Saturday, July 9, 2011

2011 May - Malta part II

Mdina and Rabat
There are two cities close to each other. Firstly, we visited Mdina, the first capital city of Malta. We went through the main gate to the old city.
Near the main gate there are Mdina Dungeons - a small underground tour inside the crime history of Malta dating from Roman times to the Arabs, the Knights and Napoleon times. 

Very close is the Natural History Museum and on the opposite side there is a tourist information office. The St. Paul and Peter’s cathedral is situated on the main square. We bought a ticket (2,50 Euro) and we visited both the cathedral museum and the cathedral.

At the end of the Villegaignon street there is a view point, from where we saw the Qawra, national football arena, in the distance the Portomaso Tower and Valletta. Inside the town they offered cab horse rides. 

You can enter the city by car only if you’re a resident of Mdina. We visited The Mdina Experience where we saw a film of the history of the city. There is also the Knights Museum. We went out from Mdina through the Greek Gate, where we found an interesting tree. 

Outside the walls, in Rabat there is the ‘Domus Romana’ with mosaic pavements inside. Rabat was Mdina suburbs. We asked about Crystal Palace the famous place where they prepare Maltese pastizzi. 

They are two kinds of these cheese cakes, one with ricotta and the second one with green peas. Its costs 0.30 Euro each.
It an old school place visited both by tourists and Maltese people drinking coffee in glasses. Have a look for the way how they prepare everything here. It’s quite a special place. 

In Rabat we decided to visit the St. Paul’s church with a grotto where according to the legend St. Paul lived for a while. There was a prison but the guide, who is there every day, will tell you the whole story and collect money  at the end. The church is richly decorated.

What is important is that the main entrance is seldom open, so firstly, we were in aisle and turned left to get to the church by a side door.

About 300 meters from the church there are St. Paul’s Catacombs, a huge place underground with many old burial places inside made out of stone.
Very close are St. Agata’s Catacombs - smaller ones but with medieval painting in a cave church from Middle Ages, what is quite unusual to see. 

You need to wait for the guide who tells an interesting story about this place.   
Mellieha to Mistra Bay
This time I decided to have a walk from Mellieha to the Mistra Bay. Before Mellieha village there is a big roundabout. 

It’s important to leave the bus on the first stop after passing it. I was back to the roundabout and there is a sign for the Selmum Palace, so I went there.

The walk to the Selmum Palace took me about 20 minutes. Before it there is a small chapel. In the palace there is a hotel and many times they have some events outside. Between the chapel and the palace there is a small road turning right to the Fort Campbell.

To this fort it took me about 10 minutes and as usually I visited it for a while. It was a good idea because I saw a chameleon and then two Black Snakes.

My plan was to visit a place in front of St. Paul’s Island so before the fort I turned left and took the road near walls going down. There is a place for cars – like a small wild parking place and then there is an off road way to the right starting with a big step which led me to the beautiful place. 

There is a good place to swim in summer time. They have safety zones for swimmers and if you are a good swimmer you can try to swim to the island but you need to be careful because there are many boats passing there. 

I had a good time there walking in the rocks near the beach there are salt plants and military ruins. I decided to walk to the Mistra bay. There is a small footpath going up and down but it is a nice walk. During this trip I saw small bunker.

Mistra Bay is a good place for barbeques and for swimming. In weekend there are many Maltese people. 

From Mistral Bay there is a road to the main one where I got a bus home. It was nice to buy strawberries in a good price straight from the field at the end. 

On main road I took a bus home.

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