Monday, November 15, 2010
One of the things I loved about visiting Malta was the variety of buildings and sites on this Mediterranean island. This is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mnajdra, a megalithic temple complex that dates to sometime around 3500 BC. We weren't there for an equinox to witness the sun lighting up one specific doorway, or for a solstice, when the sun lights up flanking megaliths, but we could climb around the complex, see the limestone megaliths and benches, and otherwise envision the place in its original setting. You can see there isn't any visitor center, or guard rails, or anything else to get in the way of the imagination—at least, there wasn't in 1999, when we visited. Now, I believe there is a tent to prevent further erosion, and guard ropes to direct tourist traffic. But when we visited we were the only ones there, and it was easy to imagine yourself in the middle of an ancient culture.