Architecture in the Grand Harbour of Malta

View of the Vittoriosa Yacht Marina in the Grand Harbour in Malta.

The final destination on our Mediterranean journey was Malta, an island between Sicily and the North African coast. Malta is the largest island of the Maltese archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea. We sailed into the Grand Harbour and docked at the Valletta Waterfront.
Valletta is one of the southernmost capitals of Europe and lies on the Sciberras Peninsula. We did not have any exciting trips planned to explore the city due to our travel arrangements. My granny, who I was travelling with, was due to fly out before lunchtime and my flight was early the following morning. I went to the airport with her, to make sure she got on the flight safely and then I headed back to the ship to gather my belongings.

Sunrise off the coast of Malta on the Mediterranean Sea.
Mediterranean Sea Sunrise

Rays of sunlight on the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the island of Malta.
Rays of sunlight on the Mediterranean Sea

View of Villa Bighi in Kalkara from the Grand Harbour on the island of Malta.
Villa Bighi, Kalkara - Valletta's Grand Harbour

View of Valletta with the Church of our Lady of Liesse red dome in the background.
View of Valletta's buildings

View of Fort St.Angelo in Birgu at the centre of Malta's Grand Harbour.
Fort St. Angelo, Birgu, Malta

I made my way to the hotel and had a couple hours of daylight left to wander around the city centre. Most of what I saw of Valletta was from the cruise ship, this is why the post is centred around the harbour rather than the city itself. After 2 busy weeks of voyaging and exploring, it was nice to slow down and relax a bit before another hectic day of travelling. I would be up long before the sun rose to make my way home the following morning. 

View of Fort St.Angelo and the Vittoriosa Yacht Marina from the Grand Harbour in Malta.
St. Angelo fort and the Vittoriosa Yacht Marina

Close up view of the walls of the bastioned fort St. Angelo in Malta.
Bastioned Fort St. Angelo

View of the Senglea Waterfront from the Grand Harbour, Malta.
Senglea Waterfront, Malta

View of bastioned fort walls and yachts in the Grand Harbour of Malta.
Fort walls and yachts in the Grand Harbour

View of Senglea, one of Grand Harbour's cities, across the water from Valletta.
Senglea, one of the Grand Harbour's cities

Despite its size, Malta has a lot to offer. It would have been nice to have more time to explore and to venture out to the other Maltese islands containing several pre-historic templesMalta's second-largest island, Gozo, is home to Megalithic Temples dating back to 3600-2500 B.C. The history of this country is diverse and influenced by many cultures. Sicily lies less than 100 km north of Malta and the coast of North Africa is about 300 km south-west. The Arabs were one of the first occupiers of the islands, and this impact can still be seen in the cuisine and architecture. Even the Maltese language is a result of the merging of Arabic and Sicilian dialects.

View of Malta's Grand Harbour looking out toward the Mediterranean Sea.
The Grand Harbour, Il-Port il-Kbir

View of the Port of Valletta from the water.
The Port of Valletta

View of the yachts in the Vittoriosa Marina in the Grand Harbour of Malta.
Vittoriosa Yacht Marina

The Vittoriosa Yacht Marina in the Grand Harbour of Malta.
Grand Harbour Marina, Vittoriosa

View of a fortification wall of Valletta with a sign "Valletta 2018".
Fortifications of Valletta

There are over 80 ships, submarines and fighter planes submerged in the waters surrounding the Maltese archipelago, making it a great destination for diving. I found it most interesting that Malta does not have any rivers, forests or mountains. The islands are mostly formed from limestone rock and the landscape somewhat resembles The Burren in County Clare. The rocky landscape together with the central Mediterranean climate create a less than perfect climate for woods, but ideal for fruit trees that we can only dream of growing in Ireland. 
While this post concludes the cruise ship adventure, I may still do one last entry containing sunrise and sunset photographs. This will give me the time to decide on the type of photo collections I will do next and the direction I want to take with this website. To those of you returning here for the last year, I want to say thank you for following along on this journey. And to those that are new, I hope you enjoyed reading and continue exploring this space.

Looking down at the Valletta Waterfront boats and buildings.
The Port of Valletta

View of the walls and buildings on the Valetta Waterfront.
Walls and buildings on the Valletta Waterfront

View of the Valletta Waterfront promenade building from the harbour.
The Valletta Waterfront

View of colourful window and door shutters at the Valletta Waterfront, Malta.
Coloured shutters, Valletta Waterfront

A view looking down the Triq San Gwann street in the evening towards the harbour.
Great Siege Square, Triq San Gwann

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