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Friday, May 27, 2016

Malta - Day 15: Return to Valletta

It was time to say goodbye to Gozo and we had asked at the wonderful San Antonio Guesthouse in Xlendi to order a taxi for us, as we wanted to spare time and the hassle of transporting our heavy luggage to the bus stop and then along two different and possibly crowded buses. The taxi arrived on time and we soon were at the harbour. Gozo is really small.


You buy a ticket for the ferry only at the return trip - we had learned that already when we traveled to Gozo. So we got a ticket and it was all pretty stress free, as there weren´t many people leaving Gozo in the morning. We could sit outside and soon arrived in Circewwa, from where many buses go to different cities in Malta, including Valletta, our next and final destination in Malta.


We soon arrived in Valletta and walked from the central bus terminal at the Triton Fountain through the old town to our hotel for two nights, the conveniently located Grand Harbour Hotel. We were allowed an early check in. The room on the fifth floor was small but decent and modern. A curiosity was the toilet, which basically is on the balcony (of course with walls and a ceiling) above the street. They also have a rooftop terrace, where we enjoyed wonderful views of Valletta, the huge ferries and the Three Cities opposite of Valletta.


We already did a walking tour of Valletta a few days before, when we stayed in Sliema. So, this time, we were in no hurry and could take a look at the things, we didn´t manage to see before. From the hotel, it is just a few steps into the old town and we started our walking tour by visiting a cheap looking restaurant. We were in no time at St. John´s Cathedral and St. George´s Square to visit the Palace State Rooms of the Grandmaster´s Palace. The Grandmaster´s Palace is today the official office of the president.  



The Palace State Rooms were included in our Malta Heritage Pass, which makes sense and saves money, when you are in Malta for some time and plan to see a lot (we bought it on our first sightseeing day at the Ghar Dalam Cave). It is just next to the Palace Armoury, that we already had visited. The rooms, including the Throne Room, are lavish and very interesting. Wonderful paintings, ceilings and a lot of marble.


Next up was the National War Museum, which is beautifully located inside Fort St. Elmo. It is a huge, modern museum with a lot to see, including the military history of the Great Siege of 1565 and World War II. In different sections you find information, exhibition pieces, presentations and films, while walking through the fort.




From the museum, we walked back to the hotel. After some time to relax and a visit the rooftop terrace of the hotel, we walked down through the Victoria Gate to Valletta Waterfront where a lot of restaurants are located

 




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