For You Blue

Blue Lagoon Malta

‘There is no blue without yellow and without orange’ – Vincent Van Gogh

Malta, for me, was all about the colours. The sandy buildings in the ancient cities contrasted perfectly with the vivid blues of the sea. Spring was the perfect time to visit as the temperature was ideal and the landscape hadn’t yet been stripped of its flora. The transport system was absolutely fantastic. We paid under 2 euros for a whole day’s pass on the local bus network which took us around the island. Definitely not worth shelling out for taxis! Given Malta’s size, there is a surprisingly large amount to see and do! I’ll run through our highlights briefly:

1. Blue Lagoon, Comino – accessed via a ferry from the north of the Island. Pretty busy in the heat of the day though so time your visit carefully to avoid the crowds! Definitely must be done though. Hopefully the pictures speak for themselves but, in case they don’t, it boasted the clearest, bluest water that I have seen in a very long time – perhaps not since the Maldives!

11008809_10153195171309360_7161878960287855246_o 11128580_10153195171719360_8276852425102833067_o 10560536_10153195206934360_7926167054573598491_o 11169760_10153195170099360_8181220001336498399_o 11157569_10153195206864360_1594239214835281655_o 11000558_10153195206189360_2583617390723408711_o

2. Mdina – a spectacular, ancient fortified city which served as the country’s capital until 1530. We arrived as the light was fading so could experience the city being lit up by lanterns. A fantastically authentic experience.

11149713_10153195215724360_3035130355954040451_o 11154953_10153195216239360_3561300663171553027_o

The lavish Maltese coffee speciality

The lavish Maltese coffee speciality


3. The hiking path for the west coast beaches down from Golden Bay.

11154652_10153195208619360_5409054773577348234_o 11021531_10153195208299360_9154543374893797460_o 11174743_10153195211519360_300638740425254251_o 11206563_10153195211444360_4403370323137677335_o 11118363_10153195209144360_3537350592702253772_o

Slightly further north up the west coast you bump into ‘Popeye village’ in Anchor bay, the film set for the film which has been perfectly preserved and turned into a tourist attraction. We didn’t go into the village itself as we arrived quite late in the evening, but was great fun just to get a peek!


4. The ‘three cities’ and the capital, Valetta. Think ‘Game of Thrones’. Very eye-catching and dramatic scenes!

11154944_10153195218209360_9214492210177166257_o 11060931_10153195217634360_2102456374324683873_o 11160639_10153195219099360_4034703315577602417_o 11149755_10153195219379360_3162990631619074071_o 11194387_10153195218494360_8480075112107177943_o 11206823_10153195169884360_4047910874743498657_o

Thought I'd finish on this rather enthusiastic not-so-medieval carriage driver!

Thought I’d finish on this rather enthusiastic not-so-medieval carriage driver!

Tiptoe Through The Tulips/ Trampled Underfoot

Tulips Keukenhof

Unfortunately I’ve dropped the ball in terms of keeping up to date – this trip to Holland to celebrate mum’s birthday took place in the middle of April. I’ve let exams (and further trips) keep me weighed down so there’s a fair bit of catching up to do! Also, as I’ve previously mentioned, it is far more difficult to keep up to date when I’m in (good) company! I’ve been fortunate enough to head out on three little adventures since my last post which all merit attention but, first things first, Holland in tulip season.

Tulips Holland IMG_2344

We arranged to stay in yet another Airbnb apartment. This one, however, was a little different! The five of us (the family together with the exception of my little brother) headed out to the outskirts of Amsterdam where a beautiful barge was waiting for us. The stay definitely expanded my ‘Airbnb’ horizons as I’d not considered that such ‘alternative’ options would be so readily available. After acclimatising to the gentle rocking it was a fantastically exciting place to stay, with swans popping up at the windows in the evenings and friendly ducks resting on our decking in the morning.


Amsterdam itself seemed to me like a hybrid of Copenhagen and Berlin. Beautiful canals and those iconic narrow buildings yet slightly more dampened, in terms of the colour pallet, when compared directly to Copenhagen. Those looking for the famous ‘cafés’ would not be disappointed – the smell of Cannabis seems just around every corner. The red light district similarly lives up to its ‘no holds barred’ reputation! Wouldn’t recommend for families with small children but for anyone who is remotely curious – I’ve never seen anything like it! For slightly less risqué adventures – try exploring the quaint delft shops dotted about the city. There are also many notable museums and art galleries – My highlight was the tragic but fascinating Van Gogh museum.


IMG_1968 IMG_1998 IMG_2008 IMG_1953

Now, the main reason we had opted for Holland at this time of year was, of course, the tulips. We arranged a trip to the world famous Keukenhof gardens and were completely taken aback by the ridiculous queues to get onto the public transport. By ‘ridiculous’ I mean a lady working there told us the queue we were looking at couldn’t possibly be for Keukenhof as the buses went from round the corner of the next building. 100 additions to the queue later we established that it was, indeed, our queue. It was over an hour shuffling, penguin fashion, before we caught sight of these gold-dust buses.

And that was just the beginning.

The gardens themselves were quite possibly the busiest tourist attraction I have been to in my life. The only experience that comes close is being cow-herded through the Vatican. I tried my best to capture pictures of the stunning gardens with as few people in as possible but this was only achievable if you were within 20cm of the actual flowers. Luckily it did quieten down a little later in the evening as it drew towards closing time.

IMG_2113 IMG_2306

The tulip fields surrounding the gardens, in my opinion, were equally stunning. Yet unfortunately the crowds had begun to spill out into them as well!

The tulip fields surrounding the gardens, in my opinion, were equally stunning. Yet unfortunately the crowds had begun to spill out into them as well!

IMG_2288 IMG_2382


The magical moment when the crowds had dissipated before closing time.


Overall, yes the gardens were unquestionably beautiful, but do not go imagining the gardens to be the idyllic peaceful masterpieces you see in the brochures. I’d definitely recommend timing your visit to as close towards closing time as possible!