We started the day by taking the bus to Mdina, commonly called ”The Silent City” by natives and visitors. It is a small medieval town and has about 300 habitants. The town is surrounded by thick defensive walls and a wide moat, separating it from its nearest town Rabat.
When Malta was under the Roman Empire, the roman Governor built his palace here. Mdina lies on one of the highest points on the island Malta and as far away from the sea as possible, so it’s probably the first fortified city because of the strategic location. There are evidence of settlements in Mdina back to 4000 BC.
We walked around for a few hours, visited some museums (glad it was included in the ticket, because it wasn’t worth 10 euros), bought some typical Mdina Glass-souvenirs and had the greatest lemon cheese cake I’ve ever had at a café just above the wall with a nice view over the farmlands beneath.
It is a super cozy little town, with narrow streets and all buildings of lime stone, as everywhere else. It has plenty of churches and viewpoints over Malta.
Later we walked to the nearest town Rabat. The name of the village is derived from the Arabic word for ”suburb”, as it was the suburb of the old capital Mdina.
We had some nice sweets from a vendor on the street, delicious small things. We just wanted to try a few of the local sweets, so we asked for 2 different kinds, and it costed 2 euro! Quite expensive we thought, but then we looked in the bag, and apparently you get 4 each of every kind, so it ended up being very price worth :)
Rabat is home to the famous Catacombs of St. Paul and of St. Agatha. These catacombs were used in Roman times to bury the dead as, according to Roman culture, it was unhygienic to bury the dead in the city Mdina and parts of Rabat were built on top of an ancient Roman city.
It was included in our multi-pass ticket. We got an audio-guide and walked around in the catacombs. Two catacombs are open to the public, but these are only a small part of the entire St. Pauls and St. Agatha’s complex. And still: It was huuuuge!
The first catacomb we visited was quite small, there are surgical tools carved in relief in one of the blocking stones in the inner chamber and they think that it was the burial place of a group of surgeons.
Then we walked down to the main complex, which covers an area of more than 2000 square metres! It is a extensive system of underground galleries and tombs dated from the fourth to the ninth centuries BC. Very interesting. I loved it!
It was so fun to see some other tourist doing poses in front of the catacombs that me and Duilio had to make some of ourselves. But seriously, who poses in catacombs? Hahahah.
Then we took a bus to the north of malta, to visit the town Bugibba in St Pauls Bay. Buġibba’s sea front is very popular, so we thought we would have a day on the beach….. but the beach was almost the worst beach I’ve ever seen, haha. It looked like a construction site.
But we enjoyed the sun, took a siesta, a bath (Duilios first one in the Mediterranean sea) and I read my book. (And hated in silence some really disturbing Maltesean that thought they owned the beach and were the most cool on earth, drinking beer and yelling to women around them ”fuck you bitches!!”).
When we got tired we walked along the sea walk and found some public toilets. Here in Malta there are really good free public toilets EVERYWHERE, it’s great!! :)
Then we stopped by a nice small food stand with a view over the bay and had some veggie burgers, french fries and cisk-beer. And reeeally really loved life.. Haha.
On our way back with the bus along the coast, we decided to jump of at St Julians and walk around there. It’s very touristic with hotels, pubs, bars and shops. Lot’s of young people on the streets and a big party vibe. It’s nice but I’m glad we are not living there haha. :) Bought like 3 pairs of earrings. Love them!