Salut! We hope your summer is going well!
We have just returned from a delightful trip to Malta, an incredibly beautiful & welcoming place! We went there to see our Maltese friends as well as our Swiss friends. Both couples were part of an international group Les joined years ago. We've traveled with them to many wonderful places, & this one was no exception.
This island is tiny, but packed with history & culture. Being in a very strategic location (just south of Sicily), they've been invaded so many times. Phoenicians, Romans, Muslims, Normans, Crusaders, Napoleon, Nazis....but still retained their own "esprit de corps". Their language sounds a bit Italian, until you get to the Arab bits. It's a mixture of Italian, Arab, English, & who knows what else.
In my descriptions of the pictures in our album entitled "Malta!", I've tried my best to get their history right. It's quite complicated, but fascinating. It makes you realize how the world is constantly changing, but essentially remains the same. Civilizatons come & go--invaders arrive, leave a stamp on a place, & then in turn are conquered by someone else. The whole Arab/Christian/Jewish triangle of religion still causes humans to clash. You'd think we could learn from past history, & learn to live together in peace.
The Maltese seem to be able to embrace their history of being constantly conquered without any bitterness. Since their independence in 1964, they've transformed their tiny island into a world-class place, but still retained their unique charm of a lovely island in the Meditteranean Sea.
Love to all our family & friends,
Elise & Les