The week around Easter I spent in the south of Europe, more specifically the small mediterranean island country Malta. With roughly 415,000 inhabitants it is not one of Europe’s most prominent and well-known, but if one takes into account geographic location, architecture, language (English is official language in parallel with Maltese), scenery and modern versus traditional layers of culture, then it is indeed one of the best locations that the Western hemisphere has to offer. My four main observations may indicate why I make that assertion.
1. It is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing
After visiting around 45 countries around the world (including more than 20 in Europe) I have seen a lot, and it does not take much of an effort to compare hard data, talk to several locals, and keep your eyes open and digest your impressions before you make value judgments about a particular location’s general quality. Especially if it is a smaller one.
Overall Malta is visually speaking quite impressive, and at the same level as the better parts of France, Italy and Spain in that regard. From the baroque-esque Old Town (Medina and Rabat are closely intertwined), to the capital Valletta’s imposing framing and manifold Catholic churches, viewpoints and gardens, to the Blue lagoon on Comino Island, and the majestic cliffs of Gozo, a variety of archaic eye candy manifests itself. The cloudless sky and temperatures well above 20 degrees Celsius, which emerge in April, serve to magnify this effect.
It is not hard to understand why the producers behind Game of Thrones chose Malta as one of the main shooting spots for the first season. Unfortunately the famous Azure Window has recently fallen, but the area in its entirety is nevertheless as impressive as ever before.
2. It is cheap for being a wealthy European country
Just as there are palpable differences between countries, there are also striking ditto within them. For being a first-world country—Malta’s economy has grown rapidly since the early 1990’s and it has been part of the Eurozone since 2008—overall it has fairly low price levels in a European context. Prices are roughly 50 percent of those of Norway and Switzerland, and about 60 percent in comparison to for instance UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Sweden. Perhaps Poland is its closest equivalent in this respect.
These differences will be mostly emphasized in transportation, accommodation, price of clothes and shoes, and consumption of local foodstuffs.
For example, a Tallinja card costs only 21 Euros for one week of bus travel, which is a very reasonable price, although of course many other countries or cities likewise offer reduced prices for seven days of local transportation. To travel with bus is not as pleasant as in Sweden or Germany, but overall it is safe and largely reliable.
3. The girls are beautiful
During my four days in Malta, I could not walk for more than 10 minutes before I saw 8s, and occasionally 9s, walking down the street or whatever location they popped up at. Anecdotal evidence is what it is but I still saw what I saw.
It could be that slim olive-skinned Sicilian waitress at the pizza restaurant, the 20-something Spanish girl who looked like a younger version of Scarlett Johansson swimming in the Blue lagoon, the stunningly beautiful young Maltese girl with dark long hair, the busty Arab in her late teens, the married ones with an elegant conservative aura, and occasionally some Scandinavian talent as well. The rare combination of a slim body and big breasts was particularly widespread.
Whether local or not, Malta is seriously brimming with hotties between 18–30 years old. Here one finds the quintessence of the Euro girl (90 percent of people, whether local or visitor, are European, while the rest consists mainly of Middle Eastern, Asian and black people).
Only better, being a moderately modern country (or in other words a hybrid of traditional and modern elements), it is one of those places where you see both younger and older men with better looking women at their side. The same short and out of shape 40 or 50-something guy, but likely with a good income, who struggles to land a 6 in the U.S. or UK, is calmly sauntering around with his hard 8 of a wife or girlfriend in the streets of Valletta or St. Julians.
4. Christianity is a living tradition
Both historically and currently, Malta is a country in which the Roman Catholic tradition is very distinctive and salient. 95 percent of Maltese people belong to the Roman Catholic church and about 53 percent attend Sunday services regularly.
During Easter, the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ took place as most shops and stores were closing down. Both older and younger people assembled in the beatific, even ethereal St. Paul’s cathedral, and watched the recurrent Via Dolorosa parade along the narrow streets of the capital.
If one is a Christian, Roman Catholic in particular, Malta could be a place to raise a more traditional family, while at the same time using the fertile soil for worldly success too. Regardless, just for the sake of cultural experience it is worth a visit around this time of the year.
Overall Malta appears to be a quite good country in many significant ways. Like with all locations there are upsides and downsides, but if one makes a list of them the totality will convey an overall message. Whether you are a young or experienced player, or an older male who disregards game, one should seriously consider a temporary or permanent relocation here.