Oldest Ruins on Earth
Trip Start Aug 01, 2005
141Trip End Dec 15, 2005
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This morning we went out to the Hagar Qim ruins. They are the oldest ruins of a free standing structure ever found on Earth. Some of them date back to around 4000BC or so. I believe that the earliest inhabitants of Malta arrived about 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. The ruins aren't very big. I'd say they maybe have a footprint equal to the size of 2 American homes
A little ways down the hill was another set of ruins (Mnajdra Temples), some dating back also to near 4000BC. It was a set of 3 ruins, some only dating back a few hundred years, with others going back all the way. Not much was left of the oldest one, and much of that had been reconstructed. There were 5 original stones still standing, one containing some dots that scientists believe may be a primtive form of numbers or counting. Some of the doorways on this set were constructed so that the rising sun would be directly cenetered on the equinox and at the exact edge of the door frame on the solstice. There really weren't too many tourists at these temples. It was fairly quiet. An old man was at the entrance to the temple area greeting everyone with a hoarse 'hello' and pointing them up the path.
Adjacent to the temples is the rocky coastline. All of the rocks near this coast have been weathered by wind for so long that they are extremely sharp and jagged
We rode the bus to the next stop called the "Blue Grotto" where we paid LM2.50 for a 20 minute boatride along the coast looking at the grottos and sea caves. The 'Blue Grotto' proper is known because the water looks exceptionally blue and objects you submerge in the water look blue as well. The rocks at the water level were all colored purple. I think this is from some residue that floats around in the water nearby.
I'm getting better at riding the bus but I still got off 10 minutes away from my hostel. The bad part was, it took me 20 minutes to figure out which direction to walk! By tomorrow I'll have it down, but tomorrow we're staying at a different place up the street. I had fish and chips at a local country club for LM1.65. It was a fairly big meal and well worth the price I'd say. My companion had a vegetarian pizza for LM1.95 that was the size of a medium US pizza and had more vegetables than any I'd ever seen. Of course, this is Europe so it was made fresh for us.
Back here at the hostel I've spent maybe the last 2 hours or more talking to a British guy staying in my room. He seems about my age and is here vacationing with his girlfriend. He's been to Cuba and worked in the US one summer so we had quite a bit to talk about.