Christmas in Malta: Why naaht?

After such an exciting term, the holidays seemed to leap out of nowhere with uncommon speed. As a fellow UK-based Dykxhoorn, my cousin and I decided to team up and go on a marvellous travelling adventure together to welcome the holidays.
IMG_1240The goal was to relax, recharge, and feel the sun on our faces, so we figured there was no better place to head than Malta (the cheap Ryanair flights didn’t hurt the decision making process either)!
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One of my aims was to set the re-set button on some of my habits and give myself some space to be more intentional about what I do on a daily basis. In order to be more conscious of the food I put in my body, I decided on a wheat-, caffeine-, meat-, [mostly] dairy-, and sugar-free diet. I also wanted to reconsider my relationship to technology, and so all week, I completely cut out social media. In lieu of excessive scrolling through Facebook, I set about starting my days and ending them with yoga and meditation. Our Airbnb’s rooftop terrace became an instantly beloved space, where we would read, do yoga, and meditate. I can’t remember a holiday season that I felt more relaxed and refreshed than this one.
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Now I face the challenge of trying to embed some of these things into my every day life, but I will definitely treasure this trip for allowing me to re-connect to myself, to develop my friendship with my AWESOME cuz, and to explore the spectacular Maltesian islands.DSC_2876
The solid week of 17-20 degree weather and non-stop sunshine did much to bouye our spirits and fill the deficit of Vitamin D in our bodies.We spent the first day touring many of Malta’s cities and also enjoying some Maltesian Christmas spirit.
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We saw stunning churches and fortresses:
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One of the world’s largest unsupported domes (I know, pretty cool, right?)
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And so many pigeons (and signs of a high degree of pigeon-based culture including a pigeon transporter van and a pigeon racing club).
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There were some of the friendliest stray cats wandering around the islands. In fact, in St Julian’s (the city we stayed) there was a little stray cat feeding centre – a cardboard box on its side covered in a garbage bag, with bowls of cat food and water inside.
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We stopped at the Kinnie Crystal Palace for a famous pastry that  apparently everyone frequented (including a recent visit by Brangelina). By all accounts, these pastries are AMAZING (my food allergies would not permit me to eat them) but my cuz did sample one of these treats, confirming the rumours of their excellence, and I deeply enjoyed the lackadaisical disregard for rules, shown by this group of men smoking directly under the “no smoking” signs.
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Malta surprised us at every turn. It has the stately feeling of an old dame who sill smacks of timeless opulence, but is crumbling a bit around the edges. This juxtaposition of the broken and beautiful was really powerful for me and there was something incredibly authentic about this place and the people.
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Here are a few more snapshots of our wanders through various Maltesian cities. Because this is such a stunning place, I have MANY more posts to follow with more detials of our adventures. Some of these pics taken by my incredibly talented cousin, whose blog can be found here!
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