Malta is a small European island country comprising an archipelago of few islands in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Sicily, with a population of only 416K. Making it one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries in the world.
Its capital city being Valletta, happens to be the smallest national capital in the European Union!
But, as tiny as this country may be: it is one that is full of some of the richest history you can find!
Going as far back as prehistoric and "prehistory" times!
It's absolutely mind boggling and quite a phenomenon, not to mention where you'll be delighted to find UNESCO sites such as: Megalithic Temples of Malta, Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni and Għar Dalam - all very impressive stuff and yet not anything that originally actually attracted me to this little island!
While you definitely won't find too many American tourists making their way to this multi-cultural destination, you'll find plenty of European travelers!
After all, not everyone is familiar with the country of Malta; I know that about 15 years ago I certainly wasn't familiar with it.
But as the story goes, it was when my sister was searching for somewhere to go on her anniversary (I was gifting her with a trip...I know, I'm just such a rockin' sister!)
She happened to come upon this gorgeous island with its blue lagoons, and I soon began to take notice!
Turns out that my sis opted to go to Hawaii, but that I couldn't get Malta out of my mind!
Fast forward to 2012, when I had planned a trip touring France, and while I was at it why not throw in a vacation within the vacation and go to Malta. How fun!
Everything was planned to the T, and everything was going according to plan - which always makes me happy!
The destination prior to heading to Malta was Eze (what an amazing time that we had and definitely a must for us to return to).
On the morning of our flight we had checked out, left with plenty of cushion time and inquired about directions to the Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (only a 11.9 mile drive - that takes 40 minutes due to the roads travelled on).
However quite early on our route, we took the Corniche going in the wrong direction!!!
Not a good start.
But we caught ourselves, turned around as quickly as possible and were soon headed in the correct direction.
Shortly into our drive I had realized that I left some of my travel books behind on the night stand beside my bed, so I called the hotel and asked that they hold onto my books until our return. This was hardly a problem. Unlike what we were about to encounter.
We continued on our way to the airport and upon our arrival, we were in search of the parking garage that we had reservations at.
It was still quite early in the morning and the roads were very quiet, but non-the-less not at all easy to navigate (even with the map and directions that we had).
We were lost and losing a whole lot of time!
Whether or not Dave knew it; I was stressin' - stressin' hard.
I had never in my life missed a flight, and I certainly didn't want to make this my first time!
Time was running short and so was my breath. We finally make a few right turns and successfully arrived at the parking garage, but with little to no time to spare.
When we exited the lot on foot, with our luggage in tow, the plan was originally to walk the 10-15 minute walk to the terminal - but at this point we literally had no time for this.
Especially with the possibly that we could very well get lost again!
We needed a taxi and we needed one FAST.
But like I said, there were absolutely no cars on the road a this hour.
I knew what I had to do - go into the nearest hotel and have them call us a cab!
Which is exactly what I did! And without making this swift move - there would've been no chance that we could make our flight!
The taxi arrived within minutes and of course he knew the fastest way to the terminal. With no time to spare, and us thinking that we were definitely going to miss this flight, we had jumped out of the car and ran up to the check in counter for Air Malta.
Luckily and quite surprisingly there was no line, and they were waiting for us!
With the flight leaving in only 8 minutes I don't quite know how we did it, but we made it - out of breath and completely a bundle of nerves, we rushed to the gate and boarded the plane in complete disbelief that we had actually made it. Whew.
Our next surprise was that the steering wheel was on the right side of the car...which only meant one thing! While Dave had experience in driving on the opposite side of the road, it usually came with some mental prep time.
So we were both laughing quite hysterically at the way this day had gone so far and we had only just landed. And the fun was only about to begin!!