Malta 2017 / by William Bryan

If you aren't sure where Malta is, like I was six months ago, I've included a map at the end of this post.

Before leaving for Malta I researched the possibility of renting a motorcycle to explore parts of the island that I wouldn’t be able to reach on foot. I came across a TripAdvisor post where someone said:

“I would not recommend hiring a scooter or motorbike unless you have a death wish. It is not your experience you need to worry about it is the roads and especially the Maltese drivers most of whom have not mastered what the indicators are for! As for who has right of way is anyone’s guess.
The Maltese have a quaint way of driving in the shade, which could be on the wrong side of the road.”

Needless to say we decided against the motorcycle idea and opted for a car instead.

The car, however, proved to be barely more manageable (or safe) than a motorcycle. Malta is an endless supply of one-way streets with no street signs where the sidewalk and the street are one and the same. If we’d rented a car any larger than the tiny Opel Corsa we wouldn’t have made it down half of the streets we turned onto. Google Maps is hopelessly out of date and the tiny map that the rental company handed us at the counter in the airport only showed Malta’s largest roads (two-lane boulevards). To top it all off you drive on the left side of the road because it’s a former British colony. But with enough patience and low expectations we managed to get where we wanted to go for the most part.

In Valletta, Malta’s Capital, we spent all day looking for St. Johns Cathedral, a popular sight-seeing destination, only to realize it was the very first thing that we saw earlier that day. After Valletta we explored the next few largest cities on Malta for a few days on foot before making our way across the island to a ferry that took us to Gozo, one of the three Maltese islands. On Gozo we nearly got the rental car stuck between two rock walls on one of the narrowest roads I’ve ever driven on, walked along a beautiful sandy beach, and picnicked looking over 800 foot cliffs all in the span of a few hours.

Winter swell not messing around in the Mediterranean.

Winter swell not messing around in the Mediterranean.