The Time of Our Lives

by David Mamo
(Sydney, Australia)

Comino

Comino

Comino Golden Sands Mellieha Xlendi



As the son of Maltese immigrants to Australia in the 1950's I had always been told what a wonderfully diverse and interesting place Malta was, with thousands of years of history, ancient ruins, beautiful beaches and a wonderful climate.

The friendly people guaranteed to make all tourists, especially the ones returning home to the country of birth of their parents, very welcome.

And so I travelled with my wife, a fifth generation Australian and two sons, for not only an adventure but a journey back to my roots and a chance to show my boys where our family had come from.

I am happy to say it was all true!

From the Grand Harbour to the Prehistoric temples, to the Norman architecture and Grand Masters' Palace, the country oozes history.

If that is not enough, then the wealth of museums and the ancient cities of Valletta, Mdina and Victoria will surely impress.

Perhaps beautiful churches and Catholic history are more your style?

The elaborate architecture and frescos and cathedrals are sure to impress as will the catacombs and almost daily religious festas in the summer.

Did I mention the weather? It can be summed up in one word ... GREAT!

Warm and sunny days are the norm with little or no rain and only light clothing needed when we were there in the summer and autumn.

The water temperature was also a treat. The warm sea water always took the sting out of a dip in the beautifully clean sea.

I also had a lot of fun visiting the government offices and many of the local parish churches where I was able to seek the help of locals and parish priests in tracing back my ancestral roots. I got back as far as the 16th century on both my mother and father's side and hope to learn even more details on my next visit.

The sample of local transport was also interesting. Riding on an assortment of buses with all the Catholic icons on display made one feel safe with Jesus, Mary and Joseph as well as a variety of saints looking over you.

Other modes of transport included boat and ferry rides as well as inexpensive car hire and you could always have a ride on the Karozzin (or horse drawn carriage) for something completely different.

If none of that is of interest, then don’t fear. We loved our daily walks along the Sliema waterfront, especially at night where the city lights, safe atmosphere and the buzz of other tourists from all over the world added to the whole experience.

I know what you are thinking. Sounds interesting but where is the fun?

Well for me, it’s the island life with the spectacular Mediterranean Sea within easy access of literally everywhere. This means swimming in the crystal blue waters of places like the Blue Grotto, Ghar Lapsi, the Sliema sea front, St Georges Bay and the sandy beaches of Armier, Paradise Bay, Golden Sands, Mellieha Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha … this makes me want to go back again and again!

The afternoon that we spent in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk soaking up the atmosphere and sampling all the seafood delights on offer was another highlight.

Don't fear however if you are not too adventurous with your food as the cosmopolitan nature of the island means that food from the four corners of the world is on offer and you can even pick up some McDonalds, KFC or Hungry Jacks.

I preferred to stick with the Lampuki, pastizzi, timpana and "fenek" or rabbit in red wine sauce as my culinary experience.

Arguably though, we saved the best for last.

Our day trip by boat to the island of Comino for a day of swimming, sun bathing and pretending to be rich, swimming among million dollar yachts was heaven!

So if you are looking for history, culture, great weather, the beauty of the sea and a people that make you feel at home, then Malta is the place to go!

Now I know what my parents were talking about when they said that everything you would ever want in a holiday destination was available in Malta and all within a tiny, easy to get around island that allowed you to do it all.



This story was one of 5 finalist stories in our first I LOVE MALTA CONTEST.


Comments for The Time of Our Lives

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Jul 22, 2017
Add it to your bucket list
by: Anonymous

After reading this story I feel that I need to add Malta to my bucket list, I FEEL THE URGE TO EXPERIENCE all that Malta has to offer.

Aug 07, 2011
Mr
by: Marc Romano

Great article! Malta is now on my must visit list.

Jul 26, 2011
The tradition lives on
by: Ray Fenech

Hope to get there one day.

Jul 26, 2011
Great memories!
by: Mark

David's story brought back terrific memories for me. I look forward to taking my family to Malta soon. I know that they will enjoy it just as much as I did and as David shows through this terrific article.

Jul 26, 2011
Another venue I now want to visit
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the information. This is now another location to add to my bucket list. You have my vote.

Jul 26, 2011
Fantastic
by: Leonel

Thank you David for sharing it all with us, you get my vote.

The way you describe it was just perfect, and now I know more about Malta.

Thank you.

Jul 26, 2011
I think I have to go!
by: Anonymous

Sounds like one for the family when we are in the neighbourhood next time.

Excellent read too. I really enjoyed that.

Abby

Jul 25, 2011
A true story
by: Kylie Mulholland

Great story, loved the writing, gets my vote.

Jul 25, 2011
Did he or did he not
by: Anonymous

Having said all that, did your parents ever return to the island or was it too expensive a trip for them?

Not many visitors experience all you have in such a short vacation, but I guess it's good to know how to use a computer nowadays as all about anywhere can be found on different sites .....

Good luck from a daygo [well that's what you call us in Aussie land isn't it?]

Jul 25, 2011
Must Visit
by: Doug

I have to go there sometime.

Jul 25, 2011
Malta here we come
by: Anonymous

Sounds a great place to visit. Well written article.

Jul 25, 2011
Wish List
by: Anonymous

Definitely putting a trip to Malta on my wish list.

Jul 25, 2011
Great Story!!!
by: Andrew Felice

Brought back memories of my trip to Malta.

Jul 25, 2011
Amazing!!
by: Hayley

Sounds like an amazing place - have never been but will be visiting now!

Jul 25, 2011
Time to travel
by: Tina

Would never have thought to visit Malta but will add that to our next holiday plans.

Jul 25, 2011
Convinced
by: Anonymous

Was thinking of going to Malta now I'm convinced.

Jul 25, 2011
It made me smile.
by: Russell Chadwick

Made me feel like I was back in Malta, well done.

Jul 25, 2011
Malta
by: Mark C

Awesome story.

Jul 24, 2011
Great Story
by: Anonymous

Great story and very interesting.

It's always great to hear about places that don't always get as much publicity as others.

Jul 24, 2011
Sounds really good
by: Heather

Malta sounds really good, have not been but will certainly think about it after reading your article.

Jul 24, 2011
Lively malta
by: Anonymous

You should have been a travel agent!!! Great read.

Jul 24, 2011
Great
by: Marie-Claire

I visited Malta some years ago, and after reading your story I wish to go back to that marvellous place.

Jul 24, 2011
Malta Trip
by: John Davies

Looks fantastic. Must get down there.

Jul 24, 2011
The Time Of Our Lives
by: Miriam Mamo

Hi, well to tell you the truth it's a very interesting story and it's very nice. Well done.

Jul 24, 2011
Fantastic
by: Lucy

You make me want to go!!!!!

Jul 24, 2011
Comment on 'The Time of Our Lives'
by: Anonymous

Detailed account of the island and what you can do there. Well done, David!

Jul 24, 2011
Malta here I come
by: Anonymous

I feel like packing my bags and flying off - so much happening in such a small place. Sounds like the perfect vacation.

Jul 23, 2011
Travel bug
by: CW

Adding to my wish list

Jul 23, 2011
Excellent Written Work
by: Mary J Cassar

Thank you for a well written peice about the country of my heritage.

I can't wait to return and share the experience with my daughter. You have made me realise there is still so much to discover, even after three previous visits!!

Jul 23, 2011
Memories
by: Cathy W

Brings back nice memories of my two visits. Looking forward to sharing them with my family sometime.

Jul 23, 2011
The time of your lives!
by: Jamie Digwood

Best profile of a destination I have read for some time, would now seriously consider visiting as I have never been but the description of the sea, sun and cuisine has tempted me!

Jul 23, 2011
Marvellous
by: Anonymous

Malta here we come!!!!!!!!!!

Jul 23, 2011
New
by: M

This is a new destination for me, I would love to go and see it.

Jul 22, 2011
AMAZING
by: Nata

I will add MALTA to my bucket list!!

Jul 22, 2011
Awesome
by: Ken

I hope you win. Good luck!

Jul 22, 2011
Can't wait!
by: Anonymous

Awesome! Makes me want to visit now!!

Jul 22, 2011
A true reflection
by: Anne-Marie

David's experiences and telling of them mirrors my own.

I am also of Maltese heritage and fortunate to have travelled there many times, and off again in 8 weeks!

I love the beautiful warmth of the Mediterranean sea, the Sliema waterfront walk up to St Julians, the hot sun in summer time.

Well done David!

Jul 22, 2011
Makes me want to go for my next holiday
by: Anonymous

I loved it so exciting to hear, am booking for my next trip!

Jul 22, 2011
Very well done
by: paul

It's well described and it sure is a good advert for more people to visit the sunny island of Malta ...

Jul 22, 2011
Malta here I come
by: Anonymous

I can say that I never thought to go to Malta, but after reading this it sure sounds like a place I would love to visit.

Thanks.

Jul 22, 2011
Love the story!
by: Anonymous

Great story, would love to see Malta one day!!

Jul 22, 2011
Malta here I come!
by: Deb

What an amazing description of a place I know little about! Definitely adding Malta to my itinerary next year when I head overseas!

Jul 22, 2011
uplifting
by: Anonymous

An interesting, lively story, which makes one want to go to Malta a.s.a.p.

Jul 22, 2011
Story
by: Anonymous

This is a very intriguing story and compels me to travel to Malta.

Jul 22, 2011
Lovely story
by: Anonymous

Lovely story!

Jul 22, 2011
Malta mania
by: Linda K

Can't wait to go myself :)

Jul 22, 2011
Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by: Anonymous

I have been in Malta some years ago and I fell in love with this beautiful island.

Hope to be able to go back one day!!!!!

Jul 22, 2011
Back to your Roots
by: Doris Zammit

It seems that you were mesmerised by the country of your ancestors.

I hope that this will help you to pass on the information to your children and grand children and friends. I'm sure that you will be back in the near future.

Keep up the good work and good luck.

Jul 22, 2011
You summed it up well alright
by: Brian D

It is amazing how you have managed to sum up 'the Maltese experience' in a few paragraphs.

As a recent migrant to Australia I can vouch for the authenticity with which you have described my native country.

Definitely better than any tourism office blurb!

Jul 22, 2011
REALLY INTERESTING
by: Anonymous

Beautifully set-up. Well done.

Christian


Jul 22, 2011
Wow! that was fantastic
by: Vicky

Never thought about visiting Malta! But after reading this, I can't wait to get there.

Jul 22, 2011
Very well described
by: mary feraudAnonymous

All you said about Malta is true.

Malta is really a jewel in the Meditteranean sea. It boasts of excellent climate, holidaying there is cheap and there is always entertainment for young and old.

Well done David.

Jul 21, 2011
The Jewel of the Mediterranean
by: Catherine Grech

David cogratulations on your discovery of the Mediterranean jewel. Your description is embedded in the hearts of all Maltese living abroad and all those that have visited the Islands.

There is nowhere else in the world that has such Phoenician history still in existence, the buzz of discovery in every corner of the Maltese Islands, the abundance of atmosphere and the feeling of being welcomed.

I wish you all the very best for the competition.

Jul 21, 2011
Could not have said it better myself!
by: Lauren

When you are of Maltese heritage it feels like you have come home when you go there for a holiday.

Many people around the world don't know that Malta even exists, which is such a shame because of its rich history.

We all need to be proud of being Maltese!

Jul 21, 2011
When can we go
by: Tracey M

What doesn't Malta offer? A wonderful piece of persuasive writing, when can we go?

Jul 21, 2011
Been there done that
by: Emanuel Camilleri

As a writer I cherish your thoughts and experiences.

As a Maltese who emigrated during the 1960's I have been to Malta numerous times and I never stop wondering how lucky we are to have such a jewel of a country, small as it might be, it possesses a wealth of history, architecture and prehistoric temples.

And let us not forget that brave nation that helped Malta win the George Cross.

Jul 21, 2011
Beautiful country
by: marieclare mamo el abdullah

It's a beautiful country and it's a jewel in the Mediterrean sea. I live there.

Jul 21, 2011
David you have described the jewel of the Mediterranean
by: Anonymous

I have started a project for the exact reason you have written about, for the youth abroad to experience and trace their grandparents' foot steps.

In 2012 other second generation Maltese will experience what you have described.

Visiting Malta is just like stepping into a live history book. I am glad you had the privilege to visit.

Jul 21, 2011
David's Malta
by: Anonymous

Great read!

I didn't realise there was so much to that little place. Malta is certainly on my holiday radar now.

Rob TJ

Jul 21, 2011
Wish I was there!
by: M De Carlo

David your story sums up the beauty and warmth of our Maltese Islands in many ways. It instils the desire to visit again and again.

Great writing style too.

Jul 21, 2011
Malta is now on my radar
by: Cate.S

I had never considered Malta as a holiday destination before, but David's story has put Malta on my radar.

I see that Malta has a bit of everything you could want. History, spectacular scenery, culture and fabulous food.

Jul 20, 2011
A great recap!
by: Anonymous

What a great read, sounds like a beautiful holiday destination!!

We are planning a trip to Europe in the next 12 months and will definitely be planning some time here.

Jul 20, 2011
Fabulous
by: lan

What a fabulous destination, I will have to add it to my itinerary.

Jul 20, 2011
Great place
by: Anonymous

I wish I can go there.

Jul 20, 2011
Fabulous fun!!
by: Rebecca Clark

Sounds divine, a place I haven't yet traveled to but would love to now!!

Jul 20, 2011
Great description
by: Anonymous

Great travel review, you make me want to go there now!

Jul 20, 2011
The Jewel of the Mediterranean
by: Jane Borg

What a truly great review! I agree with what you've said. Yet all you've done is give them a glimpse of what the Maltese Islands have to offer. Great!

Jul 20, 2011
How Wonderful!
by: A King

What an exciting read. Will include Malta in our next trip.

Jul 19, 2011
FANTASTIC!
by: Jo P

You've convinced me - this is my next holiday destination!

Jul 19, 2011
It is a great adventure.
by: Patricia Q

Well said. Memories of my holiday just came flooding back!

David has really captured Malta's spirit.

6 trips to Malta later and I still want to go back. There is always more and more to see and new little swimming spots to discover.


Jul 19, 2011
Very interesting story!
by: Lola

Something for everyone to explore and experience the diversity of Malta.

The perfect place to holiday!!!

Jul 19, 2011
Great Memories
by: Pauline

I have been to the country on many occasions and your story brings back many memories.

Well done.

Jul 19, 2011
Time of our lives
by: Carmel

A very interesting and moving story.

Jul 19, 2011
When in Malta
by: Billy P

You have mades the sparkle of the jewel called Malta shine even brighter. A place to visit on my holiday list.

Cheers.

Jul 19, 2011
Been there! Done that!
by: Albert V

Everything was described so eloquently and the visions of my last holiday come flooding back.

Malta is truly a tourist destination in the heart of the Mediterranean. We are definitely going back.

Jul 19, 2011
The Place to Go!
by: Kevin Tuitu'u

I enjoyed David's story. I thought that it was a fully rounded story of someone returning home and finding the beauty there for the first time.

It has planted within me a desire to visit Malta myself one day.

Jul 18, 2011
Great story
by: Anonymous

I wish I was there, great story.

Jul 18, 2011
The Time of Our Lives - by D. Mamo
by: Ana Campos

It was wonderful to read about David and his family's experiences of visiting his homeland.

It was so inspiring that it has made me want to visit mine too.

Ana Campos

Jul 18, 2011
Next on my Travel Wish List!
by: Mariella

Wow! What a wonderful story. It really captures the atmosphere and joy of visiting a little bit of heaven.

Jul 18, 2011
A great place on Earth
by: joe

It is a brilliant story about a person and his relation with the place.

Jul 18, 2011
Sounds gorgeous
by: Meredith

I can picture myself there right now!!!!

Jul 18, 2011
Take me next time!
by: Cathy C

What a fantastic travel destination!! I will certainly add it to my favourite wishlist of holidays.

Jul 18, 2011
Makes me want to visit Malta ASAP!!!
by: Pedro

Sounded great David. Even though it's an out of the way European destination, I would possibly consider visiting Malta in the near future!

Jul 18, 2011
Well done!
by: Tony and Iris

This is very well written and all true. Even after being in Australia fore 55 years, this story makes us want to go back.

We know that people from England, Germany, Russia etc all love going there.

Jul 18, 2011
Great holiday idea
by: Anonymous

Makes me want to visit Malta.

Jul 18, 2011
THE MEDITERRANEAN!
by: Joe

What a great experience. Just got back from a similar experience in the Mediterranean. Malta my next stop.

Jul 18, 2011
Great story
by: Anonymous

What a top story!

Jul 17, 2011
Great
by: Anonymous

Loved it. Sounds great! Has given me the motivation to go and I plan to do everything you suggested.

Jul 17, 2011
Wow
by: Diane

It sounds amazing. Great place to holiday!

Jul 17, 2011
Great memories
by: Anonymous

Wow, this story definitely is 100% true, because I have been there myself and can't wait to get back there, this time with my children!

After reading David's story, it will definitely be sooner rather than later .....

Jul 17, 2011
HOPE THIS ONE WINS
by: sandra lopes

Fantastic story with interesting details.

Jul 17, 2011
Sounds beautiful
by: Lauren

Think I need to head there now for a holiday from everything!!!

Jul 17, 2011
Enticing
by: Anthony

Great review! Definitely makes me want to visit.

Jul 17, 2011
Fun times
by: marianna

I agree, wish I was there now!!

Jul 17, 2011
Great story!
by: Marty

Makes me want to take my family there too! Thanks :-)

Jul 17, 2011
A bit of everything
by: Anonymous

Malta really sounds like the perfect holiday destination ... easy to get around, sight seeing, sunbaking on beautiful beaches, great food ... it certainly does sound very inviting!

Jul 17, 2011
Want to go!
by: Mick

This story makes me want to go - NOW!

Jul 12, 2011
Great Reading
by: Sean

I think you summed up Malta pretty well at the end there. It's a perfect holiday destination.

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