I asked my son to describe the island when we were in Malta and he said “it’s so yellow”. First I thought it was yellow because of the sunlight, but then I realized it was because of the limestone, and I had to concur. Malta is yellow. You know, the same way as pyramids and the desert. And there are in fact some of the world’s oldest buildings in Malta, built out of limestone, like pyramids are as well.
I became fascinated by limestone. It might have been partly because I got some of it in my elbow when I slipped on a wet cliff while taking photos of the moonlit bay. But probably also because it is so different from the rocks we have at home. Or maybe it just reminded me of my stay in Egypt when my son was just a baby. However, in one magical night watching the sun set and collecting sea shells by the sea we heard how ancient sea life turns into limestone bedrock which the locals have used for thousands of years to build their homes.
Malta doesn’t have many trees. I talked to a local man who said draught was one of the biggest problems for Maltese people. Whenever it rains in Malta, the water just disappears through the limestone bedrock and they have to make drinking water out of the salty sea water. Standing in the highest point of the island, watching the gorgeous blue sea with dozens of hues of blue on both sides and thinking that there is a severe scarcity of water on the island might well seem absurd to some, at least to my small boys.
Learning a few words in the local language is always a dear hobby of ours when we travel. It is just pure joy to see how it melts everyone’s hearts when you show that you have taken an interest in their language and culture. We found a fantastic restaurant by that little eastern bay where we stayed and it turned out that it was a family owned business, with cousins and sisters and sons and daughters pitching in. Since it wasn’t the tourist season yet, there were in fact no other proper restaurants open at all so we ended up dining there on several occasions. In addition to the absolutely delicious meal that we had there every time we visited, our sons soon got used to their favorite dessert which was a new phrase in Malti every evening. Grazzi hafna, beautiful yellow island.