Untitled photo

6 in the City - Valletta and beyond

19/06/2022


With the world getting to grips with the new normal, it was only a matter of time until my camera would be seriously tested again. That's not to say that I've been completely dormant; a couple of little trips here and there have come and gone, either returning to previous destinations, or for a little R&R (the Brecon Beacons being reasonably noteworthy) have come and gone, but none of these have been of the caliber my blog truly warrants. The truth is, despite my best intentions of continuing my photographic journey around Pink, it just hasn't been all that easy.

But you don't need to hear about my daily struggles, so let's jump on a plane and head down to Malta...

The planning and prep that usually precedes our trips were almost entirely neglected on this occasion. I accepted that I was going in blind and would take whatever Malta had to give me in the moment, a challenge I was prepared to accept; it's not like I had left myself any other option! My first real sense of exactly what was coming was our first circle of the small island which grew into view, end to end, through the airplane window as we prepared to land.

Despite a train cancellation (cue emergency Uber), and the continuing travel chaos with airports, particularly with our chosen airline for this trip, the journey felt like it was over as quickly as it began. Having risen at half 2 in the morning, we were now sailing through the Maltese border at 11 am local. Naturally, I was attired for the cool London morning that had seen the early part of the transition between countries, so was totally unprepared for the dry, unrelenting heat of the Mediterranean as we walked out of the airport and met our taxi driver who had been patiently waiting to receive us.

Returning to a degree of comfort in the air-conditioned taxi, we were whisked to our home for the next 4 nights through the old, and in many instances historic, streets of Valletta. The views of the tiny streets were incredible and quickly sparked an intense feeling of inspiration and excitement, igniting a burning desire to get out and explore. The traveling had taken its toll, however, so the exploration would have to be placed on very temporary hold whilst we acquired sustenance and refreshed ourselves.

So with that, the bags were dropped, a quick costume change for the prelude to the first act, and to the streets we went in search of a spot of lunch and some refreshment. We settled for a local café for a salad which was perfectly pleasant and found a local shop for a few cans of the locally brewed and highly recommended Cisk lager then headed to the rooftop of our hotel to relax and restore our energy levels whilst looking out over the main port and the 3 Cities Beyond.

With the shadows growing longer, and energy restored to an acceptable level, it was time to venture out to do a little exploration and find some dinner. Our hotel was situated on St Ursula Street on the West Side of the Valetta. From here it was a very short walk down to the Lower Barrakka Gardens which is where our story really begins.



The Gardens here at the eastern tip of the city were beautifully presented and offered unobstructed views out across the mouth of the busy port to the sea. Beyond the gardens is a structure erected to commemorate the fallen of the Second World War which we tool an opportunity to stroll around and take in the views out to the Mediterranean Sea. We then took the streets to explore further, taking the city in properly for the first time.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo


It's hard to label Valetta a city as it's so small and to think of it as a capital is a greater stretch still. When considered in a macro sense, the city is proportionate to the beautiful island that it serves. The city is a true cultural melting pot with influences from all around the Mediterranean and of course a strong British influence which can be seen all around. It felt almost familiar in some respects, as I was feeling strong resemblances to past trips. A lot of the architecture was kin to Venice (less the canals), had a sense of growing decay like Havana (less the cars) and the fortification and small city feel of Dubrovnik (except with a lot more steps!).

Untitled photo


Another strong comparison I can't help but draw is with NYC, which might be a bit of a stretch, but hear me out. The city has been developed in a grid-style fashion, with the long avenues you find in Manhattan leading from Central Park to Wall Street, and the streets spanning across the city from the East River to the Hudson. This exact arrangement can be found in Valetta, only on a tiny scale. To walk from the city wall to Fort St Elmo at the tip straight through the center of the city would take around half an hour, and from one side to the other is around 10 minutes. It is an impossibility that you could get physically lost here, losing yourself in the history and atmosphere that is dripping from every street is another matter altogether.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo

After some wanderings, we landed at a nice-looking bar for a drink, believing this to be a very temporary pause to proceedings. Little did I know that Cafe Society, a very bohemian bar with nice views out to the harbor, did the best Bloody Mary in the world! Well, as far as I am concerned at this present time. Using a special hot sauce made on the neighboring island of Gozo, this drink tasted like it was made by the hands of angels! This brought our exploration to a fairly sudden halt as intoxicating rather took hold. But this first magical encounter led quickly to another.

We asked our attentive host for recommendations for good places to eat, and he listed off a few but did say 'that street over there' has a great selection. So over there we went. The next street along gave similar views down over the harbor, and we found a couple of eating establishments so settled in. We had been advised that portion sizes here are fairly generous, so settled for a main only. My Veal rump was cooked to perfection, and was surprised to discover that the notion of large portion sizes was not in any way understated! On the face of it, the value of the meal appeared comparable to home, if not slightly cheaper. What you actually receive in terms of quality and quantity actually makes dining exceptionally great value!

Feeling very content from what was an exquisite dinner, and a little brave from the tasty local wine and multiple Bloody Marys, I pulled out my phone and set a 5 am alarm. We were on for sunrise.



Switching the alarm off, I couldn't quite tell if I was happy with my decision. Still trying to fully unwind, and having had a later-than-expected night, I was a little jaded. Double-checking my sun tracking app for the time of the sunrise, I was shocked and surprised to learn my timing was a little off, and instead of having a leisurely half-hour to meander down to the coast to set up, we actually had only 10mins! Still wiping the sleep from my eyes, we made the short walk down to the war memorial from the previous afternoon to watch the dawn of a brand new day.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo





We were blessed with what was going to be a clear bright blue sky, so the sun was perfectly visible rising up over the horizon between the two lighthouses marking the entrance to the harbor. To think, I was going to blow off this first morning in favor of getting some rest after what has been a pretty hectic few weeks building up to the trip, but I was so glad we did. The view was both simple and clean with only a few punctuations to the quiet and still of the early morning by the ships heading from the port towards the horizon.


After spending some time watching the comings and goings of sea fairing vessels of all different sizes, it was time to head back to the hotel for some breakfast and to get ready for the day.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo

We headed along the shoreline towards the Upper Barrakka Gardens before turning and walking down the first 'avenue' to Fort St Elmo at the tip of the city and continuing around the northern shoreline up to Hastings Gardens which is located on the north shoulder of the city gate. Along the way were some surprising sites; red telephone boxes, a freshly painted letter box, couple this with the UK standard plug sockets, right-hand drive cars, British road signs, and even passing a Marks & Spencer’s, you would be forgiven for thinking this was not a foreign country. If it wasn't for the smoldering heat and the Euros in my pocket, I could easily forget I was in the Mediterranean. OK, with the vastly different architecture this is a bit of a stretch, but hopefully, you get my point!

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo


Two common, but interesting features of Valetta are their doors and their dedication to the Saints. Above most street corners is a statue of one saint or another which are particularly striking and beautiful punctuations to the streets on which they are located. Another prominent feature of the city, similar to Venice, is the front doors of the houses and buildings in general. In most instances, they are beautifully painted and adorned with decorative knockers, which are perfectly juxtaposed with the old, tired, and dilapidated doors. It was becoming almost comical how we would be walking along, almost door by the door capturing them as each one has a very distinctive character, particularly the more tired and unloved doors.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo



Having walked through the gardens, we ventured out of the city gate to the enormous Triton Fountain which features three bronze tritons and punctuates the start of this historic settlement. The city gates were a bit of an anomaly, as is the new parliament building situated just inside the city walls. These contemporary structures are seemingly out of place in the colonial period and beyond buildings that tower above the narrow streets.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo


Heading down Merchant Street, which is the central ‘avenue’ leading from the city gate to the tip of Valletta and where most of the city's retail is located, we arrive at St John’s Co-Cathedral which is set upon a large central square. Being the number one thing to see in Valletta, it would be remiss of us to pass on this site.

Entry was circa 15€ which comes with an audio guide to describe the enormous structure built by the Knights of Malta in the latter part of the 16th Century. The cathedral is quite spectacular inside and features many paintings, carvings, edifices, and statues that were decorated in dedication to Saint John the Baptist. Much of the floor is covered in highly decorated marble tablets which denote the final resting place of the more prominent and noble knights who served.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo

The lighting was incredibly tricky, and naturally, setting up a tripod in such a busy place was out of the question. Capturing the finer details of the unique and beautiful building was immensely tricky, and I can only hope that I have done it justice.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo

On leaving the cathedral, it was a short jaunt up to the Upper Barraka Gardens just in time to witness the midday gun. The Saluting Battery which is located on a level beneath the gardens facing The 3 Cities opposite, is a historic fortification built by the Knights of Malta. During later years the defenses were adapted for more modern defense with the addition of cannons to each of the corners for the strategic defense of the various key locations of the port. Historically, the firing of a cannon at midday served as a time-keeping exercise to allow ships to plot their exact location by measuring the distance of the midday sun from the horizon. 

Untitled photo
Untitled photo



The ceremony now is just that. Each day at midday and four o'clock (in the afternoon thankfully!), a cannon is fired over the port to signify the time. The experience can be viewed for free from the gardens above, but such a large crowd gathers that it’s difficult to actually see what is happening. It’s far better to pay the 3€ PP and get close to the action. The price of admission does include an interesting tour of the barracks with an interesting introduction to the different types of cannon and paraphernalia they have on display. Sadly, it was getting far too hot to be out in the open for us to experience the full tour, so we were on our way shortly thereafter for some shade and maybe some refreshments.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo

Would you know it, we were right on top of the bar with the best Bloody Marys! So after 1 or two (possibly more), it was time for a spot to eat. Heading back in the direction of dinner from the night before we settled on an Italian restaurant at the top of the same street. It turns out it was more of a pizza place, but by this time, we were committed and not too fussed by the style of cuisine.

To kick things off, I started by checking out the local craft beers and settled on an American Stout brewed on the island of Gozo, named after a rock formation there known as Fungus Rock. The beer was absolutely amazing and started a lengthy and leisurely back and forth between myself and our patron whilst I worked through a number of the other local craft beers.

But of course, we were here to eat and not drink. Scanning the menu which was quite extensive, with a full side of A4 red sauce and another for white sauce options, it was extremely difficult to settle on one in particular. All around the pizza looked good, but with so much variety, it was tough to choose. Claire stumbled upon a pizza that was coincidentally called 'Claire'. Feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the vast selection on offer, and as a bit of a joke, I went ahead and ordered the 'Claire', and by christ, this was no joke. With so many beers in my system at the time, it's hard to recall now what was on it, but there was definitely a white sauce, some rocket, some kind of local sausage or meat, and maybe mushrooms. I don’t know. I just recall it being out-of-this-world good, and incredibly filling, the kind of meal you wish would go on forever. All in all, an amazing afternoon spent wandering, drinking, and eating!

Untitled photo

Having gone a little overboard with this late lunch, we headed back to the room to rest up before heading out into the city again to take some more of the sites and capture some shots of the city by night. The lunch had taken its toll, however, and lethargy was the new order of the day. We limped through the streets for a time, soaking up the atmosphere. Approaching the street where we had only a few hours before eaten ourselves to oblivion, it looked like the perfect opportunity to capture the bustle of the evening. 

It seemed a bit much to set up my tripod directly over where people were eating (oh, and I was still somewhat subdued from lunch!), so I opted to attempt a slow shutter handheld. Some of the shots came out great, with just the right amount of blur, but this shot, with the vertical motion blur, really jumped out at me with a perfect balance of movement and sharpness. Not my usual style, but an interesting shot to throw in the mix I thought.    

We felt it prudent to stop and have a lite bite and a drink before calling it a night. Our final destination for the day was by no means noteworthy, the snacking mixed platter we ordered was nothing to write home about, and the drinks were average, exactly what you would expect on a main street such as this was. But, new vigor was obtained, for me anyway, when a live singer/guitarist took to the mic kicking things off with Pink Floyds Comfortably Numb; what a legend! After a couple of drinks and listening to some great live music, we decided to call time on the day and prepare for the next.



The third day was going to see us head outside of Valetta, but not to more of the main island. We headed down and through Victorias gate to pick up the fast ferry to Gozo, an island situated off the NW tip of the main island of Malta. The ferry cost 15€ PP one way (for some reason, they don’t sell return tickets) and took only 45 mins to get there. As far as these things go, the trip was very pleasant; not only was it fast, but the seats were also exceptionally comfortable, so much so in fact that with the gentle rocking across the smooth waters I was asleep within 10mins of departing!

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo






On our landing at Gozo, it was a swift change to another boat to head to our first destination for the day. For a further 15€ to a local tour company, we booked the next boat to the tiny island of Comino. This spit of land is uninhabited but is home to the Blue Lagoon, where a lot of tourists flock to swim in its crystal blue waters. As tempting as the water looked, we were not there for the swimming and water sports. I left Clair sunning herself on a rock and went on a wander around the lagoon to take in the views.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo



The views were very pretty, but it was so overrun with tourists which makes such locations a bit of a turn-off for me. Even more so as I ventured a little further away from the water, stumbling upon all the waste that is left behind by fleeting visitors. I’m no eco-warrior, but it really pisses me off to see such a beautiful place violated like this!

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo

After a couple of hours of shooting in the uncompromising heat of the day, and as the island was really starting to get busy, we jumped back on our boat for a whistle-stop tour of the neighboring caves before heading back to Gozo. The trip around the caves was awesome, as some of these natural structures are really unique and interesting to see up close. Sadly, the heat of the day had really got to me, and I completely forgot to check the settings on my camera rendering 95% of the shots from the half-hour trip around the best part of a dozen caves completely useless!

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo

Arriving back to Gozo, we had missed the bus to the island's main town Victoria, so we opted to grab a cab than linger in the now midday sun. We arrived in Victoria and found a local café for a spot of lunch. Nothing planned, just pretty much the first place we came to. After so much good culinary fortune, it’s not surprising to learn that at this point that luck was temporarily abated. Lunch was average, but did the job.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo

After lunch, we wandered up to the citadel which is located, near on, in the center of the island in the town of Victoria. We assumed this would be some kind of preserved fort with exhibitions etc that would require some kind of entrance fee, but as it turns out, the citadel itself is free. There are some tiny museums within the citadel walls that require an entrance fee, but we were more interested in the structure and surrounding vistas. As it turns out, this did not really amount to much. The central cathedral and surrounding walls were quite impressive, but largely, the remainder is ruins, and fairly innocuous buildings. This might be an unfair assessment of the site; at the time, the heat was so great that we were quite literally melting away. An executive decision was made to abandon the island and head back to more familiar territory before we were cooked through! 

Untitled photo

On returning back to the harbor to catch the ferry, which we did by the slimmest of margins, we noticed a huge fire raging on the opposite side of the harbor. On arriving at the island, a plume of black smoke could be observed, but we put this down to a local farmer burning some waste or something. It turns out that this was a pretty serious grass fire that had engulfed most of the landscape beside the water. At the time, I didn’t realise the importance of this and certainly didn’t have my camera out to shoot it, I instead gently slipped back into a nap as the ferry pulled out of port. In some of my shots from the island, a plume of black smoke can be seen from the fire! Pretty scary to see how much could be taken by flame in such a short space of time!

Untitled photo
Untitled photo




Arriving back in Valetta to the sound of the 4 o'clock gun, we opted for the lazy option and took the lift up from the ferry terminal to the Upper Barrakka Gardens and conveniently to Café Society for another round of Bloody Marys! Suitably refreshed after a punishing day in the sun, we retired for the rest of the afternoon to prepare for dinner, which promised to be something special.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo

We were fortunate to grab the last reservation for the 7 o'clock sitting at Legliglin, a restaurant that serves only a 7-course tasting menu which is quite popular. as it turns out Despite the portions being only small, they were incredibly tasty and very filling! A fish soup was followed by an assortment of tapas, then a pistachio lasagna (which was amazing!), a fish platter, mussels in a white wine sauce, a tiny but tasty portion of Melanzane Parmigiana, culminating in the final dish, stewed local rabbit with mashed potato. All in all, a very surprising and tasty selection of plates.

It’s probably not too surprising that this finished us off, and it was not long before we were calling time on the day.

The next morning, we were going to market. To be more specific, we were getting the bus to Marsaxlokk, a fishing village southeast of Valetta which has a daily market, and a fish market on a Sunday. With this being a Sunday, we were in for the latter.

Untitled photo



We walked up to the bus terminal just outside the city walls and headed down to the market. The harbor itself was quite interesting, with a multitude of different colored boats bobbing on their anchor, but the market itself wasn’t anything special. Really no different to what you would get back home, with the exception of some knock-off gear (it’s been a while since I was in a market back home, so perhaps that's nothing new either!), with a small selection of fairly exotic fish stalls. With every intention of having some lunch at a seafood restaurant by the harbor, we decided to call time and head off, as it was still early enough in the day to fill it with somewhere new.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo

After some misleading information from Google regarding the situation of the buses, we finally arrived on the outcrop of land opposite Valetta called Birgu. One of The Three Cities, Birgu was the first place the Knights settled and established a city. Our relocation here for the second part of the day was a stroke of genius for a couple of reasons, firstly lunch. Once again, we kind of fell into the first place that we came across, but this time with completely different results. Scanning the menu, I did fancy trying the fried local rabbit, but alas there was only stewed which we had the night previous. There was however Rabbit Ravioli, which the waiter advised was the best thing on the menu. I don’t think I would need to try every dish on there to tell you that he was probably right. Washed down with a couple of beers, I was most content and ready to explore.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo




The second reason was just being in Birgu. Walking around the tiny city was much more like what I expected of Valetta, which is to say like Dubrovnik. The streets are much tighter and adorned with planters with trees and plants. As with Valetta, the doors are all full of character and photographically addictive. We spent a good few hours wandering the streets up and down taking in the sites, electing not to visit the fort having suffered the trauma of the Citadel on Gozo in the eye-melting temperatures. Instead opting for an afternoon refreshment before heading back to the harbor and catching the ferry back across to Valetta, which at 1.5€ PP, is a real bargain.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo



With this being our 4th and final night, we sauntered home and prepared to go out for a final meal. We didn’t have anywhere special in mind, and instead of booking somewhere, in particular, we went for the approach of finding something that takes out fancy. Perhaps we’ll go back to that great pizza place and try their evening menu? Or what about that place near the bank we were recommended? Anything is possible.

As it turns out, not anything was possible. This was Sunday, and either the Maltese do not do Sundays, or because there was a national holiday on Tuesday, they sacked off the week after Saturday! It is no exaggeration to say that around 1 in 5 restaurants were open, and none of these were the ones we had in mind. We started asking for a table, but without a reservation, we were politely declined or offered a table after 9 o'clock, not an ideal situation. After much digging around, we finally found a little streetside Italian place that kindly gave us their last table. Wouldn’t have been my first choice, but the food was perfectly satisfactory. We shared a large bowl of mussels in a well-seasoned broth, followed by whole grilled sea bass. After dinner, we nipped back to Café Society for a couple more of the amazing Bloody Marys before the trip was o'er.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo

As this was our last night in Valetta, I could not go home without extending my selection of night shots. Despite having a flight scheduled for midmorning the following day, I opted to brave it out and capture some shots to add to my collection. It was a shame this was such a quiet night, as a lot of the atmosphere we had experienced previously had evaporated. After prowling the streets for an hour or so, I eventually succumbed to our hotel, to bed, and to sleep. The morrow will be what it will be.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo

The next morning we awoke and started what had become our morning ritual whilst we were in Malta, but this time with a twist; we were to be packed and ready for our nine o'clock taxi to take us to the airport. Despite the late night, I was feeling surprisingly well-rested, which was convenient as Claire had just checked her emails and EasyJet had notified her at 0400 that our flight home was canceled. They gave us 7 hours' notice, the better half of which was during the periods of the day that most people are tucked up and sleeping! We both had to spring into action, because as things stood, we were stranded on a far distant island, with nowhere to sleep and no way of getting home! Not exactly the perfect end to the trip.

The next flight EasyJet had to offer was on Saturday, which would mean another 6 days in Malta. As lovely as that idea would have been, the cost and inconvenience on our home and work lives would not have been worth the time. After a lot of blue language, (principally from myself), some research, and a number of calls and emails we had managed to arrange an alternative flight home for the following day, a hotel just down the road from where we were currently staying, and I had managed to alter a number of work engagements which I was now going to miss. The cost of this additional day and the alternative flight home was more than our initial 4 nights in Malta; I do not intend to let EasyJet off for a penny of it!

But anyway, the bright side is this, for the first time, having said it on so many occasions, we were actually getting an extra day on our trip, which was pretty amazing. Once we had come down from the fear of the problem and found the solution, we were able to get ourselves together, relocate to our new hotel, and get back out exploring. With only really an afternoon, we decided to take in the remaining two of The 3 Cities which we had not yet visited.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo


We got down to the ferry terminal and hopped across the harbor once again to Birgu, then walked to Kalkara. I did not quite know what to expect from Kalkara as it was pretty sparsely populated according to the map, which was not far from the truth. Around the harbor area was a lot of construction work which was not the greatest of surroundings. We had intended to walk up to Fort Ricasoli and then get a bus back, but it transpired that the bus service was reduced due to it being a public holiday. In the end, we realised we were not going to get much from Kalkara, so having stopped to visit a tiny bay that looks out across the harbor, we walked back through a small residential street to the bus stop and popped over to Senglea.




We were already a little familiar with this city, as this was the ferry terminal that took us to Valetta. We stopped for a moment at the harbor side and got an iced latte to cool off a little as it was still pretty hot. Once refreshed, we headed up yet more steps and started venturing up and down the streets heading towards the walled city at the end of this outcrop of land. Here, along the main strip at the mainland section of the outcrop, were a number of really old and dilapidated buildings which I found truly fascinating.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo

Once again, the tight rows of houses all with different characters were a pleasant sight to see, and the wanderings were most pleasant. Along the western side of the outcrop was the main commercial harbor where large containers dock to be loaded. Here we could walk high above it and catch glimpses of the huge cranes between the breaks in the warehouse roof line. This walk led us to the very tip where a small garden can be found looking out over the port, with Valetta beyond. We arrived at the watch tower that overhangs the furthest point at around ten to four in the afternoon, just in time to witness the cannon being fired in Valetta to mark 1600.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo
Untitled photo



We then made our way slowly down from the top of the cliffs to the harbor below and grabbed a beer by the water's edge, once again watching the bobbing of boats and the rest of the world sailing by. Beer drained, we skipped over to the ferry back over to Valetta for a quick costume change for our revised penultimate act of the trip, our final dinner. Having enjoyed the lunch there so much previously, and having had so much fun in the ambiance of the place, we opted to go back to San Paolo Naufrago as it had been closed the day previous, the home of pizza Claire. It felt like we had been given a second chance.

Untitled photo
Untitled photo

Only we didn’t. Apart from the beer still tasting excellent (it comes in bottles, after all, nothing can really go wrong with that) everything else was kind of flat. All the staff were different, so the rapport and banter built up previously were gone. The menu was reduced for dinner (when does that ever happen, normally it is the other way round!), which meant that white sauce pizzas, including the pizza Claire, were off the menu. We were also offered a table inside instead of out on the steps as we had been previously, so we were tucked out of the way and had pretty lousy service. In all, as I said, a pretty flat experience. If that was my first experience, I wouldn't go back, so if you want my advice, go for lunch, and go early or book a table!

After that experience, we were pretty much done for the night, which was a bit of a shame. But, we cannot complain, we did get an extra half a day in such glorious surroundings, so I would take a mediocre night in exchange for that any day of the week.

Tuesday morning felt like it came around pretty quickly when I first opened my eyes. I lay there in the darkroom of our new one-bed Air B&B and tried to determine the time of day from the color of the light coming through the slats of the blind. It was quite orange, so I assumed it was around 0630 and the sun had risen. I checked my phone and it was actually 0520, the sun was due up in the next 10mins. The orange light, it transpires, was coming from a local street lamp!

Instinctively, I jumped out of bed and threw some clothes on, grabbed my camera bag, and tripod, and shot out the door. The apartment we were staying in was self-contained with its own front door but was part of a larger building that was accessible by a separate door. This larger building had a lift leading to a roof terrace, and thankfully our key gave us access to it. This was the easiest sunrise I had ever got up for. Out of bed, dressed, roof terrace. If only photography could always be this accessible!

Untitled photo
Untitled photo



Sadly, it wasn't the most exciting of sunrises, but I made the most of the moment nonetheless. Having made the most of the view from the terrace, I made my way out of the building and back up to the Upper Barrakka Gardens for one last look out over the harbor, before returning to the room, grabbing some breakfast, and getting in a cab to the airport. Homeward bound.





So then, Malta. Despite some of my grumblings, I’ve got to say, I really loved the place! The food, on the whole, was very good, if not exceptional, only dipping to average on occasion. The scenery all around is incredible with such an intensely rich history. It's also so easy to get around, with decent public transport that's pretty good value. 

Would I come back again? Absolutely I would! And not before too long, I hope, there is so much more of the island left for us to explore!

Untitled photo

  • No Comments
Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In