I always wanted to be a Gilmore Girl. To speak at a lightning speed, to be even quicker with a comeback and have an endless knowledge about all things pop culture. Most of all I wanted to live in a small town with quirky characters and town hall meetings. I actually still get that small town urge from time to time, often spurred by binge watching Gilmore Girls.
For a few days in July I got to live out my small town dreams in Malta, of all places. I went to Malta chasing the sun, not a small town experience. In fact the first few days in Malta gave me anything but small town vibes, I was surrounded by English families on holiday and hoards of teenagers getting drunk on cheap booze. It was once we moved to the smaller island of Gozo, I was transported to a world of small towns and local charm (quirky characters included).
We stayed in a lovely old farmhouse, in the small village of Xaghra. Tucked up in the hills above the beach. In just one day we became locales, and it was everything I dreamed.
We sat along side the old men on Sunday morning, watching the families head to church. We wandered the streets, waving to the bus drivers that had quickly become familiar faces. And we discussed the weather with new friends at the beach, who became accidental dinner companions.
In fact it was impossible not to become a familiar face in a small town like Xaghra. There are only a handful of restaurants and just one bus an hour.
It wasn’t just the friendly people and familiar faces, but something about the small winding streets of Malta that contributed to these small town vibes.
Mdina, a walled city back on the main island of Malta, is another tourist hot spot that some how still exuded small town charm. We arrived late in the afternoon, just as the narrow winding streets were emptying.
We could wander and explore almost uninterrupted as people lounged in their windows, soaking up the sun. We laughed and played peek-a-boo with kids through their living room window.
Maybe it’s my big city imagination or too many hours of Gilmore Girls, but these quiet dreamy towns of Malta will draw you in and make you feel like you’ve stumbled into a town worthy of Amy Sherman-Palladino. (I think it’s time to turn off the Gilmore Girls)