A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about boats

Valetta seen from above


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Unfortunately it was our last full day here on the island and since we didn’t immediately knew where to go to, my mum offered to go back to Valetta again.

Instead of going by ferry, this time around we took the local bus and once it arrived, we were surprised to hear that we didn't need to pay. What the heck???

Seconds later we found out why the ride was free.

It turned out that the driver only recently had his driver’s license and since he was new, he had to learn how to drive with the bus and learn his route at the same time. How cool is that, I don’t think they would do something like that in Belgium, money is money, but obviously not in Malta.
Half an hour later the “rookie” dropped us of at the bus station of Valetta and the three of us congratulated him with his safe driving. I have never seen a person smile so much, I guess it was his first compliment of the day.

Since the last time we were here, we didn’t actually visited the different bastions of this fortified city, so this was something interesting as well.

First runner up was St. John bastion and while we were walking through the little garden of Hastings garden we ended up at St. Michael bastion, where you had a nice view on the surroundings of the city.

After walking for a while we ended up at the Republic street again and of course we couldn’t resist the many ice cream vendors. We just had to try it and like all the ice cream stands here on the island, this one was nice as well, but the best we had eaten all week long was at a small stall at Exciles Bay, boy that is what I call ice cream!

Walking down the hill we arrived back at Fort Saint Elmo, hoping it was open already but nope, it was still closed, so we slowly walked up again passing Mercant street with its markets and from there we decided it was time to go and find a nice enough place for a bite to eat.
Not that this is a big problem in this city, the huge problem is choosing which eatery. There are just so many, but after going through some menus, we finally found one to our liking and it was delicious so what more do we need.

With our tummies filled we walked in a slow pace towards the Upper Barakka Gardens and if I have to be honest, we really saved the best for last coz this is truly my favourite “hang-out” place. The views are incredible and the garden is so nice and there is even a stand where you can buy a few drinks, the ultimate place!

It was still early in the afternoon when we arrived back in Sliema and since we were still on time to catch the last cruise boat, we have let ourselves be persuaded to sail with Captain Morgan Cruises for the Grand Harbour cruise.

Since we arrived at the nick of time we got a discount and were still able to sit on the upper deck, sublime and the best thing about arriving late, you don’t have to wait all that long, only 5 minutes to be more precise.

From the water you have a nice view on the capital city as well as the Three Cities and I was even amazed to see that there was also an industrial area where they make amonst many things also drilling rigs. Never knew that at all. Interesting indeed, as well as the loads of information you get from the crew. Thumbs up!

Once back at the harbour of Sliema, we did just the same thing as when we arrived on the first day, we simply walked the boulevard till we were tired of watching at the rocky coastline and the thousands of waves, and than sadly enough, it was time to pack and prepare ourselves for our trip back home, but not before we enjoyed our last evening as well!

Posted by Ils1976 05:43 Archived in Malta Tagged landscapes churches buildings people boats food desert restaurant culture history hotel bus market shopping adventure walk city island holiday fun family sightseeing wine capital sights europe relaxing drinks bookings viewpoint ferry_crossing coastal_town Comments (0)

it’s all about boats today!


View Malta - 2014 on Ils1976's travel map.

One of the main reasons for me coming to this island, was because of those beautiful tiny fishing boats Malta is so famous for. They are just way beautiful in my book and now that I was on the island, I sure wanted to see lots of them.

According to my guidebook as well as the talk of the locals, the best place to see them is at the tiny fishing village of Marsaxlokk, so this was definitely the place for us.

Like yesterday, we once again took a bus from across the hotel, but this time around, we had to change busses at the capital city.

We found the right bus towards Marsaxlokk in no time, but the worse part of it all was the waiting. It seemed that this wasn’t a bus where you could hop on every 5 minutes or so. In total we had to wait almost half an hour, of which I made the most of just looking up a few things in my guidebook.

Our driver towards the south-east was an older chap, but a very friendly one. Besides a few locals, we were the only ones on the bus, so we had a more than pleasant drive with a great view on the local fields and yet again huge cacti … it just kept on amazing me how big they really are, there are no words for it.

It took us almost an hour to get to the tiny traditional fishing village and once there you could smell the fish already. We were definitely in the right place!

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We just had to walk one street down and there they were. I could easily say that there were hundreds of small fishing boats, but that would be exaggerating of course!

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Nevertheless, there were many of them and they came in all shapes and sizes. It was just beautiful seeing so many boats together and we even saw such a tiny boat that I could easily believe that it was especially made for little children. I don’t know if this was true, but it was so cute.

We first visited the local market with it’s thousand and one souvenirs and afterwards, the fishing boats got all my attention, need I say, that more than hundred pictures were taking … I think not!

It really is a beautiful fishing village, but it is also a tiny one, so we just relaxed for a while on one of the many terraces before we walked down the boulevard of the village and watched how the fishermen repaired their nets.

Looking at all that hard work made us hungry after a while and now that we were at the right place to taste some fish, we did just that. It took a bit for the fish to arrive, but once it did, yummy was the only word that popped up in my head.

After lunch we decided to go back to Valetta and take another bus towards Vittoriosa or Birgu like it is called in Maltese, where we arrived in no time really.

It was still early in the afternoon and as we were walking through the streets of this old fortified city, I couldn’t help but noticing that nobody was around except for the many street workers with more than a good mood.

We walked up to the main square and from there it was down again towards the marina. If you want to see boats, this is definitely the place to be!

A few days ago my father saw a huge yacht and he hoped to have a closer look of the vessel, but it was no where to be found. On the other hand, there were hundreds of other boats going from being petit, to small, to large … to what the hell !?

I can’t help but noticing that there are still people on this world who just have too much money on their hands. This is not normal in my book!

At the end of the marina, we saw another fortified castle called St. Angelo which was also being renovated. It seems we were not going to be able to visit one single fort this holiday.

On the other hand, there was always a terrace in the vicinity of which we were more than happy to make use of, especially when they have divine cakes!

After this moment of indulgence, we just walked back towards the busstop and found our way back again to Valetta and half an hour later even to Sliema.

Because it was still a bit early to have dinner, we decided that this evening we had a drink at the bar of the hotel. We saw a few other Belgians and from one came another, it seems that we all had lots to talk about.

Dinner was special this evening, the hotel organised a Maltese night, with Maltese food and music and so on … it was fun, but I have to admit that not all the typical dishes were something for me, at least I gave it a try so to speak.

Since we had an early day tomorrow, we just skipped our daily night cap and went to bed at a decent hour coz tomorrow we had another island to visit, a smaller one, but nevertheless still an island!

Posted by Ils1976 05:41 Archived in Malta Tagged landscapes churches buildings people boats sea food fish desert restaurant culture hotel bus market town shopping walk city sand fun family sightseeing wine capital sights europe relaxing colors drinks coastal_town Comments (0)

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