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Day trip to Valletta, Malta

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you will have seen that I have recently been cruising around the Med on board Cunard Queen Victoria, and if not then head over there to catch up.

My first port of call was the stunning Valletta, Malta. 

The ship docked early morning, which allowed us to enjoy breakfast with views of Malta's Grand Harbour as the sun rose. It was just a 20 minute walk from the ship to the centre of Velletta but being at sea level there was a long way up to reach the same level as most of the city. Luckily since my last visit 4 years ago, they have installed a lift to take you up to the Botanic Gardens. This is ideal for someone with limited mobility, like my mother. 

Once you are at the top of the lift you have more impressive views across the entrance of the Grand Harbour, and if your not scared of heights, unlike me, you can stand at the edge just as you come out of the lift and take in the views below. From here you are on the correct level for the rest of the city and the narrow streets are yours to explore. I knew there was only one place I could start this trip for my mother and that was at the city gate, it was original built in 1569, although the one that stands today is the fifth one built between 2011 and 2014. 

As you enter the city there is a long pedestrian road straight down the middle and here is where we continued our journey. When you enter there is a new parliament building on the right hand side and they have done a wonderful job blending it into the surrounding buildings, while still making it look modern. Just before it though on both sides are what they call Renzo Piano steps and they were eye catching against the back drop of the large limestone wall - I was lucky to get a picture without anyone walking up them...oh and cropped out the bin that stands in the left hand corner! Vellatta reminds me very much of Bath in the UK, in the way it has a lot of it's building made out of the same stone and therefore all looking the same. 

We stopped off in a near by cafe to rehydrate and rest before exploring the rest of the streets. We continued walking down the middle, with my mum disappearing to look at the odd church. What I love about Malta is how it reminds me very much of the UK, but with warmer climates. You can find the odd red telephone box and post box standing proud as you wander the streets, on top of this they drive on the same side of the road and use three pin plugs. 

We made it down to St George's Square and chose to explore the less walked streets for the rest of the morning. This allowed us to take in more of the culture and take in the balconies they have everywhere, while nosing into the shops as we went.  

The idea was to find a taxi to take us back to the ship but then we found ourselves outside the Botanic Gardens again and the called for the only thing I could think of and that was an ice cream in the shade. After a short break we decided to take the lift back down to sea level and have a slow walk back to the ship instead so we could enjoy the area a bit longer. 

Malta is a striking place and from past experience there is a lot to see on this smallish island. Of course we can not forget to mention the gorgeous Gozo, which is a small island just off the East coast of Malta. I visited this island when I was here last and I am in love with it and the little gems it has to offer. Unfortunately the Azure window is no longer due to nature erosion but there is still plenty to see.

So if you find yourself wanting a week break, even in early October then book yourself a trip out here.

Arches next to the Botanic Garden

Fountain in the Botanic Garden

Balconies in the side streets


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