Walk 3 – The Three Cities
This walk starts from where I finished Walk 2, at Valletta city gates. So, an easy one to arrange transport wise as I could park at Valletta MCP.
I was looking forward to walking the three cities because I’ve done part of the walk before and it’s beautiful. However, the beginning of this walk is through Marsa and an industrial estate, so I wasn’t particularly enthralled to be doing that. Still, in the spirit of ‘walking the entire island’ Taco and I set off map in hand to tackle the main roads of Marsa and Paola. Our starting point was the World War I War Memorial, The Cenotaph Pillar in Floriana, which is where we finished Walk 2.
We (that’s me and Taco) walked down to Valletta Waterfront which faces onto the Grand Harbour. We had walked along here a bit on the last walk but this time it was much busier as tourists were arriving from a huge cruise liner. And I mean HUGE. Imagine staying on this ship – how would you remember where your room was?
From here we began our walk through the industrial areas where there wasn’t much to report. The main concern was walking safely along the side of some quite major roads and keeping Taco on a short leash. As we headed around the industrial dockyards we saw this rather interesting contraption though. I’m guessing it is some kind of anchor made from tyres? If you know what it is please tell me.
Walking along the main roads through Marsa wasn’t particularly exciting and people actually starred at Taco and I. I don’t think they get many dog walkers round here. However, there were a few interesting things to note on the way. A beautiful old car we spotted which was parked below the main road. I’m not sure if was road worthy but it looked very quaint parked outside the old doorways.
Also, we saw a rather bizarre art exhibition at the side of the main road. I’ve tried to google this to find out what it is but nothing comes up. Possibly a memorial of some kind with a modern twist? Anyway, it brightened up an otherwise dull road.
Finally we started to get to the interesting part. The road went through a tunnel and past the defence wall of the Three Cities. We entered and immediately came to the Church of Saint Paul and the start of the first medieval city of Isla.
We followed along the cobbled roads, wandering down some of the side streets and admiring the beautiful houses with the traditional Maltese balcony boxes.
As we approached the end of the penninsula we walked out to the edge to look back over at the Grand Harbour from this side with Valletta behind it. There is a sentry box here which is know as the gardjola, which has an ear, an eye and a crane bird on it. It basically means good luck and that this tower is watching over the people and keeping them safe.
We walked on the front to Galley Creek. On a warmer day there there are lot of great spots here to jump in and swim which I’ve done before. It’s very peaceful and pretty and you can stare at the millionaires super yachts on the other side of the water. We carried on and round the corner to the second city; the city of Birgu.
Birgu, also known as Citta Vittoriosa, is an old fortified city and I think the prettiest of the three cities. If you have limited time in Malta I would definitely include a walk around Birgu. The are beautiful old stone houses on narrow windy cobbled streets. Taco and I walked along the harbour edge past a string of cafes alongside the super yachts and the ferry terminal where you can jump on a boat back to Valletta. These cafes and restaurants are in a lovely setting, but I have to say, having tried a few, the food is pretty poor and they aren’t particularly cheap. Okay for a coffee stop though. We carried on round to Fort St Angelo at the end where you have to then cut across to the other side of the peninsula. Fort St Angelo was built by the Knights in the 16th Century and certainly looks worthy of a visit. I made a note to return on another day without Taco.
We continued round the fortified walls of Birgu to the other side and round to Kalkara Creek. We passed Kalkara Parish Church where we finished our walk. To get back we cut across Birgu to the ferry port and got the ferry back to Valletta before walking back to the car in the MCP. Phew!
Here’s Taco on the ferry back looking pretty tired after our walk. I won’t show you how I looked but probably it was worse than Taco.