Thursday, 24 February 2011

Still Malta

The weather yesterday was foul so we had a busy doing nothing day and have woken up to blue skies and will get back on track today.

We did a couple of things last week which are worthy of mention before this blog was set up so I will trawl my memory for the highlights.

All along Sliema harbourfront are people selling various cruise options and bus sightseeing trips so I collected all the leaflets and narrowed them down and eventually bought the City Sightseeing package at 29 Euros each which includes a North Route, a South Route, a trip to Gozo and a harbour cruise with Captain Morgan - good value.  We also got lured into a timeshare selling scheme and ended up with a load of goodies including a free harbour trip with Luzzu Cruises - and did not buy a timeshare. 

The North Route bus trip was really interesting.  It is one of the hop on and off services and covered Valletta, Floriana, Hamrun, Mdina, Mosta, St Paul's Bay and Pembroke.  Some of the old British naval buildings are really fabulous.  They were all "appropriated" back in the 70's but the architecture is superb.  Hamrun has an amazing aqueduct (which now provides covered car parking for the locals) which brought water down from the hills in the long dry summers before the desalination system was built.

We only had a quick glimpse at Mdina because it is the intention to spend a whole day between Mdina and Rabat next week, but it looks lovely.  The ancient capital of Malta, all golden stone and cobbled roads.  We glanced at Mosta Dome but are having a day there too so did not stop and then enjoyed a ride along the northern coast road.  The coast road is a mass of modern development and not particularly interesting but the sun was shining, the sea was impossibly blue for February and we simply looked out to sea and ignored the buildings.

The Luzzu harbour cruise was fabulous.  We did it late in the afternoon and went up all the six creeks surrounding Valletta.  Seeing all the fortifications from the water makes you realise just how impenetrable Malta could be -  there are up to six levels from where invaders could be fought off.   The yacht harbour at Msida has millions and millions of pounds worth of yachts moored there.  We even saw one yacht moored which had a helicopter on it.  How the other half live.

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