of the island.
I again marvelled at how the good weather and spectacular sights had served to brighten my mood. Taking one last look at the panorama before me, I boarded the sightseeing bus and took a seat beside Liebling. I couldn’t wait to see more!
Do you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder like I do? Does the weather affect your mood? I’d love to hear from you!
As I mentioned above, HostelBookers graciously arranged my stay at the Argento Hotel in St. Julian’s, Malta. The opinions, as always, are my own, but let’s face it- photos don’t lie- this hotel was amazing. This hotel is also relatively inexpensive with rooms starting at just $25 USD per person, per night. You can book the property through HostelBookers here!