Travel with a History student | Malta

Happy Blogtober!

I have decided to switch it up a bit and bring you a series of travel posts this October. I love writing about beauty and lifestyle, but I wanted to share my travel experiences from the perspective of a history student. So I will talk about four wonderful places I have visited, and the amazing things I’ve had the opportunity to see, from a historical view – museums, exhibitions, monuments etc.

malta6malta4The first on the list is, the stunning, Malta!

My friend Charlotte and I joined the Archaeology Society at our University on their trip to Malta in 2016. I study History and Char studies Museum Studies and Archaeology so we had been to the Arch Socials together and jumped at the opportunity to get on a plane to somewhere warmer in February and look at museums. Firstly, Malta is absolutely stunning. It has so much history and the people are so friendly. I would also say that whilst we were there, we all felt totally safe, which made a change to a lot of holidays recently!

On our first morning, we took the boat from where we were staying, Sliema, to Valletta. We walked up a huge hill to the gorgeous high street.

The main attraction, to us, was the Catacombs. The Catacombs are a system of Roman underground tunnels that were used as a place of burial in the 4th Century AD. It is important historically in Malta because it is the earliest signs of Christianity in Malta. When we went down into the tunnels, the temperature dropped because we were so far under the ground. I had to put my jumper on! There were hundreds of rooms going off from the tunnels, some that were blocked off and some you could sit in. We sat in one here and realised that we were sitting on human bones, which was a bit odd. One of the third year archaeologists identified it as a femur I think. Whilst traipsing around the Catacombs, my friend Charlotte realised she’d left her handbag somewhere within the hundreds of small rooms under the city of Rabat. We made our way back through the tunnels and bumped into some of our group who were further behind us, luckily they were carrying her bag since they had found it and checked the owner (found in the passport inside!).  A little bit flustered, we went back through the tunnels the way we were meant to be going and made it to the end. I would certainly recommend visiting the Catacombs, it is such an interesting part of our human history shown through burial rituals.

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We visited a few museums whilst we were there too, my favourite being the Roman Museum, the Domus Romana. This museum contained ruins from a Roman building with mosaics that were still beautifully intact. It was amazing to see them in an almost empty museum (this never happens in London).

In the first evening we stayed in Mdina, we went for a kebab next door to the hotel (we’d been travelling a long time and were all exhausted!). On the second night we did a bar crawl along the coast, luckily our hotel was facing the sea (as you can see) which was great because we could easily find our way back. We went to two or three bars, and after many shots and some absinthe, we wandered back home to the hotel along the seafront, Charlotte and I singing Les Miserables songs. It was lovely and warm even though it was February. I think the locals thought we were crazy, wearing our sandals and playsuits just with a jumper. 

The next day we went to a flea market a bus trip away, both with stinking headaches. It was lovely to do something different on holiday and not just sit doing nothing by a pool all day. We then made our way to a cafe with a courtyard not far from the market, sat chatting with the other students on the trip and drank iced tea in the sun.

malta1That afternoon, we decided to take it easy after the night before and made our way back to the hotel. We sat by the sea for a few hours and paddled, whilst messing around with the GoPro under the water. In the evening we went to a restaurant on the seafront that provided lots of sangria and pizza. Rabbit is very popular in Malta and I ended up with rabbit sausage on my pizza which was odd.

On the last night, the whole group of students went down to the beach in the evening to chat and get some pictures. We had a lovely time in Malta, it was a bit crazy being there for only a few days but we made the most of it and explored as much as we could. History wise, it was perfect for us because of the range of museums and exhibits. The architecture too was wonderful to look at. The Catacombs were one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced and it is such a stunning place to visit, perfect for a summer holiday or for a weekend exploring historical sites! If you get the chance, you should definitely visit.

Thanks for reading my ramblings if you got this far. I hope you enjoy my new series of blog posts and like the different perspective I’m writing from, it is a bit weird for me writing about my history nerdiness on my predominantly beauty blog, but it feels right. Any feedback would be much appreciated!

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