Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Last November we spent almost two weeks on the Mediterranean island of Malta. This tiny independent country is located south of Sicily and north of Tunisia and Libya. Malta has an impressive history; different cultures changed the face of the island again and again. The humans of the late Neolithic left huge temples, pottery, mysterious grooves in the rocks and other relicts. The Romans built the cities with catacombs. The Arabs left their language – Maltese is the only Arabian language written with Latin letters - and their architecture. The crusaders and the Maltese order built churches, palaces and fortifications. The Italians brought the cuisine. And the British left driving on the wrong side of the street, more fortification and made the island an important trade place.

We stayed on the west coast of the main island Malta at a hotel in the Golden Sands Bay. There are not many buildings on the west coast, so it is a quite place, but since the distances are never big busier places are easy to reach. We did some hiking and visits to cities, monuments and other scenic points. I would like to share some of my favorite photos I took during the stay. In the cities and inside buildings I used quite often my wide angle lens Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4. It is not at all easy to take pictures that look natural with the wide angle.

View down to the Gnejna Bay during a hike starting at our hotel (click to enlarge)

The Gnejna Bay with the island of Gozo in the background (click to enlarge)

The Dingli Cliffs. A 200 meter vertical drop.

The temples of Mnajdra are today covered by a huge tent (click to enlarge)

The cart ruts can be found at many places on the island. It is not clear what the origin of the ruts is

Typical for La Valetta, the islands capital, are the gazebos…

…painted in all colors.

La Valetta is built on a rock, streets and stairs go permanently up and down. (Sigma 1:4-5,6 DL 70-300 - 230mm, f/8, 1/320s, ISO200)

The city is narrow, why not using a car to display goods.

And this car is owned by a cat. (Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4 - 19 mm, f/8, 1/15s, ISO200)

The St. John Co-Cathedral looks plain from the outside…

…but is one of the most impressive baroque churches I have ever seen. (Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4 - 12mm, f/4, 1/8s, ISO800, angle slightly corrected)

Over and over full with gold and paintings and the complete ground is covered with artful tomb slabs.

The other Co-Cathedral is St. Paul's in Mdina – the old capital

A very interesting detail Mdina offers are the artful door knockers - see the second blog post on Malta.

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