A Travellerspoint blog

first impressions of beautiful Valetta

View Malta - 2014 on Ils1976's travel map.

Did I mentioned this was going to be a relaxing holiday!? :)

After yet again sleeping in and having a more than yummy breakfast, the three of us just lingered around the hotel and surprisingly enough met up with a nice elderly couple from a city near us. They were leaving today, but it was nice to have a chat with them. It turned out that they won this trip through some game on the Belgian television and although the weather wasn’t always at it’s best, they had a fun time here on this island.

They gave us some pointers on what to see and before we even noticed it, it was already 11.30 AM, which meant they had to grab their bus to the airport and we had to go to our meet up with the sales person of the tour operator we booked this trip.

If I have to be honest, this is not my favourite moment of the trip, but we had to go and meet her coz otherwise we didn’t know when we were going to leave and second of all, since I was so lazy and didn’t really prepared anything, it was easier to just book a trip to Gozo through their office.

I know I could easily organize everything myself, but hey, this was my lazy trip and in a way it was nice to meet some other Belgian tourists as well, for my parents that is. This way they could talk to other people besides me. Am I not the perfect daughter!? :)

Our hostess turned out to be a friendly enough girl and after a complete dialogue on what we were doing here, besides the obvious, she told nearly her life story to us. Sometimes I really do get the feeling that I am a shrink, but not with the same paycheck. Sigh!!

Anyways, it was already way past lunch time when we set foot outside the hotel and walked towards the harbour area to catch our ferry towards the capital city.

Upon our arrival we only had to wait for about 5 minutes, talking about timing!

It seemed we weren’t the only ones travelling to Valetta today, it was quite busy, but we managed to get a fair enough seat and within a few minutes we reached the other side of the waterfront and arrived in Valetta!


At the docking area, we noticed that a lot of people payed a bit of money to be taking up the hill and since my dad wasn’t up for such an adventurous walk, we did the same thing, but I must say, they had better warned us of the adventurous ride as well, sitting on a small stool in the back of the minivan, I felt more like a milkshake than anything else and I was more than glad to reach our destination in mere minutes.

Valetta is truly an amazing city. Seen from afar it has something magical, but when you walk trough the many narrow streets, I got the feeling of being in an Arab city with nice decorated houses. I really liked it.

When we walked all the way towards the end of the city towards the fortified walls, I even thought for a minute I was in Egypt again. Strange thing that is!?

From all those first impressions, we got really hungry and while we searched for a nice enough place for a bite to eat, we found it at St. John’s square.

I am so sorry that I forgot the name of the restaurant, because it is worth to write about, the pasta I had was more than delicious and writing about it now and reliving that moment I get hungry again. It truly was a nice pasta! :)

Since it wasn’t really the touristic season yet, we noticed that a lot of works were going on on most of the buildings, the scaffolds were sometimes really ruining the picture, but I can understand that they wanted to make sure everything was ready for the big season.
Walking through several streets, we easily found our way down towards the fortress of Saint Elmo, but unfortunately even this was closed due to maintenance works.

There was not much to do for us than wonder through the many streets of Valetta and gaze at the beautiful houses and of course take a break from time to time at one of the many terraces of the city.

On our way down again towards the ferry docking area, we were lucky to catch the last one back towards Sliema and yet again it surprised me that we weren’t the only ones.

The walk back towards the hotel didn’t take us all that long and since we paid for half board at the hotel, we dediced to go and try the hotel restaurant. The food itself wasn’t all that bad, but it was italian night, which meant we had a broad selection of pizza and pasta, I must admit this looked like a major disappointment at first sight, but what the heck, it is not like I couldn’t eat pasta twice a day!

Although it was already quite dark outside, my mum still wanted to go out for a walk and was in the mood for a night cap at one of the local thingies on the boulevard, so out came our jackets and into the dark we went.

It was quite chilly outside, but we soon found a nice enough place and together with a yummy hot drink the cold was soon forgotten.

We arrived back in our room after midnight and after a quick shower, it was time for me to hit the sack coz tomorrow another day of sightseeing awaited us.

Posted by Ils1976 05:40 Archived in Malta Tagged landscapes buildings food desert monument culture history walk city island holiday fun family wine capital europe relaxing drinks cold ferry_crossing Comments (3)

taking things easy

Although I must say that I slept rather well, I somehow woke up very early but not early enough apparently coz I missed out on a beautiful sunrise. The sun was already there, but still feeling so tired, I just took a few pictures and guess what, I returned to my cosy bed and slept for a few hours more!

Yes I know, I am unbelievable, but hey I needed a goodnight’s rest coz after days working till late in the evening at my brother’s house, my body seemed to need a break. And to be honest, I wasn’t the only one!

After a sturdy breakfast the three of us wanted to have a look around the area of Sliema. Since this was going to be a very relaxing holiday, we decided to go with the flow and today was definitely going to be that day.

Our first goal of the day was the harbor area. I read somewhere that it was possible to visit the capital city by ferry and since this was going to be our destination for tomorrow, I wanted to be a bit prepared and second of all, it was just a fun walk.

The thing that wasn’t all that fun, were the many sales people (can you call them that ???) along the way. They kept on harassing us and after saying „not interested” for the 10th or even 20th time, I guess they finally realized we weren’t going to buy one of their many excursions.

We quickly found the docking area of the ferry and after we memorized the hours of departure, we walked further along the boardwalk of Sliema while gazing at the beautiful city that is Valetta.

I have to admit that I stopped more than once just to take pictures and to remember myself that I was actually here. In the past I had read books about this great city, but never in the back of my mind I thought I was going to visit it some day and now I was finally here.

Amazing, is the only word I could think of at that particular moment.

Seeing all this beauty, my dad decided it was time to have a little break and after having a nice drink at the new shopping mall, called The Point, we walked further along the boulevard of Sliema, passing a few pictoresque bays such as Exiles Bay, Balluta Bay and St. Julian’s Bay only to end up at Spinola Bay way in the afternoon and lots of “break” stops later.


As it was getting dark soon, we walked in a slow pace back towards Sliema and although the scenery never failed to bore me, I had some problems with the cold wind that was blowing from time to time.

I guess that is normal when you visit the island this time of the year, but still, I expected a little bit more warmth to be honest.

Luckily the restaurants were the place to be to have some of that warmth, especially when you ordered some hot food! :)

As the day was coming to an end, we had one last stroll in the area and decided to call it a day when we suddenly noticed something cool next to our hotel.

Based next to the hotel was Bubbles, Dr. Fish foot Spa and although I must admit that I was a bit surprised seeing it still open at 23 PM, (I guess business is business), after having a nice conversation with the friendly girls I could see that my mum was keen on trying this one out, so I just let her have her few minutes of fun.

Once back at the hotel, I got tired very quickly and had dificulties with keeping my eyes open. I guess the warm temperatures in the room had something to do with that coz in no time I just fell asleep … or maybe I was just simply tired after a day of doing nothing / walking and just gazing at the many sceneries. Who knows!?

Posted by Ils1976 05:39 Archived in Malta Tagged beaches food desert walk city fun family europe relaxing drinks Comments (5)


View Malta - 2014 on Ils1976's travel map.

I must admit that I have been looking forward to this holiday for quite some time now. I guess I could say this about every upcoming holiday, but this time it was more true than ever.

Work was just insane the last couple of weeks and this one week holiday break was just there at the right time. I was questioning myself and my work and the last couple of days I was even in doubt if I would pursue this all together. I guess I can say without a doubt, this short breakaway came at the right time!

Since me and my parents weren’t leaving for Malta till late in the evening, we had more than time enough to slowly prepare ourselves for the upcoming holiday.

I myself, just enjoyed the fact that I could sleep in and after a late breakfast, I slowly gathered all my stuff which I needed for next week, I even found a bit of time to help my brother with some renovating works at his farmhouse.

Back home again, me and my parents had a quick lunch and then it was time to go to the airport. Since my brother still had lots of work at his house, we decided to go to the airport using public transport.

I was lucky to search the internet first coz I quickly learned that there were works and instead of going with the train from our village, we needed to get another train from a city near us.

About 2 hours later we arrived at the airport and to my surprise I must say that it wasn’t all that busy, maybe the fact that it was already past 4 PM had something to do with that, or maybe because it was Saturday, I don’t really know, but the three of us gained from the slow business and easily found a seat at the local Starbucks, what a great way to start your holiday.

We didn’t had to wait all that long for check-in either and as soon as that was over and done with, we walked all the way to our designated gate, making sure we visited a few shops along the way.

A little after 7 PM we could finally board and before we even knew it, we were airborne and the only thing that went through my mind at that moment was … Malta here we come!

3 hours later we set foot on Maltese soil and it was really a pity that our first glance was a dark one. To be honest, there wasn’t all that much to see at 10 PM.

Since we booked this trip through an organization, we didn’t had to hassle with finding the right transport to our hotel and instead in just a few minutes the three of us together with about 12 other people were on our way towards Sliema and other destinations I didn’t even have a clue off.

I must admit that I don’t exactly remember much of the trip coz I was just so tired, and more times than one I dozed off, but I do remember leaving the airport and getting on the highway as well as driving through numerous little streets and about half an hour or maybe even more we arrived at the Preluna & Spa hotel, our home base for the next week.

Check-in went rather fast, but I guess this had something to do with the late hour, there aren’t exactly lots of people checking in at almost 11 PM are there!?

Our room is situated on the 8th floor and I guess we have an excellent view on the ocean, but at night time, there isn’t so much to see and I am just looking into one black void if you can call it that.

After a nice hot shower, I carefully crawled into my folding bed, I was completely knackered.

Posted by Ils1976 05:39 Archived in Malta Tagged trains hotel bus airport family europe Comments (6)

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