Wednesday, 7 November 2007
We were away on holiday in Malta over half-term and I've had a lot of catching up to do since we've been back, hence the lack of posts. If I haven't replied to your e-mail as yet then I promise I will do so shortly! In the meantime I'm posting a few photographs of my Maltese highlights. Malta was once the home of the Knights of St John who have left a remarkable architectural legacy. Unfortunately today much of the island is over-developed and is scarred by back-to-back apartment blocks and hotels, which form a continuous sprawl along most of the coast from St Paul's Bay down to Valetta, the fortified capital built by the Knights after the Great Siege of 1565. The photograph below shows the Siege Bell Monument in Valetta which commemorates the award of the George Cross to Malta in World War II and honours those who lost their lives during the Siege of Malta from 1940 to 1943.The Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar is the finest stately home on the island. It was built in 1733 by Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena, and was lavishly refurbished by the Maltese banker and philanthropist, Giuseppe Sciculuna, at the end of the nineteenth century. The formal gardens contain an exotic collection of Mediterranean plants with a colourful backdrop of bougainvillea on the walls.Gozo is Malta's sister island, and is just a short 30-minute ferry crossing from Malta. It is much greener and much less spoilt than Malta. The Azure Window (below) in Dwerja on the west coast of Gozo is one of the island's natural wonders.