So This One Time in Malta… it was warmer outside than it was inside.
What’s one thing that Canadians shouldn’t be asked to live a winter without and that the Maltese lack? No, not underground heated parking nor Tim Hortons… but central heating. As I write this, my housemmate and I are sitting on the couch with our hot water bottles (which we replenish religiously) and blankets… and even finger-less gloves. The struggle is real! Roll your eyes all you want, but Malta is actually cold… and I’m as surprised as you are! No central heating or insulation and tile flooring doesn’t help fend off the cold weather either. So when it’s warmer outside than inside, we go outside.
Getting out for a walk or trek has been a great activity during the winter so far. A long walk warms you up quickly and is a great way to see more of the country side. Last weekend we did a long walk around Kuncizzjoni, which is on the south coast of the island. From here, we had views of the sea and the sandy beaches of Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha. We ended the hike by tail gating with some hot tea. It was pretty windy during our trek, but a sunny day nonetheless!
Yesterday, we walked from Mosta to Chadwick Lakes. Any outdoorsy person would probably refer to these as swamps, or large, shallow puddles if you will.. but the Maltese do as they do (jk, I’m sure it had a significant amount of water at some point). The Chadwick Lakes are located below the village of Imtarfa, which neighbours Mdina and Rabat. Our walk took us around 2-3 hours and we walked almost 12 kilometers! We felt quite accomplished for a Saturday!
After coming home from a long walk, the house seems a little bit warmer and more enjoyable sans fingerless gloves. We have a gas heater in the house, which we put in each of our rooms just before bed.. really couldn’t live without it!
A side note from this lack of central heating… Did you know that Malta was defined as a developing country up until the day it joined the EU in 2004? Check out this article written by a Canadian living in Malta a couple years ago. It was published in the Canadian magazine, Outpost. ‘My Life in Malta: The Challenges of Living in a Developing Country’ lists some of the aspects of Malta that make it almost culturally indistinguishable from areas of North Africa and the Near East. He doesn’t mention the heating issue in the winters, but every point he has is quite true. Have a read!
Hope everyone is cozy back home!