Thursday, September 08, 2016

MALTA: The Three Cities

If you remember back to my post on Valletta, Malta's capital city, you may recall that across the Grand Harbour from Valletta are the Three Cities that jut into the harbor facing Valletta.

But first, here we are again to get our bearings...from our Buggiba hotel to Valletta.
It was an hour's ride on the bus, stopping all along the way.

Now look at this closer-up map of the Valletta area.
There's Valletta, the big peninsula.  Across the harbor to the left are The Three Cities:
Kalkara, Vittoriosa and Senglea.
(The only city we did not visit was Kalkara, the least populated of the three.)

To get from here (Valletta) to there (The Three Cities), we started in Valletta's 
Upper Barrakka Gardens...rounded the corner...

 ...from which you get the beautiful vistas across the harbor to The Three Cities.
Pay attention to the Saluting Battery and all those cannons...fired every day at noon and 4 p.m.
We were not in Valletta to see a firing but we were in The Three Cities...later.

From the upper gardens we took the Barakka Lift down to the harbor.
It can transport up to 800 people per hour, in 2 cabins of 21 passengers each.
Completed in 2012, it replaces the old lift (from 1905-1973), 58 meters (190 feet) high.
Talk about saving a lot of time and effort!

Down at the harbor, we caught one of the ferries that crosses every 15 minutes
for €2.80 per person round-trip.  What a great service!

We could have taken one of the gondola boats, of course...but we didn't.

As soon as we got off the ferry in Vittoriosa and started walking, guess what!
They were renovating said gondola boats.

And a bit further, we found the St. Lawrence Church we had seen from the ferry.
It wasn't open when we were there, sadly....

...but the café around the corner was, where we stopped for our morning break.
Cisk beer (pronounced CHisk) is made in Malta.
Notice the "loitering" men again!

Of course, we walked around to see whatever we could see.

And before we knew it, we found a bridge to cross over to Senglea, the next city.
As you can see, there are harbors and boats everywhere.

AND more boat renovation...this time of regatta boats!
This gentleman was delighted to explain everything to Astrid about the races held each 8 September,
commemorating Malta's National Victory Day in 1565 and 1943.
Guess what!  That big race is TODAY, from 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
What a koinky-dink!

I know you think we eat all the time but it was time to eat our main meal of the day.
Notice the St Lawrence Church across the harbor from our café.

Like what we did in Valletta, we then walked up and down the streets,
almost able to stretch out our arms to touch the harbor on either side.

And speaking of churches, one was now open...
Our Lady of Safe Havens...aka Our Lady of Porto Salvo...

so, of course, we entered.  
It was Saturday, so it made sense to see some prepping.

Just a short walk away we were at the tip of the Senglea peninsula in the Gardjola Gardens.
And because it was almost 4 p.m., we waited and watched the firing of the cannons from Valletta.
In such times I am so thankful for my 1200-meter zoom lens!
(And, yes, that's moi inside that little tower, wearing my hat.)

By now we were on our way back to pick up our ferry for the return trip to Valletta,
and found this Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church open, built in the late 16th century.

Remember, there are 359 churches in Malta and Gozo, most of which are Roman Catholic.

Did I mention how the weather wreaks havoc on everything in Malta?

But how can you not love the place!
Everywhere you go there is history and culture...and beauty, beauty, beauty.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If I can get all my last ducks in a row, I have one more major post of our April's Malta trip:  GOZO.
I'll try to make it into ONE post, from the day's excursion we took there.
Wish me luck...before we leave for England on 23 September!


  1. All quite spectacular. But wow that weather, and the salt water. You really saw a lot in Malta!

    1. It all really WAS spectacular, Ruth, and every time I work on the pics I took, I'm amazed all over again. It's one of the best trips we've ever taken and one I'd definitely recommend. Thank you for joining the ride.

  2. I was taken by the hospitality and the friendly man showing us the regatta boats and telling is all about it. Fabulous pictures of those boats. We had a great day and we were short of eyes. What a day and what a memory :) The pictures show that we saw a lot. And we even did not see it all, which is impossible. I am impressed with your 'eye' for detail and beauty. IHVJ

    1. Can you imagine what we would have seen if we had been there another week? It really was impossible to see it all. Just to get a smattering, however, was more than enough to recommend a visit to others. I'm so glad we got to see it together! :)

  3. This trip just keeps on giving! Love it!

    1. That's really a good way to put it, Robin!!! Thank you.

  4. Lol. You don't have much time to finish the Malta pictorial. I look forward to your next adventure.

  5. How beautiful! I will catch your latest entry while still holding previous ones for later viewing. The only thing that kept going through my mind is that such ancient, wonderful places exist amid what I see being spoiled forever elsewhere. So glad you can indulge in all this and I can take some little piece of it from you and use it also to recall our several trips to Italy.

    1. I keep saying this is one of Europe's best-kept secrets, Ted. I'm sure of it. I'm so glad we had the chance to see it, even though it's taken me forever to get through all the images. A trip like this once a year is more than enough. HA!

      Please know I do NOT expect you to back-track and catch up here. You have been very busy and sometimes we just need to let Life move on! But thanks for the thought anyway.

  6. hehe, if i was naturally skinny i WOULD eat all the time!! i remember seeing an old movie with meryl streep and, i forget his name, where they went to heaven and you could eat CONSTANTLY if you wanted... of course! how could it be otherwise in heaven? :) and Malta seems like a little piece of heaven on earth, weather aside... so EAT, that's what i say :)

    1. LOL. I'll have to go find that Meryl Streep movie, since she's one of my all-time favorites. To be honest, Astrid and I love to eat but do not overdo it, which makes it perfect for both of us.

      You would love Malta! It still amazes me....

  7. Such a joy to read your documentation on Malta. Next time I go back I would make sure to use your posts as guide. Awesome trip.

    1. If my post can help anyone decide about going to/back to Malta, Maria, I'll be thrilled. Sometimes we need to go back to a place we visited years ago, just to see it with new eyes. Being a photographer often changes things for us, doesn't it!

  8. Your photographs of Malta should be in a tourist brochure because anyone looking at them would love to go there for a vacation – they are gorgeous. What a great place for you to photograph, so much color, shapes, history, food and all. I’d love to go back as I just saw a bit of Malta. The churches are super ornate.
    I was looking at a site on the Net and I thought about you. It is a photograph called Brian in Rotterdam – you may have seen his pictures. He photographs abandoned buildings. Take a look at his religious places here in - It’s hard to see such places going to decay.

    1. You're very kind, Vagabonde. Thank you. If anyone happens to find my posts here at In Soul and finds them helpful, I'll be happy enough.

      I tried opening Brian's link but to no avail. However, I did find him on Facebook and have Liked him, so I should get new photos as they're posted. THANK YOU.

  9. Oh my, I can hardly wait. I'm just scared I won't have the energy of you two!! Leaving July 8th for our adventure. This is helping my mood immensely.

    1. WOW. Your trip is just around the corner, Susan! Don't worry about what you can't do. Just concentrate on what you CAN. You'll love Malta (except I'm afraid it would be way too hot for ME right now). Tell me all about it when you have time.