texts and photos by Justus, Kilian, Robin, Emily, Adrienne, Ronja, Paulina, Fiona, Nick, Sarah, Swenja, Janek, Jolin, Lea and Shirley
Monday, June 19 – Travelling to Malta
Monday morning, 6 am Tegel airport: tired but also excited everybody arrived on time for boarding our Lufthansa flight via Munich to Malta. After an uneventful trip we were met at Malta airport by our tour operator who accompanied us to our bus that would take us to Blubay apartments in Sliema. It took a while but finally everybody got their keycards and we could move into our apartments. It didn’t take long to discover the rooftop pool but we also had to explore the neighbourhood and do some grocery shopping for dinner. Our scheduled trip by ferry to Valletta had to be postponed due to unsafe weather conditions but we were pretty tired anyway…
Tuesday, June 20 – Valletta
In the morning we took the ferry to Valletta, where we started the sightseeing tour visiting Fort St. Elmo, which was the scene of a heroic defence during the Great Siege of 1565. Inside, there was an exhibition about the history of Malta.
After a short lunch break we toured St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where an audio guide told us many interesting facts about this impressive building. Furthermore we were visiting the Armoury Rooms which gave us the possibility of seeing a lot of ancient weapons.
Following that exciting event we started to discover Valletta on our own.
As we finally wanted to go back to Sliema, we had to wait for the ferry so we enjoyed the cold water of the sea by putting our feet in the waves.
All in all, the day was quite exciting and interesting, but only at the end of the day did we noticed how exhausting the trip in the heat had been.
Wednesday, June 21 – Guided Bus Tour
After breakfast on Wednesday morning we went to the bus stop to meet our tour guide.
Our first stop was at “Mosta Rotunda”. Its gigantic dome has the biggest diameter after the St. Peter’s and the Pantheon in Rome. As Malta is one of the most religious countries in Europe, we had to cover our bare shoulders and legs.
Afterwards our driver took us to the San Anton’s Gardens, the botanical gardens of Malta. In the middle of many exotic plants from different parts of the world, one can find the San Anton’s Palace, which is Malta’s presidential summer residence on the staircase of which we took our group photo.
Unexpectedly, we discovered that the garden is not only inhabited by beautiful plants, but also by birds like swans and peacocks.
Our next stop took us to Buskett Gardens, the island’s only and very small forest which was planted by the knights of St. John in the 16th century.
On our way to the former capital of Mdina, we stopped at Dingli Cliffs to take pictures. At 253 meters above the sea level, it is Malta’s highest elevation. There we had a perfect view on the Mediterranean Sea.
A few minutes later we arrived in Mdina, whose name can be translated into “city surrounded by walls”. The city was given its name by the Arabs who had conquered the island in 870 A.D.
Mdina covers 885 square kilometers but due to housing prices it has only about 240 inhabitants, which is why its nickname is “Silent City”.
Out of town we had lunch and then, finally, after several hours in the hot sun, we arrived Golden Bay, one of the very few sand beaches of Malta, where we finished the day swimming.
All in all, it was a very interesting day, as we saw many exciting places on the island of Malta.
Thursday, June 22 – daytrip to Marsaxlokk and St Peter’s Pool
With Thursday being our last full day in Malta, we decided to take a trip to St. Peter’s Pool in Marsaxlokk. Despite its name St. Peter’s Pool is not an actual pool, but a natural pool formed by the sea over time.
After about an hour long bus trip the first group arrived in the small town and began their walk. It was quite exhausting hiking up the long hill being constantly in the sun and heat, but that made it even more worth it, when we finally arrived and could take a dip in the clear, turquoise Mediterranean sea. There wasn’t any sand, because this place was similar to a bay with natural platforms. So the whole area was just rocks. After some difficulties the second group arrived as well and we all enjoyed our time together in the water. Sadly we had to leave a bit earlier than expected but we stopped at a café along the way in Marsaxlokk, so that made up for it at least a bit. Once we got on the bus, it really showed how tired we all were from the previous days. We were all so out that we actually missed our stop! Because of that we ended up in Valetta once again. As we walked to the ferry to get home, we could take one last look around Valetta. After returning home again, Ms Weiland’s class went out for dinner in the evening with the money that our class had collected from our previous bake sales. Even though a few things had gone wrong on our last day, it was still a great experience and a fantastic day.
Friday, June 23 – Departure Day
We had to leave our apartments at 11am but we could store our luggage in the hotel lobby to have a final walk to buy the last souvenirs or to have lunch. Our bus arrived at 14.50pm and took us straight to the airport. We checked in and took the flight at 5.20pm via Frankfurt to Berlin. Slightly delayed but happy to see our families, we arrived at Tegel airport at 11pm from where everybody went home.