Our two days in Malta
After the purchase of Malta tickets I was all over the Internet searching for places to visit. Since our stay there lasted for only two days, our itinerary had to be thought through in advance. I wanted us to visit as many cities as we could in this short period of time, and I am glad we managed to do that without being in a rush while enjoying every second of it.
We landed at about 11AM and within 15 minutes we were already sitting on the bus on our way to Valletta. As a reference – one-way bus tickets are quite cheap and they cost €1,50 per person. In addition to that, transportation system in Malta is ultimately the best one I have ever encountered, which is always a plus, right?
Our FIRST day in Malta was spent primarily in its capital city Valletta, which was enough to walk along and across the whole area. Although I have never been to Italy before (hello pictures from the inter webs), Valetta did remind me of a little Italy. Following the City Gate, the second thing you see is the fountain in front of the entrance to the main city area. That was probably the moment the little Italy comparison started forming in my head.
Wandering around got me thinking of how different this city is to any other I have ever been to. It is indeed packed with ancient-looking buildings and sights. No wonder it was named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Street musicians, stylish cafes as well as breathtaking views from every angle perfectly characterize Valletta.
Hunger brought us to a Soul Food cafe, where my mom ordered spinach and ricotta filled Ravioli, while I tasted Buddha Bowl for the first time ever. Let me tell you – I fully considered going vegan at that exact moment, that is how good it was.
Our exploration of the city continued with a walk towards the ocean. In a matter of minutes we found ourselves in a meter distance from the water. The fresh salty water messed up our hair and gave us some fun pictures to look at later. In another ten minutes we were already climbing the stairs to the Barrakka gardens, where the best views opened in front of our eyes.
Outskirts of the city are hilly, and they reminded me of San Francisco’s almost 90 degrees streets. In addition to that, British touches persisted everywhere – from choice of cars to details on the buildings.
It was all neighboring with war museums and the Saluting Battery we got to witness from uphill. This artillery battery was built in the 16th century, although it remained integral till these days.
As the weather was getting warmer, we treated ourselves to some ice cream later in the day. While relaxing on a bench and finishing it, I spotted another ice cream shop that made flower looking gelatos and could not resist trying it out myself. As a result, half an hour later I was holding it in my hands and enjoying lime basil and mango flavored goodness.
Our Pebbles Boutique ApartHotel in Sliema started preparing for us while we boarded on a ferry (which costed just like the bus we took earlier) and arrived to the city. Sliema is a complete opposite of Valletta – a city full of shopping districts, taller buildings and fancier restaurants. Me and my mom had a dinner at one of them while the dusk was falling.
Arriving at the hotel at about 10PM, checking in, and ready to fall on the comfy bed, we found out to our surprise (or most likely unpreparedness) that voltage in the Malta’s sockets is the same as in England. This made our night even more adventurous since it demanded us to sit in the lobby and charge phones from the desktop’s USB port (reception was out of adapters). At about 12 at night we finally passed out.
SECOND day in Malta started off with us waking up at 9AM and headed to have a breakfast downstairs. After we were full, we checked out of the hotel and went on exploring Sliema. Sun was not out until the midday, but that did not affect our mood as we strolled around the city. We hopped into some shops, made some cheeky purchases and continued with our adventure.
Water in the ocean was crystal clear. If the weather was a tad bit warmer, some swimming action would definitely take place. In the meantime, we took a break from walking and sat in the nearby cafe “Mint” to regain some energy. We had smoothies and a lemon pie, which were all handmade and delicious.
By going further down the street, we noticed a little park with tons of cats chilling either in the sun or in their houses. It was clear that they were taken care of, well-fed and overall happy. It made me happy too.
Taking in some more views, we entered St Julian’s. There are no borders between the cities, so we would not know it is a whole new city- all the thanks to my offline map. St Julian’s is similar to Sliema, and looks almost like it’s continuation. Sun was out and the heat made it hard yet manageable to walk uphill the city. When our stomachs started begging for food, we stopped at a local Wagamama’s and had our first ever ramen. I guess this trip had a lot of “first times” in terms of food.
Instead of hitting up another city (which would take two hours back and forth), we decided to go back to Valletta and explore some more. An old church in the downtown of the city caught our attention and we made our entrance just in time to listen to the service and quickly get out.
Sadly, this packed up trip was close to an end as we sat in the capital’s cafe sipping some chai latte before going back to the airport. I already know that next time northern regions of Malta will be visited. For the time being, thank you for reading about my travel adventures and hope to see you soon.