Walk 5b – Marsaxlokk to Birzebugga
This walk was really the final stretch of my last walk (Walk 5) that I ran out of time to finish. .So it was going to be a short walk More time for coffee and lunch at the end though as this time I had company. Lara, the local from Birzebugga, was joining me for the walk. Yay!
I drove to Marsaxlokk and met Lara at the car park right by the harbour. We were lucky because after a week of rain it was a beautiful warm sunny day.
The sea at Marsaxlokk harbour is dotted with the pretty painted fishing boats called Luzzu – with the eye painted on for good luck. We strolled along the harbour avoiding the many groups of school children out for the day (clearly the place for a school visit). We paused to look at the market that runs along the harbourside. It can get really busy at the weekend but today there were just a few stalls selling souvenirs and generally a load of tat at rip off prices. Some great fish on sale though which Taco was very interested in.
At the end of Marsaxlokk we found a dirt path and were able to get off the road for a bit and Taco could run about off the lead. We then came to Fort San Lucjan which was built by the Order of Saint John between 1610 and 1611, from the time of the Knights.
It was a fairly impressive fort so we stopped to walk around it before heading on to the bay of Saint George just before Birzebugga. We passed some cart ruts close to where Lara’s flat is. Cart ruts can be found all over Malta. They are deep grooves in the limestone presumably once used for moving some kind of vehicle along. “I’ve never noticed those before’ said Lara. Honestly!
We then reached Pretty Bay om Brozebigga. It’s the only big sandy beach in the South of Malta but it’s not a naturally sandy beach. Originally it was rock here and the beach was created from sand collected from the seabed. It was much appreciated by Taco who instantly went crazy tearing around in the sand and rolling about.
The thing about Birzebugga is that just across from Pretty Bay is something that really is not pretty which is the Freeport. A huge floating structure with cargo and crates and ships. The Freeport was established in 1988 and is now the third largest transhipment and logistics centre in the Mediterranean region. However, not really what you want to look at as you swim in the very clear turquoise waters of Pretty Bay.
I forgot to record the route of our walk but we pretty much followed the coast the whole way. Such a beautiful and enjoyable morning. We ended our walk at Districtfive beach club where we enjoyed a coffee and a Maltese tuna ftira. Tuna Ftira’s are popular on lunch menus. It’s crusty Maltese bread with a sweet tomato paste (kunserva) and then a mix of capers, tuna, broad beans, olives, onions and Maltese goat’s cheese (ġbejna). This was a particularly good Ftira.
I then had to stuff my stinky, sandy dog into a taxi and shoot back to Marsaxlokk and back to school for pick up.
Must have been a good walk because Lara wants to join me for the next leg from Birzebugga to Zurrieq.