On the last day of Easter break I took the day off and headed to Valletta with the Mischief Maker. My plan was to take the ferry from Valletta and cross over to the town of Sliema. It was a nice day but breezy. We wandered around Valletta for a while escaping into the side streets.
Old Bakery Street
I have fallen into the habit of always taking my camera to Valletta and am slowly learning to look at it with new eyes – a stranger’s eyes. It is not difficult to do. I have never really explored our capital city. It is by no means as grand as London or Paris or Vienna but it has its own inherent beauty and I am slowly discovering it and learning to appreciate it – in spite of all its blemishes.
It’s a downhill walk all the way to the jetty from where the ferry leaves. On the way I could not resist taking some snapshots.
The ferry takes about 10 minutes to cross Marsamxett Harbour from Valletta to Sliema and it is 10 minutes well spent. Apart from not having to deal with traffic, the views are quite stunning with Valletta at the rear and Manoel Island, with its 18th Century fort, to the left.
Valletta Skyline dominated by the church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Manoel Island and Fort Manoel
Across the stretch of water, the modern apartment blocks that make up Sliema are as different from the Baroque splendour we just left behind us as crows are from peacocks. The contrast is almost palpable.
Sliema has very much become the ‘it’ place, the place where it’s all happening; a crowded, congested maze of shops, restaurants, cafeterias and offices. There is an undeniable energy about it, a constant buzz of activity – but I can’t help looking across the harbour at the understated elegance of a city that, for many, has lost so much of its lustre. Except that it hasn’t lost any of it, not really, it just requires inquisitive eyes that can look beyond the surface and a heart willing to learn its story.
St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral
Since 1980 Valletta has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site.