Malta- Part I of IV

It’s time to put together the Malta update before the details shrink away into Spring Break next week. Anyway, I think my mind has absorbed about as much Italian as I can cram into it for tonight. I’ve made it through two midterm critiques and one oral exam for Italian with the written one scheduled for tomorrow.

Why Malta
We were in Malta back in June 2011 on the cruise with Jack and had a small taste of this interesting country as we drove around taking advantage of many photo opportunities. I had read about the temples and the Hypogeum, but none of them were handicapped accessible, so we made other choices for the day.

Then I took art history in the Fall and one of the first photos in my textbook was an aerial view of Hagar Qim, (pronounced Hadjar Eem) one of the oldest temples on earth. I was suddenly regretful that I had been on Malta and not be able to see it. Pat was equally interested in these ancient temples.

Because we are based in Rome for study abroad, many students take advantage of the smaller distances to travel to other places in Europe, like Greece, Paris, Croatia, Morocco and Spain, etc. When Pat and I sat down to think about where we would like to go the choice was easy, Malta.

Early research into the trip mentioned that one of the temples was now part of the grounds of The Dolmen Hotel. We checked the prices and since we were looking at off season- February, a sea view room for three was very reasonable. And how cool to stay in a hotel where there’s a 5,000 year old temple around the corner from the swimming pool?

I will say however, if you decided to stay there, don’t go for their “board” or meal arrangement. It’s overpriced compared to the variety you can find just walking out the front door and down the street. Also, I am always amazed at the exorbitant fees that high end hotels charge for internet and how chains like Red Roof Inn offer it for free. Go figure. The Dolmen is a perfect example since they wanted 3.50 Euro for an hour of internet access. Pat had fortunately found an special deal by booking online. The desk gave us a hard time about it, but took off the charge in the end.

So we took about a one hour flight from Rome, arrived, checked in and went to see the Temple. It was hard to understand the arrangment, part of it looked like it had been a pool or pond at one point from the light blue waterproof paint that was now peeling off.
Bugibba Temple

But the standing doorway and a curved section certainly still spoke of something. We took plenty of pictures, especially after dark. We walked the beach, had dinner at a local Indian restaurant and went to bed early to meet our guide the next morning for our day in Gozo.

This three day adventure was too much to squeeze into one post, so this is the first of four. Here are links to the others.
Part II
Part III
Part IV

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