When all said and done, Malta really is an awesome country.
Bad things happen in every country. Italy has its fair share of scandals simultaneously unfolding, Germany has a shameful history for which it’s still trying to redeem itself, and the United States has Guantanamo Bay… but they don’t make these places any less special. So here are five reasons why Malta really is a fantabulous country.
We have the oldest standing temples in the world – Yes, it’s somewhat a cliché to mention this these days. But, you know what? Everyone knows about the Great Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge, yet our temples date back to 5,500BC, making them older than both of those. So why is it that nobody knows about our heritage? Because size matters, that’s why. Anyhow… We can also boast that we’ve kept them in very good shape, previous incidents aside.
Image above: Oldest temples – credit: Heritage Malta
The only Semitic language written in a Latin script – Maltese is an incredibly special language, partly because it’s spoken by an island that’s often left out on maps because it’s too small. It’s also a significant language because it’s withstood coloniser after coloniser, save for a few derivatives… and by few, read ‘plenty’. It is the only Semitic (i.e. has a base in Arabic, Hebrew or Aramaic) language in the world written exclusively in a Latin script. So, while you may not like speaking it or indeed writing it, it’s still quite tremendous in terms of linguistics.
Image credit: AM Language
We’re mentioned in the Bible and The Odyssey – Yes, other countries are too. But considering that we’re just a blob in the Med and that we’ve made it into two of the most read and influential pieces of literature ever written, that’s quite something. In the Bible we’re mentioned as the island where St Paul was shipwrecked on his way to Rome, while in Homer’s The Odyssey, the nymph Calypso supposedly resided in a cave in Gozo.
Image above: Cave looking down at Ramla Bay – Image credit: free for Tourists
Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – You literally walk through City Gate and you’re in a living museum that’s been certified as such by UNESCO. Right up there with other World Heritage Sites like Petra in Jordan and the Tower of London in Britain, Valletta will wow you with its architecture and its fabulous grid blueprint that predates that of New York. So, while it may not be a capital of fashion or as old as Rome, it’s still a pretty spectacular city.
Image above: Valletta – Image credit: Vassallo History
Lifestyle – We constantly make the Top 10 lists of various things, including Best Places to Grow Up and Safest Nations. Yes, we also make other not-so-flattering lists, but no one’s perfect. Moreover, we have a really good life here. We know how to have fun, we drink lots of wine, we eat lots of carbs. Our joie de vivre is insatiable, insomma.
Image credit: Malta Gaming Authority
So there you have it! Those are my five reasons. What are yours?
Let us know in the comment section below.