Tritons' fountain, outside the City Gate of Valletta
Yet another motor back up Malta's east coast to St Julian's, Budella Bay. The anchorage this time around had a huge dredger on the one side that was replenishing sand onto the beach area. Earlier in the year, Malta experienced a number of severe storms which destroyed several beaches and they're now busy replenishing sand before summer officially starts - that's tomorrow, so we can only assume that they've almost finished! Despite the dredger there was still ample room to anchor. From here we dropped off laundry in Sliema before we caught the bus for yet another visit into Valletta. From the moment you cross the bridge and enter City gate there's a labyrinth of streets to wander down and take in the fabulous views and of course there are loads of attractions to visit.
view from Grand Harbour over to the three cities (Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua)
One of the best vantage points is from the Upper Barakka Gardens, a multi-tiered platform comprising of a courtyard garden that holds numerous monuments commemorating dignitaries and important members of the public and a welcome opportunity to take shade under the various trees, pines and palms. The courtyard overlooks the Saluting Battery where several strategically placed cannons guard Grand Harbour and where at noon there is a daily re-enactment of a cannon being fired - it's a time honored tradition that is still honored today as well as full gun salutes fired at irregular intervals throughout the year. The gunfire can be heard for miles around the island. We were fortunate to time our arrival early enough to listen to a brief commentary on the history of the site before one cannon was loaded and fired. It's impressively loud, interesting and fun. The photo below should have been an action shot, but the actual 'boom' of the gunfire was so unexpected and loud that I jumped and took a snap of the sky instead - how many people would admit to doing that - lol!
ready... steady... and fire! The history behind the use of these cannons is really interesting - visit www.salutingbattery.com
Valletta really is charming, elegant and packed full of sights - no wonder it's now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
How very 'British' - Pillar box red phone booth, balcony and shutters and Bruce just about to devour a 'world famous gelato flower' from Amorino as recommended to us by fellow cruisers Tom and Susan
Total distance this season: 122.87 nautical miles