There was no breakfast included with our bargain room rate at the Hotel Europa, so after checking out of our luxurious, or at least functional, room it was time to have a little meander around Sliema.
I appointed myself as the head selector of food and drink venues for this week, given my obvious expertise in this field. The option I went for was Pastry Park, a quiet little cafe with a rather lovely view over the sea. The lemon cake was moist and lemony, which is always good for a lemon cake, and the coffee was way above par. Reasonably priced and another one of my excellent selections.
We then walked from the centre of Sliema to Fort Manoel, a fort which is closed to the public at the moment, but hopefully it’ll reopen in future years. When I walked this route last year there were tens of cats, but they seem to have disappeared this year, hopefully they were all just having a little sleep.
This is the area behind Fort Manoel which has some extensive views over Valletta.
And a little look at Duck Island on the way back to Sliema.
As the morning had been another busy exercise in walking, the lunch was at the Crew Cafe Bar, where Liam had an omelette which had cheese melted into it (a combination I hate) whereas I had the Bailey’s cheesecake (a combination I love). Not the cheapest, but a comfortable lunch-stop with the staff being friendly and helpful.
The Point Shopping Mall, a medium sized shopping centre which was of no great excitement, although it has some not unpleasant views out to the sea. We then went to check into the accommodation that we’ve booked for two nights, a rather keenly priced room at the Slimiza Suites which includes breakfast. More on that in tomorrow’s post.
After dropping off the bags, there was a long bus journey (as in time wise, the bus wasn’t particularly long) to Mdina, via Mosta.
The Mosta Rotunda, which I visited last year.
Before leaving Mosta, we went to Cafe Olavi. The lady who worked there was lovely, although commented on how fast Liam spoke when we queried where half the order was. This doughnut was full of cream and some jam as well, a rather decadent little treat. But one that I of course deserved after a morning of exploration. Liam’s latte was hotter than the centre of the sun, but all was well in terms of the taste.
A phone box in front of Mosta rotunda. We had a longer wait than expected here as the bus was delayed by around 25 minutes, but there are worse places in the world to have to wait. I’d add that we waited near to the phone box, not in it, obviously.
St. Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina, which was reconstructed during the late seventeenth century when the 1693 Sicily earthquake damaged the earlier building.
The cathedral’s dome.
Inside the grand cathedral, rebuilt in a baroque style.
A street on Mdina.
The view from the top of the defences of the fortified city of Mdina.
The city’s substantial defences.
The evening meal was at Bottegin Palazzo Xara, an Italian restaurant which was located in a grand former residential building which was constructed during the first few years of the eighteenth century. The restaurant had a small craft beer menu, but the options were entirely acceptable, with Brewdog’s Zombie Cake available.
More on this in another post, but the sausage pasta with goat’s cheese was one of the best dishes of its kind that I’ve had. Freshly prepared, there was a richness to the sauce, the pasta retained some bite, the cheese crumbled into the sauce and the sausage was full of flavour.
Then it was back to our accommodation in Sliema, fortunately on a bus that arrived on time and that wasn’t too busy.