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Marsaxlokk. Fort, adrenaline rush and good wine

In the heart of Mediterranean IIII

sunny 28 °C

Saturday 21 th

21th of September, otherwise known as an Independence Day of Malta. Also the day which we would make this trips longest migration. From Marsalforn to Marsaxlokk is only 45 kilometres but doe to the busses and the ferry it took us almost 4 hours to get our destination.

But the silver lining of sitting on the bus for hours was that we had to change bus in Valletta. This inself is nothing unusual, in Valletta there is probably the biggest bus station in Malta but doe to my technical skills I didn’t have any pictures from there and now I got the opportunity to get new photos of the Triton Fountain.


Triton Fountain in Valletta, second try.

From that the day started to go down hill. We founded our accommodation alright and the place is great! Modern and spacious, we even have an washing machine AND dishwasher. And way too efficient AC. We went to an store and did laundry. Also we decided that for the honor of Maltan independence we would go to celebrate and would eat in a restaurant. They wouldn’t have any celebrations in here, only in Valletta. And we just came from there so we opted not to go back there. We didn’t know that, we just assumed that it’s the Independence day so of course they would celebrate everywhere but we were wrong.

At the point we left to find a restaurant I was already freezing for sitting in front of AC so long and very very very hungry. We found the beach front and went to an first restaurant we saw. In there they said that sorry, you can’t have food before 6 PM. Clock was 5.26 PM, I remember. They as good as kicked us out from there so, plan B, beers first.

Again, first place we see. And beer we got but the service wasn’t nice. Or maybe I had an permanent scowl on my face for been denied food. Hope not. I started to shuffle the cards to distract me from my hunger and we played some too. As if the day weren’t bad enough fly flied and tried to drown in my beer. Why in my beer, there were plenty of other beers around and I were the only one who was this hungry. Just my luck.

Finally the clock reached 6 PM, 6.08 PM to be exact, and we started back to the first restaurant. Toni find in the menu some dish he wanted to try. Again, they said, no food yet. Why did the first guy said us that 6 PM, you can have food if that was not the case?


Please, please, please, give me some food.

I started to be desperate when we finally founded and place which actually served food! Quick glance at the menu and couple questions to the waitress and I ordered sea food paella, Toni got the stake. Neither of the dishes were really good. Again not, bad, but not good either. And the beer there wasn’t Cisk. Over all very disappointing evening out.
And I am still murderously mad of that fly for getting in my beer!

Sunday 22 nd

Extremely lazy Sunday today. Mostly movies and relaxing. We went out of the apartment just to the store get some bread and wine. I am in no way any expert when it comes to wines so I usually choose some which has pretty picture on front. Classy, I know, lol. This time it was not the picture but the description which made me to pick this one. You can’t go wrong if the wine will temp you to buy some doughnuts!


See the label ;)

Monday 23 rd

After yesterday’s staying in it was time to do some exploring around Marsaxlokk. Almost 10 kilometers worth of exploring in total but who’s counting. I had read that there were old fortress not too far where they had filmed an movie Assassin’s Creed. Which we actually watched yesterday. St. Dominic Basilica in Valletta, various historic buildings in Valletta and Fort Delimara in Marsaxlokk were couple of places where the movie was filmed. Unfortunately fortress was closed. Which I would have known if I would have read little about the place before we went there. But we did see it from outside.

Fort Delimara is part of chain of fortifications which British builded to protect the harbor. It was build between 1876-1888. Main Gate was build in 1881. That we did see. Now the fortress is under responsibility of Heritage Malta which has planned to restore it and made it to an museum. Which was somewhere I would love to get the chance to visit. Heritage Malta has had the ownership from 2005, before that Government of Malta rented the place to an farmer which use the fort to raise pigs (1982-2005)

Fort Delimara


Gatehouse of Fort Delimara

When you walk past the fortress you can find Delimara Lighthouse. One of nine Malta’s lighthouses. It was originally build in 1855 when it originated constant red light fueled by olive oil. The initial light system was replaced by rotating optic system in 1896. This system alternated red and white light in 30 second intervals using rotating table with Fresnel lens. Weights descending from lantern room enabled the clockwork mechanism to turn the table.

1990 the old light house was replaced by an new one.


Old lighthouse

It was another hot day, temperature somewhere near 30 Celsius so when we reached the lighthouse the cooler wind coming from the sea was very welcoming. We stood there near the lighthouse looking at the waves hitting over the saltpans for good while enjoying the breeze.

Just like every other good little tourist we visited St. Peter’s Pool. The field near the Pool was makeshift business place for an local entrepreneur. He had an sign and everything for advertising parking places for 3 euros and cold beers. Too bad that there is free parking space closer to the Pool.

There was a lot of people jumping in and out of water from various points, the highest were around 5 metres or so. Toni said immediately that this is not place for him to swim, the current was strong and your feet wouldn't hit the bottom. I on the other hand was hot and sweaty for our walking. I promised that I would jump just once and we could go then so he wouldn’t need to wait so long. The place wasn’t really ideal for sun bathing. The surface was hard rock so not very pleasant to sit in and there weren’t shade any where.

I walked on the edge and waited for my turn. When previous one was out of the way I jumped. The drop were so long that my stomach had time to flip and I succeed to think am I going to hit the water at all. In the end my feet hit the surface and rest of me followed. The water was clear blue and you could see every bubble. I totally get my adrenaline rush for today!
And also scared Toni shitless (sorry my English) by jumping from the highest point so there is not photo of me but I got some good photos of others.


Girl jumping at St. Peter's Pool

We had good timing too, after we left there was a lot of people waiting for their turn to jump.

On the way back to the town we again walked past the Delimara Power Station which makes electricity to Malta and Gozo. And just across the bay you can see huge harbor of Freeport. In my opinion there is some ugly kind of beauty in industries, especially on nights when all the lights are on when it’s dark outside.

I think that we had more than earned the beers we got back in the town. While enjoying our drinks we watched the boats and fishermen. We also saw men loading palm leaves in to one vessel. Does any of you know what they are doing with these leaves on the boat?

Boats at the harbour


Boats at the harbour


Boats at the harbour

Tuesday 24 th

Spending the whole day at the apartment made me a little bit restless so when Toni said that he would like to walk to the next town to see the Freeport harbour I was more than up for it.

We might have started to walking in the wrong direction because one car stopped next to us and asked where we were going. Toni was sure that he had read the map right but we believed the man in the car anyway when he said that we should turn around. Ten minutes or so walking in the country side of Malta we noticed that the man was absolutely right and another ten minutes or so and we were in the town of Il-Brolli. Or at least we think that it is called Il-Brolli.

We walked all around the bay, as near to the Freeport harbor as we could stopping for an beer once in a while. The cranes of harbor were huge. And by huge, I mean huge, the biggest marina I have ever seen. It started to get dark and the lights litting made the scenery nice. We sit at one bar long while playing cards, actually so long that we decided that we just must get pizzas instead of making our dinner tonight.


Lights of Freeport Marina and Toni

Stomach full of pizza and beer we started back to our “own” town. There weren’t any street lights so my flashlight got to be handy again. It was pitch black and the stars were showing. I actually asked Toni to shut the flashlight (he carried the light) for an little while so I could see the stars better.


Watch for the hedgehog

Wednesday 25 th

Last full day in Malta. Don’t feel like doing much anymore, my mind is starting to wander to home already even if our flight is not leaving before evening tomorrow.

I spotted gardens of San Anton’s Gardens earlier when I was looking for things to do or places to see and was surprised when I got Toni to agreed of visiting. Bus drive there was little over an hour but I think it was worth it. In Malta even when you are sitting on a bus you see all the time something interesting, old church there or an Tower here.

The gardens surround a former home of one of the knights of Order of St. John’s. The palace was first build in a villa in early 1600 and turned in to an palace 1625. Now it is an official resident of Malta’s President. The Gardens was opened for public in 1881, oldest trees are over three centuries old.
Visiting head’s of another countries has been customed to plant a tree in the Gardens, oldest we could find was Tulip Wood Tree planted by Prince Hirohito in 1921.


Prince Hirohitos Tulip Wood Tree

After I cleared the Maze Toni asked that did I not know that it was for the children. I just think that I founded my inner Peter Pan.


The Maze

The ponds were what I did like the best about the gardens though. I might have taken dozen photos of them, especially the one with the turtles. We spend the most time in there too, it was captivating to watch the turtles to try to climb up the ramp.

Turtle Pond


Swan Pond


At the Gardens


Gift from Japan, 1970

At the Gardens


Toni at the Pond


Pot next to an pot next to an pot...

Marsaxlokk was actually only place we visited that I can’t quite say if I liked it or not. Places like Bugibba on St. Paul’s Bay I didn’t like so much but in Gozo I could have easily used couple more days to explore. Also I would have liked an boat trip but we just never got to make one.
All in all we had great time in Malta! Just perfect equation of relaxing and activities.

Posted by hennaonthetrek 14:11 Archived in Malta Tagged lighthouse malta marsaxlokkfortdelimara stpeterspool freeportharbor il-brolli sanantonsgarden

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You both seem to have a good idea by bringing along a deck of cards to play - what a good way to pass the time when you need to!

I get cranky when hungry, too - it would not be good if I had to wait until 6 pm for dinner! AND a fly landed in the beer? NOT GOOD! LOL!

Did you settle on a good pair of hiking boots or shoes? How do you like them?

by road to roam

...and good job on jumping into the water! I would do the same thing to cool of and the clear blue water is always so tempting, isn't it?

by road to roam

Definitely one of the best ways to kill some time, though we should learn some new games wich you could play with just two players!

Yep, I had had only breakfast and some pringles at that point so 6PM is way too late!

I got Salomon walking boots, high ankled ones and I absolutely love them! One of the best shoes I have!

by hennaonthetrek

And that fly! I am still fuming and that was days ago, lol.

by hennaonthetrek

One day I will get to that snorkeling I missed yet again at this trip! That jump was more than good alternative though ;)

by hennaonthetrek

I get very cranky when I am hungry also. As for that jump into the water, like Toni I would have been scared shitless and would not have gotten your photo for you either. I will try and do almost anything but I would not have done that jump.

by littlesam1

Not been on here for a while Henna. Good to read about your trip. Never been to Malta might go sometime. Although from your pictures it looks different from I thought.

by katieshevlin62

If I jumped, I wouldn't have wanted to get out.

I would figure that beer has alcohol in it and that would disinfect the fly. So I would fish it out and drink it anyway.

It drives me crazy when people don't think about eating at appropriate times - especially when my children don't think about feeding my grandchildren until they are already cranky.

by greatgrandmaR

As for the palm fronds, my first guess was that they used them to shade the fish that they had caught like a cooler. But I looked it up on wiki, and this is what it said:
Fishermen cut and gather the larger, lower fronds from palm trees which they then weave into large flat rafts. The rafts are pulled out to sea. Around midday, lampuki school underneath the rafts, seeking the shade. The fishermen first stay 5-10 metres away from the raft and repeatedly go around the raft pulling a silicone squid jig behind them until they catch something; they then leave the lampuka (dorado, mahi-mahi) hanging off the side of the boat until other fish come and school next to it; then a mesh net is thrown over the schooling fish. This method is known as kannizzati and has not changed significantly since Roman times. The lampuki are used both for local consumption as well as export.

by greatgrandmaR

Larry, hunger-crankiness seems to be an common thing :)

by hennaonthetrek

Good to hear from you Katie! Yes, there was quite much different things to see and do in such small island :)

by hennaonthetrek

Rosalie, it really would have been nice to just stay in the water!

I would just bought something to make from the store if I would have known that they won't make food in the restauraunt. It is quite difficult for me to remember that it's not the same everywhere. In here if the place is open, they make you food, but when in Rome....:)

by hennaonthetrek

I actually tried to search about the palm leaves in google but I didn't find nothing but how to make palm leave boats..apparently I didn't use correct words..
Kannizzati makes sense, why would search the fish if you can just wait that they come to you!

by hennaonthetrek

I had to make several modifications of the search and go down a couple of layers. And then I wasn't really sure that it was correct. But it was the only thing I found that made sense. It is a clever idea.

by greatgrandmaR

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