I had decided that today would be the day that I visit Mdina, the old capital city of Malta, known as “The Silent City” because no cars are allowed within its walls. About 30 people live in this walled city, and I had heard that entering it was like stepping back in time. It was also used for…yep, you guessed it…the Game of bloody Thrones, throughout season 1.
I hopped on a local bus and it took about an hour and a half to get there, thanks to some horrendous traffic. Once I arrived at the entrance, I could see why it was used so often in films to depict medieval times…and apparently its commonly used in any film that needs to depict Jerusalem. It’s beautiful and intimidating, and once I got inside, it just got better. All of the “roads” are actually very narrow walkways in between very tall buildings. There were a lot of tourists around, but the whole place seemed reall quiet. Everyone seemed to be really respectful of the fact that people actually still lived in this strange, wonderful little place, and so at times it was almost eerie.
I’d read on Trip Advisor that the best cafe in Mdina was called Fontanella, so I kept an eye out for it, and came rather naturally to it as I reached the other side of Mdina, which had amazing sweeping views of the countryside. (Mdina is located inland) Fontanella was rammed, but I was super lucky that a couple left as I arrived so got a prime position table right next to these amazing views.
Now, I’d been informed by a pal that I should try one of the only renowned Maltese dishes, a pastizzi. Up until this point, I’d not seen any, but Fontanellas didnt fuck about – they were listed right at the top of the menu and at 40 cents, I was all over that shit. A pea pastizzi and a pint of local beer was my lunch order, and it was bloody glorious. Pastizzis are basically pastry based savoury snacks, filled with a pea mash. Sounds rank, tasted incredible.
After lunch, I wandered around taking hundreds of photos, and then back to the bus stop for my ride home. Up until this point, my bus experiences had been fab but this time, the bus I needed did not come. Some aussie girls were trying to figure out the bus timetable near me, so know-it-all Cronin stepped in to help them out. Turned out that they were also heading back to Sliema, so when our bus didnt turn up, we decided to jump on one that came along that went to Valetta – at least that was in the right direction.
I got chatting to these girls and it turned out that one of them was living in Malta for work, and the other was visiting. She was visiting for a lengthy three weeks so had already packed in a lot of stuff – way more than I would have time to do – and so we chatted about our experiences. They were keen to hear all about London, so I proudly relayed how amazing it is…I hope they venture over here one day. Once we made it to Valetta, we did the ferry thing back to Sliema, and this time, I was able to get a proper photo of me by the Valetta harbour. I can’t remember the names of these girls, but they were lovely and I thank them for making my journey even more enjoyable.
I returned back to Sliema feeling amazing. WHAT a day. If you ever go to Malta, you simply MUST go to Mdina. It’s a gem, and a joy.
I went back to the Mareluna for dinner that evening, and the manager greeted me immediately by name. Very impressive, big tip for YOU young sir. For some reason that I will never understand, they gave me lots of free food. I ordered steak and chips, and they brought me: a basket of bread, steak, chips, roast potatoes, a vegetable platter, and a mini soup. Deeeelightful. I went to bed very full, very bloated, and very happy.