This is the second post about our freetime in Malta. In the previous post we told You about traditional Maltese food (rabbit), our Halloween happenings and the Gozo weekend.
That’s not all. Thanks for the University’s student organizations, we had a lot to do in our freetime. Here are some examples we did during those 3 months;
One of the workers of the University Residence’s reception has already a tradition to arrange hikes to the most glorious places in Maltese islands. We took part in three of four.
During the first hike we went to see the Mistra Bay, Selmun Bay and Mellieha Bay. We passed near St. Paul’s Island as well. This was the first real hike for me and unfortunately Tiia had so bad flu that I had to take the hike on my own with other mates from the residence. I knew already that Malta has very great views and many great places to see and experience but I really didn’t realize that before I saw them by myself. We really found cliffs, historical places with untouched landscape and sea views. The weather was the best for hiking – warm but not too hot. The hike was about 10 km long and it took about 4 hours all in all.
The second hike was to the Dingli cliffs. Dingli city is the highest point in Malta and its cliffs are one of the most popular places for tourists to visit during their stay in Malta. If I was amazed during the first hike – now I was totally shocked! The view and everything was so beautiful! Although it was 6th of December the sun was shining so warmly that we could walk there with t-shirts and summer clothes. Totally different from Finland. This hike wasn’t that long and there weren’t that much uphills to climb so we weren’t that tired when we arrived back to the residence. 😀 We took a lot of pictures during the hike but You really can’t see the real picture with the camera. We really recommend that place to visit!
The third hike was to the Popeye Village and the Golden Bay. This time I was too tired but Tiia took part in that last hike in this semester. The Popeye Village is another popular place to visit in Malta and it’s built for the movie ‘Popeye’ which is made in 1980. During the hike they didn’t visit the village itself but they passed it and saw the whole village from up in the hill. The village is nice and it really looks like a village made of candies. The water of the sea is so clear that You really are able to see the seabed. One of the things we will miss here is the sea. That’s something we don’t have in Finland – in the land of the thousand lakes.
The Winter Gala
One of the student organizations arranged for University students a winter gala which was the biggest event and the final party in this first semester. It was kind of goodbye party for us because we are not going back after Christmas as the most of the other students.
The ticket for the gala was 25€ and we got transport to there and back, 4 hour open bar, snack food and so much fun. Everybody were so excited because there was a dress code. All of us were running to shops to buy some dresses, new jewelry, high heels and so on. When the gala night finally came, I was so excited and nervous that my hands were shaking and I couldn’t concentrate properly. Luckily I wasn’t the only one because the guys in the residence had been waiting for the night as well. We had our new black dresses, dark make-ups and curled hair and we left to Rabat where the main gala was about to happen.
The gala was held in a beautiful big hall which reminded me about the President’s castle here in Finland. Girls dresses were wonderful and the guys looked so handsome with their suits. I haven’t ever been in that kind of party but it was really amazing and fun! Hope they’ll arrange something like this in Finland as well! This night was a really nice ending for our time here.
In the last week in Malta we really tried to find a Christmas feeling. It was 18th of December and the Christmas was just around the corner. Maltese people like to decorate their houses very much. And now we really mean that they like. A lot. You can see the Christmas lights everywhere. Every kind of colors – everywhere. We even saw a Santa Claus walking down the street. For me it was a little bit comic because I think that Santa Claus needs some snow to be a Santa Claus. (Naturally – because we are from Finland.)
In the last Friday evening in Malta we decided to go to a Christmas concert in St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta. There was a huge concert arranged by The Collegium Musicum Choir and Chamber Orchestra. The cathedral was so beautiful!
Malta is a very catholic country and you can see churches everywhere. This was our first real visit to one of them. We guess it is one of the biggest cathedrals in the island. The cathedral was covered by paintings and golden decorations. Paintings were everywhere, in the ceiling, floor, walls. One of the most glorious places I have ever visited. The concert was really nice. The orchestra played both familiar and traditional Christmas songs but also the Maltese ones. This concert really gave us a little bit more Christmas feeling. At this point we understand maybe a little bit more about the differences in Malta and Finland in religious point of view as well. That’s a good thing because the religion has a bigger place in Maltese peoples hearts and it effects to their everyday life.
These are one of our highlights in Malta. Now when we have finally found a little piece of Christmas feeling it’s time to go home and see if the rest of it will be found there. The feelings about going back home are very strange. At the same time we would like to stay but at the same time we love to go home. We will miss the most the great persons and new friends we have met here. We will miss You so much.
Now it’s time to thank You all about these great three months. We have had so good moments and experiences together we won’t ever forget. Hope to meet You again, as soon as possible! “Tsau Tsau Tsau!”
Katariina & Tiia