Friday, 4 August 2017

32 days to Island Interludes. Introducing Malta.

Another day, another place, another island. 

"What is it that draws us to the islands with their varied history, cultures, and geographical interests? Is it because we are from an island race?"
Malta lies in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily (which is where our story starts). A tiny island it is though, a brave island.
There are many places to explore on the island from craft centres, to ancient cities such as Mosta and Mdina, to bustling harbours to name a few. Valletta is the capital of Malta; it has seen many battles over the centuries. 

Fascinating Valletta.

A short excerpt: "‘We are now in Valletta.’
A horse-drawn carriage was patiently waiting by an archway for customers – a good way to get

A view of Valletta from across the harbour. It looks like it is on an island.around the city. Well, the horse was waiting patiently. The horse-drawn carriages are called ‘Karozzin’ which was the Maltese traditional mode of transport.
Our first impression of the city was how mellow and untouched the buildings looked. We learned that after the bombing and destruction during the Second World War where it was almost razed to the ground, it was rebuilt to look like its former self.
On the bus, we had turned in towards the sea, passing through Floriana before reaching Valletta. Valletta juts out from the coast with many creeks and bays on either side. It is a fortress city and ‘built on the rock of Mount Sciberras Peninsula, which rises steeply from two deep harbours; the Marsamxett Harbour and the Grand Harbour.’ A triple archway led to the busy streets of the city. Strolling through the Valletta City Gate a banner on an archway proclaimed:
VALLETTA. Belt ta’ Patrimonju Dinji
A World Heritage City.
Valletta Rehabilitation Project.
The Triton Fountain is found at the entrance of the city gate." 

St Julian's Bay.

A view through an archway of boats in Portomaso Marina, Malta.

Our base was a hotel at the tip of Spinola Bay overlooking St.Julian's Bay from where we watched all the comings and goings of life across to the busy resort of Sliema and further out to sea. . . . Around the corner was the smart and cosmopolitan Marina - a complete contrast to the rich history of Valletta.

Of course, no visit to Malta is complete without a tour around the Grand Harbour of Valletta and the Three Cities. . .


Author note. I have two Maltese friends who kindly checked over my chapter to verify and clarify facts. Thank you Marthese and Joseph for your time and input.Watch out for the postman next month.

Island Interludes is illustrated with twenty-six photographs and four maps.

Rosalie.
Copyright Rosalie Marsh 2017.