This year we were going to celebrate Christmas in Malta, a small island just south of Sicily at the sourthern tip of Italy.We arrived late at night and found a lovely hotel room with a huge bed.
Click each photo to enlarge
Roger was delighted that we would be staying at the Hilton.
"Five star hotels for five star bears..."
Grange was a new bear in our gang of travelling bears. He was a gift bear from the Grange Hotels in London to one of our humans.
"So, what d'ya think of Hilton?" Tom asked.
"Lovely, I'll grant you that," said Grange, "...and almost like Grange Hotels..."
It was nearly Christmas and the sun was blaring down. One of the days McBear and
Roger enjoyed the sunbeds. As a polar bear, Roger needed to cool down regularly
but at least the swimmingpool wasn't far away...
Much of Malta is residential areas around the capital Valetta. New houses were shooting up everywhere due to the increasing number of tourists invading the island.
We rented a car as we wished to explore Malta and its neighbouring
island, Gozo. We sat down in the hotel lobby with McBear's laptop and
started to study the road network on Google Maps.
Winter solstice marks the annual time, when the Sun is at its lowest point on the northern hemisphere, and in ancient times the people used the solstice as a starting point for the calendar.
The ancient people of Malta built some temples to help them settle the
calendar days. We wished to visit the temple of Mnajdra on the south coast, so
we got up one very early morning and tried to navigate our way to Mnajdra in
the dark. Phew, it was hard work to find our way as the road signs wasn't always
Here were in Mnajdra at sunrise on the 21st December. The rectangular rock behind us is lit up by the first rays of the Sun.
We needed a selfie for our website...
Next day we did some more trial and error to find our way to Rabat and the old walled city of Imdina.
Here were are at the city limit sign at Ir-Rabat.
The old walled city of Imdina is protected by a severe wall thickness. People passing by noticed us, the Travelling Bears...
"I don't mind being a celebrity," Roger said.
Malta is associated with the Knights of St. John's. Our very own Roger
saw himself as a knight, and Roger could see himself having been a great
knight in a past bear life...
Many of the houses in Imdina dates back to the 16th hundreds. Here we are in front of the old cathedral.
To get to the capital of Malta, Valetta, we took the bus. Valetta has
a great natural harbour and several fortresses. Here we are on top of one
of the bastions.
Many of the streets in Valetta are narrow and very steep. In midieaval times this made it easier to defend the city because it made it difficult for the enemy to move forward.
We made a stop in Ix-Xewkija and climbed the stairs up the bell tower. The view was fantastic.
We went to a small village on the south coast called Xlendi. Like many
other towns and villages on the island, financially Xlendi depends on tourists.
Before returning to Malta, the main island, we went to visit the Azure Window. The arch is formed by wind and weather, and it's deteriorating because it's made of sandstone which is a soft stone.