Valletta at Christmas is stunning, every street is lined with lights, decorations and trees, they really went crazy with Christmas, music playing down the main street, a few street entertainers, and the main tree made of Mdina Glass (We had thought the huge glass balls were plastic at first, a lot more impressive once we realised they were all handcrafted glass), it was properly stunning especially when the sunlight was shining through.
You walk down the back streets of Valletta, every now and then you would catch a glimpse down one of the streets of the many gorgeous historical buildings sitting catching the sun.
The Valetta’s trademark closed in balconies, it was all amazing, I loved the history here..shopping here at Christmas was not an ordeal like it can be in London, it wasn’t too busy, just busy enough. Tables still outside catching the December sun, later adding heaters to allow you to carry on enjoying a drink or even dinner outside.
Imqaret is a pastry filled with minced dates, they are best when pipping hot.
You can see these being sold from Street Stalls especially at the entrance of Valletta. You’ll know that there’s Imqaret close by from their lovely sweet smell.
The streets and buildings are unique, the colourful variety of closed wooden balconies are so different, you walk around and can’t forget that you are in Malta, it all has the most friendly, safe, easy and beautiful feel about it and, like I said before, to me it feels like home, maybe that feeling is telling me something… still so many places to see, so I will hold onto those feelings for now..
Horse Ride in Valletta
We hadn’t decided to do the horse ride, we just kind of stumbled upon it, we thought that we would do it one day , so why not now. It was 30 Euros for what felt like 30 mins ride (cheaper than summer rates apparrently), it did take you to most places and the driver did stop and let us take photos on request as well as his usual stopping points. I enjoyed this ride as did the boys but not 100% sure I would totally rave about it, was it worth 30 Euros, it was to us that day.. (we were surprised later when the random taxi we grabbed to return to Marsaskala was driven by the same man)
Boxing Day Panto
We fully enjoyed this Panto, ‘Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood’..
It was really funny and well acted, I especially loved the two girl characters who played Marelli and Madoffi, the Witch and the Bad Sherif, he for some reason made me think he belonged in `Eastenders’..Bambolina was also very good. Every now and then they would break out in Maltese and a few of the jokes about local celebrities would go over our heads, but it didn’t stop us enjoying the whole thing.
Theatre Manoel is stunning..”In 1731 Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, commissioned and personally funded the construction of this central building to serve as a Public Theatre. It was constructed in just ten months and cost 2,184 scudi. The Portuguese Grand Master built the theatre to keep the young knights of the Order of St. John out of mischief but also to provide the general public with “honest entertainment.” This motto was inscribed above the main entrance to the theatre, which still reads today: “ad honestam populi oblectationem”.
The first performance on the 19th January 1732 , was a classic Italian tragedy, Scipione Maffei’s Merope. The players in that production were the Knights themselves, and the set was designed by the Knights` chief architect, Francois Mondion.”
New Years Eve – Valletta St George Square Celebrations
Celebrations were to start at 8.30pm, so we decided to get there around that time, the bus journey was a lot faster than we thought, I had some premonition that it was going to take a few hours as everyone would be heading that way…but thankfully I was wrong.
Everywhere was booked, not that we were under any illusions that they wouldn’t be, but even cafe’s and coffee shops..we finally found somewhere to grab a few nibbles and a drink. When it was about 10.30pm we walked to the Square…it was already properly cram packed…we found a nice little spot, but every few mins more and more people tried to fill every inch of space..it was slightly manic but as was probably every big New years eve celebration going on all around the world.
There was a constant Coca Cola advert projected on the side of the main building, we did think that it may have been better to have been another screen to the main stage, or showing everyone in the audience, even music videos….about 11.45 they had a projector show, we were very glad for this as Lucas perked up again after feeling very tired (wasn’t sure he was going to make it until mid-night) , he got his second wind and really enjoyed the count down and fireworks..Glad we went, it’s nice to actually feel part of these huge Celebrations. (Top Tip don’t be too close to the lefthand wall of the square at midnight, the fireworks launch from the top of the building and the ash from them was snowing down onto us, not good to get in your eyes, Jake will testify to that).
Valletta Waterfront and Floriana