our first couple days in malta, noelle and i were completely content staying inside our beautiful malta haven, writing and talking and lounging and ESCAPING THE UNBEARABLE HEAT that plagues the island during daylight hours.
so we wrote and we talked and we lounged, feeling like spoiled little brats ;) and when the sun set, we went exploring.
our first night out on our own into the wild little world that is malta, we traveled to the nearby capital town called Valletta for a wine and art festival.
as soon as we found our footing in Valletta and i caught sight of the wide, steep, candlelit limestone streets, i immediately exclaimed that it was my new favorite place on the planet... okay so mayyybe i do that quite often---claim a place as my "favorite" right away (read: london, paris, florence, aix-en-provence, barcelona)---but everything about this city SERIOUSLY captivated me.
the architecture: my first impression upon walking up to the fortifications of Valletta was "omg this looks like TROY!" noelle probably rolled her eyes at my nerdiness after the 4th time of hearing me say that throughout the night, but i have a serious infatuation with ancient greek history. and this place looked exactly how i'd imagine an ancient mediterranean city. note: i later learned that the movie troy WAS FILMED ON MALTA (brad pitt wuz here).
the history: after the defeat of the Ottoman empire in the 1500's, the french "grand master of the order" decided he didn't care for the ancient capital city of Mdina (in the middle of the island), so he began building Valletta on the east coast. this relatively new city became known as the most aristocratic fortress in all of Europe. BUT the particular street where the art and wine festival was being held, called Strait Street, was frequented by navy sailors looking for a good time (if you know what i mean) during WWI and WWII. this festival must've commemorated that vibe, because we saw lots of people dressed up as sailors and ladies of the night.
the art & music: every street we turned down had a different performer singing to the people dining and sipping wine. we music hopped throughout the streets, following the tunes as they echoed through alleys and bounced off balconies. and they were all exceptional. is there anything better than good, free, live music?
the people: beautiful and elegant and unbelievably picturesque. if i didn't feel rude/awkward doing it, i'd take pictures of all of them. maltese people are perfection.