This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.


Wednesday 30 September 2009

Wayside Chapels (2) - The Penitent Magdalen

I have walked past this chapel countless times and many times I have peered through the iron grid door into the murky darkness. My eyes catch a glimpse of an age long past. Sixteen hundred years have passed since the underground church was used. Back then it was a place of worship. Now it sits in silence listening to the noises of a modern world that it cannot comprehend. Few give it so much as a second glance. It is as much a part of the landscape of our town as the more imposing 17th century church that lies just a few paces away. Its simplicity goes unnoticed. Its past is shrouded in mystery. Yet it has survived when so much from that time has been destroyed or lost. Perhaps it still stands to serve as a reminder of a simpler but stronger faith.

Historical Note
Although this chapel is not exactly by the wayside, since it is right in the heart of the town of Rabat, it still falls under that particular category because, at some point way back in time, it was situated at the edge of the old city walls. This chapel is from the fourth century and, like most chapels from that period, it consists of an underground church or crypt. The exterior portion of the church was built in the late 19th century and resembles a funerary chapel.

A cupola stands above a shaft that leads directly into a small semi-circular chapel dug out of the rock.

The interior of the church is currently not accessible to the public and has not been for many years. A bolted door usually keeps people out of the chapel but on the day I was there, the door was nowhere to be seen so I was able to take this rather grainy shot of the interior.

It seems that restoration work is being carried out and although the door was not there, the place was still rendered inaccessible. Inaccessible to people, that is, but totally accessible to my snoopy camera. I will be excited to see it once it is finished.

Friday 18 September 2009

Summer Sunsets

If there's one thing I will miss when summer is over it's the fiery red sunsets that bid us farewell every evening. There is something breathtaking about that moment when the sun is on the edge of the horizon and is about to slip over, leaving the world in darkness. For during those last few minutes it seems as if the sun is bathing in the western sea, cooling itself off and lighting up the sea with its fire.
My words cannot do justice to the beauty of it all, to the colours that light up the pathway of the dying day, to the richness of the hues that precede the velvety black darkness that will soon engulf the land. So I sit there, camera in hand, hoping to capture the last of the summer sunsets.

Friday 4 September 2009

My Ode to the Sea

When you live by the sea, you learn to love is quirky moods ...

... moments of laughter

... are followed by moments of anger

... sometimes it whispers

... sometimes it thunders

It is ever moving, ever changing. Our greatest friend; our biggest enemy. Liberating us and yet hemming us in. Defining our boundaries...

From the womb to the grave we're slaves to its temper, we move to its rhythm, never free from its incessant call. It beckons and whispers and calls us by name. Few can resist it ... it runs through our veins.

The Azure Window: the end of an icon

The Azure Window was a natural limestone arch that rose majestically out of the blue Mediterranean sea to a height of 28 metres (92 fee...