Posted on: March 03, 2017 Report by Barry & Maggie Watts - as featured on arenatravel.com - For the first time visitor to Malta the island is a revelation. From the moment you fly over Malta’s airport you are immersed in the island’s history. From the air the island’s geology seems simple; it is a golden limestone and virtually all the buildings are built of this material. Seven Neolithic temples built 1000 years before the Egyptian pyramids, churches, palaces and fortresses of all kinds most noticeably the huge fortifications built in the 16th Century by the Knights of St John seem to be grown organically from the base rock. Throughout history the island’s strategic position in the centre of the Mediterranean has made it a prize for a succession of occupying cultures from every part of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Today the population of the islands is a mix of all these cultures. The Maltese language is based on that of the earliest Arab inhabitants yet today most of the people speak English and many still consider themselves to be English regardless of Malta’s status as an independent member of the EU. As usual the bridge programme was interwoven with tours of this fascinating island. The tours to the three cities and Valletta were as popular as always but an impromptu tour to the island of Gozo was immensely successful. The db Seabank Resort + Spa is a holiday complex on Melieha Bay in the quiet North East of the island. The helpful and cheerful staff of the hotel came from all over the world, reflecting both the island’s complex history and their new membership of the EU. The holiday package was all-inclusive and the hotel produced high quality food and drink in several themed restaurants which helped evening bridge to flow and lengthened the post-match discussions in the bar! A wonderful place to relax and enjoy bridge.