How’s things in Malta

Originally uploaded by apes_abroad.

There hasn’t been much to post about, as Colin and I have both been hiding away in our apartment in Rabat, Malta, and working on our games. Actually I’m working on two simultaneously: I got frustrated with Rebuilder which needs tweaks and graphics but no real programming, so I dusted off my old project Beeble World (now Keeple Island) which is now running nicely in AS3 with sockets, revamped map system and world building tools. Still may never release it but you never know. Colin is toying with variations of the key controls of Clutter and says the game is starting to really come together.

The fireworks I can see from my desk have continued day and night in half a dozen cities, in fact I can hear them starting again now. I think Malta is having one month-long celebration just for us. :) We’ve pulled out the couch bed and are in full lounge mode this evening, resting after a long day visiting Malta’s smaller island Gozo. We rented a scooter and drove from bay to bay, swimming and snorkeling and sunning ourselves on rocks. Like I said, exhausting! We also checked out Gozo’s capital city Victoria which was nice and quiet, until the church bells start a-clanging. They lasted about 10 minutes each time, not seeming to mark a particular hour or anything. Maybe it’s just like the fireworks, letting everybody know it’s still saint’s feast season.

What else have we done in the last two weeks… hmm. We’ve gone on some long walks, explored Rabat and Mdina and the dusty farm roads and little villages nearby. We had a tour of the Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni, a prehistoric underground necropolis carved out of the rock with only stone and bone tools. You could still see where they painted the ceiling (5000 year old paint!) in some places. Unfortunately researchers know very little about the builders and they kept saying “we don’t know what this room/hole/etc was used for, isn’t that mysterious”. I wanted answers! The site was seriously restricted to prevent damage from light or co2 from breathing, so they only let a handful of people in every day and you have to scurry along with the guide before the lights go out behind you. Atmosphere it had, but the lack of information was disappointing. However, it got me all interested in the ancient history of Malta and Europe. It’s astounding how many times Malta has been conquered by different groups because of its strategic position in the Mediterranean.

Oh and I found out Saqqajja is pronounced ‘Sah-ahyah’.


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