Saturday, 5 March 2011

Valletta Again

On Friday we had a "free" day between two busy ones so I left Onslow at the flat to rest and went off to Valletta in pursuit of some grandstand tickets for the Carnival parade on Monday.  The chaos with the bus station seems to have calmed down, all buses are now going to Indepence Street and customers for Valletta alight there.  The buses then continue down to the docks area temporary station and people needing to change buses can do so.  All the buses from Independence Street to the docks are now operating as shuttle buses and are free, you only pay a fare when you get on to your chosen bus at the bus station.

I went to sort out the tickets and then had a bit of a mooch around.  There is a  special carnival cake called Puljizana made from cake crumbs mixed with ground and roasted whole almonds, studded with green and red glace cherries and shaped into a dome.  The cake is then covered with white icing, chocolate swirls and more cherries on the outside.  There was a chap with a huge one - about twice the size of the glass domes you see covering cakes in tea rooms - in front of the cathedral selling it by the slice so I bought a bit.  It was sixty seven cents per hundred grams and my slice was about 250g so not expensive.  The texture is damp, something like soft fudge or marzipan, and it slices very easily.  It is very, very, sweet and a little goes a long way.  I have eaten it twice with coffee so far and am not even half way through my slice.

St Francis of Assisi church was open so I slipped in for a look around and my brain must be becoming used to the OTT decoration which is the norm in Malta because it seemed fairly restrained.  It contains very unusual Stations of The Cross.  Each illustration is carved and placed inside an individual chapel, the illustrations themselves have been painted so the end result is both three dimensional and coloured - not a combination I have previously come across.  The little chapels are carved and gilded and all slightly different.

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