The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Endless Summer

I forget, sometimes, how close to the desert we really are. And not just any desert, but the scorching, infinite sands of the Sahara. So when summer lingers on and on, like it has been doing this year, it should not really come as a surprise to me. But, inevitably, it does; (because the expanse of sea between here and the African continent makes me forget where we’re really located).
Image via Sharkmans World
You see, I am a boots and sweater kind of girl and this year, I have had to leave my beloved boots and fluffy sweaters in the closet. I suppose that, as has happened in the past, prayers will soon be offered in churches for the heavens to pour some rain on us. In the meantime, I am looking on the sunny (literally) side of this and enjoying some leisurely strolls.
Valletta on a Sunday (16)
This past weekend Valletta beckoned. I wandered into some areas that I had never been in before. Yes, in a city that is about 1.5 miles long by maybe half a mile wide, I still have much to explore. I will concede one thing though – the light of the sun is special at this time of year. There is a golden glow about it that brings out the honey colour in all the old buildings. And whereas once I used to shy away from anything that was rusty or crumbling, I have now learnt that these things too have a story to tell.
Valletta on a Sunday (5)
In Valletta, there is no escaping the patina of age (except for our new parliament building - but that a story from some other time). It is just there and begs to be noticed and loved for what it is. In Valletta you sometimes come across the totally unexpected in the most unlikely places. And that is what every city needs – a dose of quirky around a forgotten corner – like these figures created from recycled materials. I cam across these unusual, colourful and fun exhibits in Strait Street (Valletta’s former Red Light District) and they really brightened up this decaying sector of the city.
Valletta on a Sunday (27)
But even in such charming surroundings, bellies still start to rumble. We ate at a restaurant with the unlikely name of Badass  Café. I would say that  they make the best burgers in Malta. They even got my American husband’s seal of approval. So if they are up to US standards, they are definitely delicious; and let me not start about the fries. We all gave them a big thumbs up. Enough about food though …
Valletta on a Sunday (56)
We have recently been trying to teach the Mischief  Maker a little bit about the long history of these islands. I was in panic mode at first. Where to start when the story goes back at least 6000 years? So we decided not to start anywhere in particular (how typical of me) and just teach him about the place we happen to be in. And what better place to start than Valletta? So we strolled across St George’s Square to the Grand Master’s Palace. A short explanation about this building and off he went, our Mischief Maker, – flitting about like a pesky mosquito.
Valletta on a Sunday (17)
Valletta on a Sunday (18)
This building may have been built and embellished by the Grand Masters of the Order of St John but subsequent rulers left their own mark. And that is what I like best about history, that it is made up of many layers, one on top of the other, and you can only get to the heart of the story by peeling back each layer and discovering what lies beneath.
Valletta on a Sunday (84)
Location: Valletta, November 2012

13 comments:

  1. I love this sentence: Yes, in a city that is about 1.5 miles long by maybe half a mile wide, I still have much to explore.

    We have a Badass Coffee nearby. I've been wanting the t-shirt ...

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  2. Stunning architecture! Patina is so beautiful... xoxo, B

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  3. Personally, I would love to have your weather very much, and I think teaching your son where he is exploring is the best way to go. He can see, feel, and hear the area which will enrich his experience so much more.

    Love your photos!

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  4. Hello Loree:
    We find your 'tours' of the island endlessly fascinating with so much which is both unusual and unexpected. And to be able to stroll around at this time of year in warm sunshine is surely a bonus indeed.

    We leave for a flooded Venice later this week and so will be 'off air' so to speak for a week or so. We shall much look forward to catching up on our return.

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  5. I agree with the Hattatts. There is so much to soak in, it is incredible! I really do think that I would be head over heels there. Actually, I would be all too happy to move into the apartment with the ancient windowed balcony!!

    Yes, we both are so lucky to live in such storied environments. And ps. I updated my post so that it mentions "Snapshots" as well--again, my apologies about that!
    Bisous,
    H.

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  6. When you write about Malta I get that uncontrollable desire to be back home!!!
    Love the pictures, the architecture in Valletta is beautiful.
    Can't wait to visit again.

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  7. Wonderful sightseeing tour ! Be happy to leave your boots in your closet ! I wished I could take my summer shoes out ! On the global map our two countries look like a flea poop !

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  8. we are waiting for some boots and sweater weather here, too (got a small taste of it, and then it became summer again.) at least you have some wonderful history to explore in your sandals!

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  9. Your post reminded me that when I married Hubby over 20 years ago, Malta was on our short-list for our honeymoon but we ended up going to Spain instead. I've always had it on our "to go" list. Maybe for our next anniversary... Nice photos, BTW!

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  10. Loree - you live in a beautiful place and I am amazed at how close you are to the Sahara desert. You probably never have temperatures under 70 (or not). Your writing along with your gorgeous pictures always helps me travel to this wonderful place called Malta. Have a blessed week.

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  11. I crave a summer back in Malta, a nice long hot summer
    Filled with nothing much to do
    lovely post
    xx

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  12. The heat would feel nice to me right now but having lived in Arizona previously, I remember how long the hot weather went on and on. It got to the point that I would rejoice in a cloudy day! You just need to convince your dear hubby to bring you back to the States for a winter holiday. You would definitely get to wear your sweaters and boots. We had a letter from our relatives in Idaho today and they said Yellowstone had snow at the end of October.

    Lovely images from Valetta, particularly the one of the glass-enclosed balcony.

    Thanks for your visit and comment on my "green" challenge today.
    ~Lindy

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  13. i like the way you describe malta in archaeological terms - i don't know much about its ancient history but would love to know more, just like mischief maker! 6000 years is a long time of occupation and the medieval building you showed is amazing.

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