Malta, at the Crossroads of History

Going to the island of Malta is like time travel, for this tiny country strategically located in the Mediterranean Sea has seen the waves of history wash across022 its shores for thousands of years, whether Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Normans, Knights Hospitallers, or English.  Today Malta is in the Euro-zone, speaks an Arabic dialect, is thoroughly Christian, and claims a cuisine with influences that span the Mediterranean.  Sound interesting?  The Megalithic Temples here are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.  The language is Maltese, the currency is the Euro, and the phone country code is +356.

VALLETTA is the capital of Malta and a UNESCO world heritage site, with architecture dating from the 16th century.  They have a lively Carnival, and the food is good.  Sights include the National Museum of Archeology, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the War Museum, the Manoel Theatre, and the National Library of Malta.  And don’t worry; there are a hostel or two here, probably more by the time you get here.  Prices start at about thirty bucks a crib.