Tombs, Temples and Tasty crepes
Trip Start Jun 12, 2007
129Trip End Ongoing
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John says he's now pretty certain that there isn't one single traffic law left that we haven't violated - but hey, we haven't had a collision yet and that in itself is an art form!
The Hypogeum is one of Malta's most important historical sites. It is an underground temple and was discovered in 1902 when workers building new houses dug down to lay piping and accidentally broke through its roof. It is an underground network of passages, chambers and tombs and as usual with these sorts of places, there is a lot of mystery and guesses as to its true uses.
If you are interested, you can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypogeum_of_%C4%A6al-Saflieni
Photography is not allowed in there, so I have no photographs - I didn't take my camera in as I had read about it beforehand, but they take all bags, cameras etc. off of you on entry and lock them away for the duration of your visit, so they are serious about it.
I was really pleased that we booked, I enjoyed seeing it and the tour was very informative.
A block or so away from the Hypogeum stands the Tarxien Temples, so we make our way across to them. This site is above ground and consists of a series of four temples, linked by a courtyard. It is believed that the site was used heavily for rituals and in particular animal sacrifices due to the fact that lots of animal bones and flint blades were found in close proximity to the carved altar. It was definitely worth a look as we were in the area.
After the temples we decide to have a walk around Paola to see the town itself - the most impressive thing we come across (aside from the Hypogeum of course) is a kiosk selling sweet and savoury pancakes - we decide its not an option to walk past without sampling, so John orders a savoury one with peppers, sweetcorn, cabbage and mushrooms and I go for the sweet option of nutella, nuts, crushed biscuit and banana - John got his and devoured it before mine was anywhere close to being ready - simply because the two men in the kiosk were arguing over which one of them were going to get the bananas - which were evidently stored somewhere other than where they stood, it became a battle of wills and at the time I had no idea what was going on as they were arguing in Maltese. Finally one of them apologises to me and tells me that they were deciding who was going to get the bananas!!!! He obviously lost because it was him who disappeared and then reappeared a few minutes later with the goods. It tasted delicious once I got it, so all was well.
After this we went back to the car and decided to try and find a viewpoint in Senglea to take some photos of the harbour, then drove round the coast to Marsaskala and found a place to park up next to the sea where we got out for a bit. It had clouded over and was quite cold, so we went back and sat in the car with the windows wound down slightly so that we could listen to the voice of the Mediterranean sea. It was really relaxing sitting there just watching and hearing the waves rolling in - so we sat there for quite a while and then decided to start heading back towards the north of the island. We stop on the way where we find a deserted clifftop carpark and make our way down to the also deserted beach below. It had warmed up a bit again, so we went for a stroll along the cliff top - lovely fresh sea air.
Tomorrow we are thinking of hopping on the ferry across to the island of Gozo.