A hot day today (again) with blue skies and some white fluffy clouds on the horizon.
We had a leisurely start - we walked up from our flat with the aim of finding the tourist office.
We arrived in the Auberge Castille Which is where the prime minister has his office. Plenty of police and military about, but we didn’t see him. In front is Castile place, a large paved area with a number of statues of former prime ministers ( eg Dom Mintoff). A bit further to the walls below which is the ditch is a monument called The flame which never dies. The monument portrays the Maltese people's long journey to take destiny into its own hands. Great views from here. The whole city is a fortress. And everywhere you look are walls, guns, ditches, battlements etc. it is huge.
Our Lady Of Victories Chapel c1500 was the first in Valetta.small but well decorated. Another tourist abused J because he had forgotten to take his hat off. Just down from here we saw the Royal opera house site. The original 1866 building was destroyed by aerial bombing in 1942. So they effectively perform in the ruins. Next stop was the tourist office and Heritage Malta office where a pass was purchased.
J and C needed some refreshment and as it was nearly 12, decided to have something for lunch. A small quaint cafe was found - the Museum cafe. But it appeared full until C found a shared table down the stairs. As with everything here, it was very old and walls were stone. The signage and memorabilia were of English origin. Even had some English customers ordering red sauce!
J and C tried the traditional Pastizzi ( with a mashed pea filling) plus some toasted cheese sandwiches and coffee. The coffee was the best they had had this trip. All dirt cheap, and the lady serving was very friendly.
Now the Heritage passes had to be put to the test - so off to the Grand Masters Palace and Armoury.the palace was undergoing restoration/conservation, so some sections were unavailable. Nevertheless it was impressive. And still used for official functions. On the outside wall was an inscribed stone containing the wording of the award of the George Cross to the people of Malta. The Armoury was what you would expect from a place with a Knight history- suits of armour, swords, guns, cannons, bows, pikes and so on. Many of the suits were heavily decorated. There were a variety of helmet st Yale’s, and J observed that one type bore a startling resemblance to C-3PO from Star Wars!
It was hotter, and J and C decided to take a siesta, and returned to the apartment. J went to the bakery next door and grabbed beer, wine, and cakes ( coconut, marmalade). After a suitable rest ( for C, read sleep!) we went to the roof for a relaxing drink, while taking in the views.
Later we all strolled down St Paul Street finding interesting sights and views at every step. The buildings themselves, and the streetscapes - especially the steep streets leading down to the harbour.
Around Archbishop st, we changed direction and went back to the Foodhall. for a light meal. Then some very ordinary ice cream which was advertised as original and creamy. Maybe original but definitely not creamy. J had mint choc chip, which was green ice cream with some bits of chocolate- definitely no mint flavour. Oh well, at least it was cold!
J and C decided they would need to get going earlier to beat the heat.