We woke the next morning to a beautiful sunrise…
We had booked a car and driver for the day from Prestige Cabs; this was the best surprise of the trip. Our driver, Valentine, was absolutely amazing – so much more than just a driver! We had him for 6 hours and he made the most out of our time. We wanted to go to the Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk but we saw so much more.
Our first stop was the “Miracle Church of Mosta”. The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady was bombed during WWII; one of the bombs went through the dome of the church while mass was being celebrated and didn’t detonate. A second bomb hit the front of the church and it didn’t detonate either. The bombs were later diffused by the military and miraculously no one was hurt.
Mass was just about to start, so we only had time for a quick peek…
Our next stop was Mdina; an ancient walled city with more than 4000 years of history. It was the capital of Malta until the 1500’s and it’s very well preserved.
Many of the windows here had these interesting cages on them rather than shutters.
From Mdina we headed to Dingli Cliffs where a rainbow was waiting for us. At just over 250 feet above sea level, this is the highest point in Malta.
The cliffs stretch along Malta’s western shore for more than 2 kilometres.
Our next stop was the Blue Grotto. The plan was to take a traditional Maltese fishing boat to see the Grotto, which is a system of 7 caves. Unfortunately, the boats weren’t running that day due to the high winds and rough seas. All was not lost, we did get to see the main arch which is over 30 metres (almost 100 feet).
After the grotto we headed to the south of the island to the small traditional fishing village of Marsaxlokk (translates to ‘Southern Port’). The fisherman here use the traditional Maltese fishing boats, the Luzzu, as well as larger boats.
Marsaxlokk is the largest fishing harbour in Malta and even though there were lots of tourists it still felt “real”.
The boats all have the two eyes at the front; they are said to protect the fishermen while at sea. Made of wood, the luzzu need to be painted regularly. This one was out of the water and had been freshly painted.
Marsaxlokk is also known for their colourful outdoor market, and on Sundays, a fish market.
Back in Valetta with plenty of time to spare, I was heading back up to the old city, but the dark clouds made me rethink that plan. Instead, just a few more shots of the waterfront…