A life long ambition becomes reality
Trip Start May 01, 2007
83Trip End Dec 11, 2008
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Stace and I eventually made it to Sliema, where we were staying for almost the next week. We had to find the bloody place first though, and it took a while. We weren't really sure exactly where we got off the bus, and the Lonely Planet's map is shite
That afternoon we wandered over the hill to the ferry terminal in Sliema and hopped on a ferry to Valletta. A lovely journey, and I was stunned by the view of Valletta. Immediately the things that struck me were the lovely narrow stoned streets, the long walkways of low gradient steps, churches, the monuments, and the huge amount of flags. And that was just the beginning. Being late in the afternoon, we wandered around a bit, on the way stumbling across 'The Pub', and found ourselves at Fort St Elmo. Fort St Elmo is currently occupied by the Police Academy, and houses the Malta War Museum. We decided to take a look at the museum.
Malta was severely bombed by the Germans and Italians in WWII, and this museum contains pictures and artifacts mainly detailing that period. The most impressive piece there is the reconstructed Gloster Gladiator fighter plane 'Faith'
Evening came, and time for my much anticipated first plate of ravioli in Malta. Our location was superb, right on the water on the Sliema promenade. I was relieved to find the ravioli was just as superb as my family's home made stuff, and even had the same tomato sauce. The food was one of the main things I was looking forward to Malta.
Thursday, my second day in Malta was a stunner. A perfect blue sky all day, we decided to do a boat cruise around Marsamxett and Grand Harbours. It was spectacular. The harbours are stunning, and the views of the cities from the water are breathtaking. The clear blue water on the backdrop of the old sandstone walls and buildings is superb. The fortifications of Valletta and the surrounding cities are very visible from the water, and I got a good picture of how it all fits together. I was sitting on the boat trying to imagine myself back in the Great Siege of 1565, watching severed heads fly across the the harbour from Vittoriosa to Valletta. Call me weird. The rich history of Malta captured me straight away, and I was wanting to learn as much as I could. The harbour cruise was not only a highlight of my trip to Malta, but of my entire trip so far. It was that good.
In the afternoon we did some exploration around Valletta, taking a stroll along the south wall with spectacular views over Grand Harbour and Fort St Angelo
Following this amazing event, Stace and I wandered towards to south-east side of Valletta for an absolutely breathtaking view of Grand Harbour, including the immense Fort St Angelo. This has got to be one of my favourite views ever. Stunning. We also visited St Johns Co-Cathedreal for a peep. Outside the cathedral is just another building, but inside is wow! The huge paintings on the ceiling and six chapels on each wing make it one of the most spectacular cathedrals I've been in. The highlight was definitely the Caravaggio of St John the Baptist being executed. This painting used to be viewed by the young Knights of St John for inspiration. It's my favourite of all the paintings I've seen so far. It's really dark, but moving at the same time.
It was a great day, one of my best on the whole trip. I hand only been in Malta two days, and I was loving it. I was loving the sights, and couldn't get enough of finding a new vantage point. I was thinking by the end of Thursday, that Valletta and the surround have got to be my favourite city that I have visited. The fortifications, the buildings, the harbours, the crazy bus terminus, and the people are all a delight to see. And best of all, the Pastizzi is scrumptious!!!!!!!