We celebrated our 2nd year anniversary as a married couple last January. True to his thoughtful nature, the DHB surprised me with booked tickets to Malta. But as fate would have it, he met a basketball accident and had to be operated on some time in December. He tore his ACL and his meniscus disc got twisted. He couldn't walk normally for months. He had to undergo physiotherapy everyday after his surgery. We had no choice but postpone the trip and rebook the tickets to April, in time for his 35th birthday.
Malta is a country much like the Philippines in the sense that it is also made up of islands and it was also conquered by different nations throughout its history. Malta is so much smaller though. You can tour its biggest island in a day or two.
We decided to stay in Sliema which is at the coastline and strategically located between Valletta, the city center, and St. Julian's the more touristy beach place.
What I liked about our hotel, Park Hotel, is that it's perfectly situated in front of the hop-on, hop-off bus stop. It's also just across the coastline that was perfect for walking at the crack of dawn or at night where the lights enliven the walk way and the music from the cafés provide such a dreamy atmosphere. The DBF and I walked along the coast several times, holding hands, while discussing the future. I will forever cherish these peaceful moments.
For dinner, we had kebab at this Trip Advisor awardee place that was literally just at the corner of our hotel. We also tried gluten free pasta at the Sicilian place nearby on the DHB's 35th birthday. The DHB had his favorite vongole although he wished he opted for the less healthy pasta.
The only bad thing I remember about Sliema was how rowdy the Italian teenagers were at our hotel. We were awakened every time they'd come running back to the hotel from wherever they were the entire day. Their noise just filled the halls. Malta used to be a part of Italy which is why many Italians choose it as a destination for summer. What's interesting though is that the Maltese were also invaded by the Moors, the Knights, the French, and the Brits. So you'd hear the people speak with British accents yet the doors of their houses would either have a Muslim symbol or a Catholic religious sculpture.
Overall, I think choosing Sliema as our base was a wise decision because it was not as packed as St. Julian's and not as landlocked as Valletta City.