Visit to Malta, June 2015

Malta

I was lucky enough to be invited to Malta as the guest judge and speaker at the Malta Photographic Society in Valletta. We spent six days there in June and our hosts were most generous in taking us around the islands and taking care of all our needs. Whilst many British people, arriving for the first time in Malta, might expect it to seem rather British, in fact, it does not! Although there are red telephone boxes and post boxes and the cars drive on the left hand side, there are so many other influences in the culture and architecture of the islands that result in Malta having a very unique identity.

Valletta Cathedral

Although we did spend a little time in Valletta, with Louis and Agnes as our guides, I would love to go again and spend a bit more time to do justice to this beautiful city and especially its new Parliament building. It is always best to save something to go back for! We did manage quite a bit of street photography here and also some pictures inside the cathedral…taken on high ISO without a tripod.

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Street Scenes

These street scenes were captured in various parts of Malta.

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Mdina

Mdina is a medieval walled town situated on a hill in the centre of the island of Malta and its present architecture dates back to the Arab period, from 870 till about 1091. We spent a little time walking the ancient streets on our first night. Everywhere there seemed to be ginger cats to remind me of home!

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Colourful Boats at Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk is a pretty fishing village with a famous market and a harbour full of brightly painted boats, called Luzzus, many of which are painted with eyes on their bow.

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Sliema

Sliema, where we stayed, is an expensive and fashionable tourist place with many restaurants and high street shops like Boots, Marks and Spencer, Next – in fact all the shops you would see in a typical British town – plus a mixture of old and new architecture. The colonnades below are part of the new shopping mall, and the street scene, left, was just behind our hotel.

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Ports and Citadels

The area shown below was subject to a massive amount of bombing during WW2. We also visited the Inquisitor’s House (Roman Inquisition) which was really interesting, in the company of Louis and Joe.

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Gozo

The island of Gozo is much more rural than Malta and is accessed by a car ferry, a journey of about 25 minutes. We were very fortunate to have Paul and Mary to take us across in their car and spend the day with us, showing us the best parts of the island. We couldn’t have seen even a fraction of that on our own.

Gozo Landscape

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Marsalforn Salt Pans, Gozo

Salt pans have been carved out of the rock on the shore to harvest sea salt. They are part of the centuries-old Gozitan tradition of sea salt production and many are still in use.

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Gozo Sunset

Our host was keen that we should see the sunset at the famous rock arch at Dwejra Bay. At certain times of the year the sun sets through the arch, but we were not in luck on this occasion. However, there was a lovely colour on the arch from the setting sun and just a little cloud to provide an interest in the sky. It made a very special end to our visit before we took the ferry back to Malta for our last night in the hotel.

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Our thanks to the members of the Malta Photographic Society for making us so welcome. We had a great time!

 

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