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Valetta seen from above


View Malta - 2014 on Ils1976's travel map.

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)

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!

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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)

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