City Sights

Annabelle   February 27, 2016   No Comments on City Sights

Sunday-my last day in Malta- was designed to be a day exploring Valletta, Malta’s capital city. Churches, shops and the famous Malta Experience.

Buses depart every 20 minutes from St Julians Bay and I enjoyed a morning walk along the coast in the sunshine to the bus stop. Malta is a traditionally Catholic city and church plays an important part in the Sundays of the local people there, so many people were heading to mass at the Our Lady of Carmel church in St Julians Bay, and also in Valetta.


Valetta is a world heritage listed site, featuring baroque architecture, statutes, old churches, stalls selling everything from organic honey and jams to handmade jewellery, quaint outdoor cafes, piazzas, gelato bars and narrow streets with glimpses of the glistening blue Mediterranean sea. Being a Sunday, and a traditionally Catholic city, people were either coming from or heading to Sunday mass. It was named after Jean Parisot De La Valette.


St John’s Cathedral is a must see. It was constructed by the Knights of Malta between 1573 and 1578 and was designed by the prominent Maltese Military architect Glormu Cassar and features ornate interior decoration by Mattia Preti. When I got there, Sunday mass had just ended and people were spilling out of the church.


After marveling at the church, I explored the various narrow streets and piazzas within Valetta, browsing the souvenir shops and stalls and buying souvenirs for family and friends back home.


For lunch, I decided to try the traditional Maltese pizza in one of the outdoor cafes in the main piazza. The toppings consist of tomato sauce, Maltese sausage, bacon, peas and onion. I was starving and wood fired Maltese pizza really hit the spot. The cafe featured other traditional Maltese dishes such as rabbit stew and lampuki; the local fish.


Afterwards, whilst admiring the artistic, almost too good to eat dolci in the cafes, I was tempted by coffee and tiramisu. After savouring the coffee and tiramisu and enjoying the glimpses of water views from various points of the city, I headed towards the pier, where there was a fortress and at the Grand Harbour there is the Malta Experience in the Meditterranean Conference centre which is a fabulous audio visual show encompassing the 7000 years of Malta’s history.  The Conference Centre was formerly La Sacra Infirmeria-The Sacred Hospital of the Mediterranean. It was built in 1574 and was a revolutionary hospital in Europe, where many chemists invented ground breaking treatments.


Tickets are available for a tour of the former hospital and/or the show, with combined tickets being offered at a discount. Unfortunately, I hadn’t purchased tickets and had missed the session, but I enjoyed the picturesque scenery of Grand Harbour and made a mental note to come here next time.


Sadly, it was time for good things to come to an end and I made my way back to the hotel, to collect my luggage and head to Luqa International Airport. I will miss this beautiful place, with its unspoiled rugged cliffs, crystal clear waters, such friendly and hospitable people, timeless Baroque architecture and delicious food served in quaint outdoor cafes. This little gem of an island is too wonderful not to visit!

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About Annabelle

I, Annabelle Peters, was born in Spelthorne, London's outskirts, to father, Bruce Surrey, London, and mother Evelyn, born in Mozambique, Africa and raised in Goa, India, both places which were under Portuguese rule. My sister Cristobel was born 3 and a half years later, in 1986. At the age of five, we moved to Sydney Australia, where we remained for 25 years. I attended highschool at Brigidine College St Ives, which I graduated from in 2001 and completed my Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Sydney in 2005, followed by the CPA Program in 2008. Growing up, we did a lot of travelling as a family, a trend which has so far continued for the rest of my life. I think the combination of my mixed origins, together with my father's lengthy and successful career in the travel industry have fueled my passion for travel. In July 2015, I made the decision to do what many Australians do: a stint in London, combining international work experience with travelling around Europe. This journey has taken me to many countries and I would love to share this experience with you all.

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