Sunday, August 28, 2011

Country #88: Hello, Malta...



I'll be honest. If the itty bitty island nation of Malta had never achieved its independence (something it did in 1964), I probably would have never given it a second glance. My decision to visit recently was primarily born out of my quest for numbers. Much as I hate to admit it, I am quickly becoming a numbers slut. Malta's appeal lay in its potential to become my 88th country. And as I slowly close in on the milestone #100th country, this quest of mine is becoming more and more of a challenge. Many of the remaining lands are either too remote, too expensive or too dangerous.

But not Malta. It sits 60 miles south of Sicily, is priced comparably to the rest of western Europe and offers as its biggest threat the risk of a nasty sunburn- something which, after a soggy Amsterdam summer, didn't sound so bad to me.  Later, a closer look revealed that Malta had more to offer than just another notch on my geographic bedpost.