We join guest poster Francesca Baker on her perfect day on the charming, eclectic island of Malta.
Waking to vibrant heat, I flick my feet out of bed onto the cool marble floor of my flat. I hear the babble of housewives who have been up since dawn, the local commotion, and my stomach growling, so I wander to the nearest pastizz shop, buying the ricotta-filled pastries for a pittance.
A rattling bus journey to the capital Valletta starts the day. This grand and imposing capital city built by the Knights of St John stands tall and magnificent, full of character in its steep streets.
Having wandered the markets, seen the guards reenactment at Fort St Elmo and checked out new and upcoming artists in St James Cavalier, a well-earned coffee in the square lets us rest our feet and watch the world go by.
All holidays need some culture for the soul, and so we head to old capital Mdina and its neighbouring town Rabat.
The silent city is exactly that, signs of life coming from the large iron door knockers, smells of tomatoes wafting from kitchens, and the occasional rumble of tourists.
In the Cathedral of St John the full scale of devotion and artistic talent of an island of 365 churches is shown, a glittering array of gold, sumptuous silks, rich colours, grand statues and mahogany structures elevating even the most doubtful of viewers to something of an experience.
A busy day in Malta never means a quiet night, and the evening is full of friends and families eating, drinking, and being merry. The area around Sliema and St Julians is my favourite for this.
A walk around the curving coast with its vista of an expanse of sea on one side and effervescing with chatter spilling onto pavements on the other is the perfect way to build an appetite.
In St Julian’s Bay we toy with various restaurants, fish, pasta and vegetable temptations in abundance, and in the end climb the couple of balconies to Terazza, a quality restaurant well known to the Maltese.
With a view of the brightly coloured traditional fishing boats, dghajsas and luzzus bobbing on the evening water, and the shimmering reflection of the Love statue falling on the water, we dig in to dinner.
Our meal tonight is Hobbs biz-zeit, the inimitable Maltese sourdough bread, rubbed in olive oil and topped with fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic and basil, fresh lampuki, a meaty fish only found in the waters and wash it down with a sweet Marsovin wine.
Tired, full, and fuzzy from the wine, with the moon up high and the still waters gently lapping the rocks, we walk back to the cool flat, and flop into bed. A perfect day in Malta.
Francesca Baker is incurably curious, explores everything she can and scribbles her thoughts as much as possible. Travel, music, art, literature, and the world generally excite her, and whilst she’d love to be a real life journalist and bona fide novelist, to keep paying the bills, shes’ doing it purely for the love.
Francesca runs a music magazine called It’s All Happening, a record label, and organises live music events and gigs across London. You can follow her personal blog at andsoshethinks.blog.com/or keep up with tweets at twitter.com/#!/cescaiah
Have you had a perfect day in Malta? Would you do anything differently? Tell us about it in the comments below.