Gzira, Malta – A Week with the Inlaws

Last year we went to Madeira with the inlaws – Susann’s parents. It seems they liked it and by the end of the year, they had asked us where to go to in 2019. We were of course not late with looking for opportunities and the option of Malta soon came up. Cheap flights with Ryanair from Stockholm Skavsta Airport (NYO) meant that we could get a lot of value for our money. We later found an apartment in the community of Gzira for the week.

I have visited Malta twice before, in 2011 and 2012 when I visited an old classmate, but much has changed since then. For one, Malta seems to have attracted even more old acquaintances since then. My classmate still lives there, a friend from the time in Bratislava lives there and also a cousin to Susann has ended up there. So we had a few people to meet during our visit as well.

Malta, Morning Walk Sliema to Valletta

Gżira – Our Home for the Week

There is barely any space left between the towns located around the bays next to the Maltese capital Valletta. Gzira is only one and a half square kilometer big and that space is used fully to house around 8.000 inhabitants.

We were staying just a short walk from the waterfront and thus we had both restaurants as well as the promenade within easy reach. With the dense constructions, there is no better place in Gzira than along the waterfront.

Malta, Morning Walk Sliema to Valletta

Our Week on Malta

There will be individual posts about many places mentioned below, but here is a summary of our week on Malta.

Arriving on Malta

Our holiday started with Little A getting car sick on the bus from the airport. The bus route was almost like a rollercoaster with stops requiring the bus to go off and on the major road. We actually decided to get off at the hospital to walk the last two kilometers to our rented apartment. Otherwise not only Little A would have had problems with the ride. The walk was fine, even though there were quite a few hills.

A Visit to Xemxija

Our first day started with a long morning walk for me. That was a walk from Gzira to Valletta. I walked all the way around the bay and then the ferry back across to Sliema. It is really noticeable that all the towns along the way have grown together and it is only the fortified borders of Floriana and Valletta that are distinguishable.

Afterwards, I met up with Susann, Little A and my parents in law and we were soon picked up by Susann’s cousin. Our destination for the day was her home in Xemxija were we enjoyed some great views along the ancient walk. It was such a sunny and calm day. In other words, the perfect way to start a holiday.

Sliema and Valletta

Our second day on Malta was spent with sightseeing. Susann and I started the day by talking Little A for a walk along the waterfront in Gzira and Sliema all the way to Saint Julian’s. Little A was more than happy to run along the wide footpath. ShIShe was less content when once more placed in the stroller to walk back.

After relaxing until lunchtime we were soon also joined by Susann’s parents to explore Malta’s capital – Valletta. The ferry across from Sliema landed us on the western shores of the city. At once, we started to climb the steep slope up to the main street. Due to the ongoing carnival, the city was crowded with people and we were soon exploring the less dense places towards the very tip of the peninsula. We did, however, go back to the more central parts to enjoy the view of the three cities as well as see parts of the carnival gathering for the big show – but at that time we were already on our way back to Gzira.

The Malta National Aquarium in Bugibba

When traveling with a toddler we believe that it is important to give time for her activities as well. So we took one day to focus on Little A’s interests. That being mostly “Baby Shark” and our destination for the day was the Malta National Aquarium. The most memorable moment from the day is Little A’s happiness when walking through the big tunnel leading through the largest aquarium – the one with the sharks.

Mdina – The Old Capital

There are a few places on Malta that you really should not miss if you visit the country. The previous capital – Mdina – is one of those. It is just next to the town of Rabat, once a suburb of Mdina. Mdina is a compact fortified city that offers a great view over the northern part of Malta. We did not only enjoy the view but also all the small cozy streets of both Mdina and Rabat.

A Boat Trip to Gozo and Comino

Malta is more than only one island and one goal with our visit was to go to Gozo. There we wanted to see the fortified city in Victoria. Instead of taking the bus and ferry option we eventually decided to take a boat tour from Sliema to Gozo and then back via the much smaller island of Comino. The trip had its up and downs, but we did enjoy both sunshine and amazing views in Victoria. Little A had time to run around on Comino, probably without realising that she was overlooking the Blue Lagoon.

Once back from Gozo Susann and I met up with a Polish friend from the time in Bratislava, one we actually visited in Gdansk a few years back. Discussions about past and future trips was combined with some drinks and food.

A Harbor Cruise Around Valletta

It is nice to relax some days and on our last full day on Malta, we did not plan anything more spectacular than sitting on a small boat on a tour around Valletta. Following the shores, we listened to the stories enjoyed the view. There is just something special with viewing Valletta from the sea.

Golden Bay and Good Bye Malta

With the help of Susann’s cousin, we went to the Golden Bay Beach for a few hours before it was time to leave Malta. Here we enjoyed the sunshine and discussions on the beach while a big part of Malta was arriving. Even though barely anyone was swimming, the beach was eventually crowded with people wanting to enjoy a day outdoors.

Everything eventually comes to an end and we were soon on our way to the airport for our flight home. But we do have a lot of memories with us and Little A had a bunch of new experiences which will hopefully help her in her development.

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