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Friday, May 20, 2016

Malta - Day 8: The Windmills Walk in Żurrieq

After breakfast at the Pebbles Boutique Aparthotel in Sliema, we continued our daily routine, to walk to the bus stop across the street and took one of the many buses to the bus terminal in Valletta. From there we took bus 71 to Zurrieq, one of Malta´s oldest towns. We had found online a suggestion from Visit Malta for a "Windmills Walk", which is a 9 kilometer round trip through the area. Equipped with some printed out Google maps, we started out into the heat!

Zurrieq is a nice old town with many interesting old houses. Along the walk there are several infos on the houses, like the Armoury, where it is believed, that Napoleon once spent a night there. The Maltese are really proud of thier heritage and really take care of their properties and even give them names. As we were walking through the little streets - the only tourists doing so - we passed many beautiful homes with cute names, before we reached the first windmill, the Ta` Marmara Windmill, which unfortunately didn´t have a wheel anymore. It was converted into a private home. Next up was the Tal Qaret Windmill, built somewhere between 1663 and 1680, which suffered the same fate. 



From the windmills we came to a huge and modern viewing platform at the Tal-Gibjun Garden, where we enjoyed great views.



Our walk continued to the beautiful Bubaqra Tower, erected in 1579, and the Bubaqra Church, before we entered a small road through gardens and fields in the countryside. I have to say, that the walk up until the Bubaqra Church was very interesting, but the following route through the countryside wasn´t that great. It was a small road with nothing much to see, no sidewalk and surprisingly many cars driving through. Even the main attraction before we returned to the main city, the Tal-Bakkari Ruins, were not exactly an unmissable sight. It was also searing hot!


When we returned to Zurrieq, coming from the Triq San Tumas, it got much better again. After some time to relax on a bench, we walked past more beautiful buildings like the St. Mary´s Church and remains of the Roman Wall.




Next up was a real highlight, the Xarolla Windmill. Another highlight for us was, that we finally found an open Mini-Market opposite of the windmill to get cold drinks as we were so thirsty from all the walking in the heat and some snacks. So we could really enjoy the sight!



Our walk back to the bus stop lead us past some more fine buildings, like another huge church. All said, I would recommend this walk, but I would also recommend to just cut off the country excursion.




It was still early enough to do some more, so we decided to go back to the nearby Blue Grotto, which we already visited the day before, but where we didn´t have much time. So, we returned by bus and walked a bit at the cliffs, enjoying more views, where we suspected the Grotto must be. 



Like the day before, we took again the bus to Valletta Airport and then switched into a bus to Valletta. At the bus stop in Valletta we bought our next, convenient 7-day-buspass. But when we were at the departure gate for the Sliema bus, we weren´t the only ones wanting to take a bus in the direction of Sliema and it was really crowded, especially as the bus took ages to arrive...In Sliema I took some night shots from the balcony.




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