Well that’s Valletta done. St John’s Cathedral, the Parliament building, the very pleasant Upper Barrakka Gardens. Red telephone boxes. Marks and Spencer. Nice harbour. Pastries.
But most importantly, and actioned within five minutes walk of the bus station, I have a new belt. My only bad decision on this trip was to remove my belt at home on the basis that it might be a pain with airport security. My oversight being that these trousers were bought when I’d lost around half of the seven stone I’ve shifted and had the potential to fall to the floor with overweighted pockets and no belt!
I was slightly disappointed to discover that Maltese buses are no longer like the one I pictured yesterday. Apparently Aviva supplied new buses when the service was privatised a few years ago. They then later bailed out of the contract to run the service at around the same time they dropped the East Coast Line back on the UK taxpayer.
Buses run every 15 minutes from outside my hotel. The 41 and 42 to be precise. They cost €1.50 for two hours from the time of issue. My money saving head had short lived thoughts of rushing around the capital in ten minutes and heading straight back on the same ticket! There’s also a half hourly airport service, so maybe the car was unnecessary.
I’d been looking forward to the trip, and the opportunity to take in some delightful Maltese scenery on the 8 mile / 50 minute journey. But, to be frank, there is no worthwhile scenery. No worthwhile architecture. Just a sprawl of low rise urbanisation for virtually the whole journey.
That’s not to say Valletta isn’t worth a commitment of your time. I really liked it and the Cathedral is exceptional. The narrow streets have a decent range of shops and cafes and views of the harbour and defences are easily found. It’s a bit classier than Gibraltar but without the monkeys!
Cisk lager? As gassy Mediterranean beers go it’s a good one!
Meantime, there’s a jacuzzi in this hotel somewhere. Back later!