Greetings from Malta!
All is well here in Valletta, the capital of the Maltese archipelago and one of the sunniest cities in Europe, which we have indeed been blessed with thus far. Malta is a very dense place, one of the most densely-populated places in Europe, but also extraordinarily dense in a historical sense, featuring invasions and Templars and centuries of geopolitical intrigue.
But perhaps the most fascinating part thus far for me was our visit to Gozo Island and the awe-inspiring megalithic temples there. These structures were built some 6,000 years ago - making them older than most estimates of the Pyramids of Giza - by a neolithic civilization about which we know very little. It seems they may have been an Earth Goddess fertility cult, but that too remains shrouded in mystery.
There are local myths that the Ġgantija Temples on Gozo were built by giants...and with some of the stones here weighing over 50 tons, it almost seems more believable than by a neolithic people yet to discover the wheel.
I find these kind of places fascinating because they fill the mind with far more questions than answers, which is one of the core expansive mechanisms of travel. Who were they, what was the purpose, why here?
We are often quick to dismiss the ancient past as primitive or at a lower stage of evolution, enchanted as we are by the various technologies that hold our attention captive. But when you visit these incredible sites all over the world - Angkor Wat, the Pyramids, Machu Picchu, Teotihuacan, the temples here etc - you cannot help but get the sense that these ancient people knew and understood things that we have lost the ability to grasp today.
As we come to these places to interact with the energy here, the mind opens as we begin wonder about it all. We leave knowing more, but somehow also knowing less...which I guess is what keeps us travelling!
On that note, this week I'm pleased to release our 2024 Cyprus LiveAway, which you can find in your newsletter. About 1,700 km east of us here in Malta, Cyprus is another place with a long history of cultural interactions and exchanges, to go along with the natural beauty of its coastlines and mountain ranges.
You could join us for 2 or 4 weeks there or combine it with Malta and/or Madeira next year...the choice is yours. There's a $500 early booking bonus as well, if you're thinking about making plans for next winter relatively soon.
Beyond that, as we move into March we'll be doing first a webinar on Egypt, Israel and Jordan, as well as our LiveAways: Koh Samui 2024 release. Stay tuned for the next ones out of the pipeline, and do get in touch with Barb, Paula or myself should you have any questions.
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