Category

Malta

The 360 Degree Penthouse Years

T

A few weeks ago I sent you an email about the end of the Palazzo Years. And I shared some photos of the amazing 400 year old house I was renting in a village called Zejtun in the south of Malta. As it was prophesied, so it has come to pass. The Palazzo Years have ended, and I’m now looking out over the rugged valley of Wied ta’ Isperanza from the terrace of my new place. But we were able to toast...

Exploring Malta’s Cottonera Lines

E

Last week I had an opportunity to visit a historical site here in Malta that isn’t open to the public, and I’d like to share a few photos with you. It’s right around the corner from where I live. I drove through it many times on my way to and from Birgu, but I had no idea what it was apart from its name: the Notre Dame Gate. This massive baroque gate, decorated with a bust of Grand Master...

Come to the Secret Corners of my Island

C

The theme of “finding hidden places in my own backyard” continued. But this time I was traveling the local scene with an actual explorer… I met Mark Borda in Khartoum, Sudan. We were both on the same expedition to Jebel Uweinat, deep in the Sahara desert. But it was only after we returned to Malta that we realized he lives in the same building as my landlord’s father, and that he’s known...

Take a Walk Through Zejtun with Me

T

I’ve gone to a great deal of trouble to visit some of the world’s forgotten corners. But sometimes you discover secret places right there in your own neighbourhood… That’s what happened to me — again — when I took a walk through the streets around my house on a Sunday excursion with the local historical society: Wirt iz-Zejtun. The town of Zejtun takes its name from the Sicilian Arabic word...

Olive Pressing in Malta

O

I promised to update you on this year’s olive harvest. If you read my earlier blog — Time to Harvest the Olives — you’ll know that I have 12 olive trees on the roof of my house. Each tree is a different variety; some are table olives and some are used for oil. The sun dissolved the paper tags long ago, so we can no longer identify which is which. We carefully fertilized each tree last spring. And...

A Secret WWII Command Centre Beneath the Stones

A

Deep in the rock beneath the bastions of Valletta lies a forgotten World War Two site. The museum is called Lascaris War Rooms, and it’s a “must visit” attraction if you come to Malta. Lascaris was the top secret centralized war headquarters for the entire air defense of Malta. Builders tunneled into the rock beneath the Upper Barracca Gardens by expanding an old communications tunnel from the...

Easter in the Med

E

Malta is a largely Catholic island, and the rhythms of religion influence the cycles of life here, just as they have for centuries. One of the biggest events of the calendar year is Easter. For those of you unfamiliar with Christian traditions, Easter commemorates the time when Jesus Christ was crucified, died and rose from the dead. Christians celebrate this event because they believe Christ...

My Mediterranean Living Top 5

M

It’s been nearly a year since I packed up my books and moved to a small island in the Mediterranean. It was a goal I set 8 years before, after reading Lawrence Durrell and island hopping the Adriatic. I was attracted to something in the landscape: those dry stony islands, the wind in the olive trees, the quality of light, and the pure clarity of Poseidon’s translucent domain. It took me 8 long...

Time To Harvest The Olives

T

“The entire Mediterranean seems to rise out of the sour, pungent taste of black olives between the teeth. A taste older than meat or wine, a taste as old as cold water. Only the sea itself seems as ancient a part of the region as the olive and its oil, that like no other products of nature, have shaped civilizations from remotest antiquity to the present.” – Lawrence Durrell...

Valletta By Notte

V

It was Notte Bianca this past Saturday in many European cities. An all-night street party where the centre of town is turned into one massive public art display, and where buildings that aren’t normally accessible to the public throw open their doors in a late night architectural peep show. Everything’s free — and it feels like everyone in the country comes out to take advantage of it. The...

Ryan Murdock

Author of Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Columnist at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

NEWSLETTER

Sign up for my entertaining email newsletter


Get in Touch

Donate

Support the Personal Landscapes podcast with a donation

Recent Posts

Archives

WP AutoTerms Legal Pages