Day 1 (Part 1 of 2): Mdina, Dingli Cliffs, Rabat
After an uneventful journey, we arrived at our accommodation, The Dolmen Hotel in St Paul’s Bay, in the early evening. An evening meal in the restaurant was followed by an early night for most of us, in order to be fresh the next day for a full day excursion.
Mdina — After meeting our guide, Grace, we were driven by coach to Mdina, which is confined within a town wall and has a population of less than 300. Grace was a mine of information on the history of the town and was to accompany us for the rest of our stay on Malta.
Dingli Cliffs — In the past the cliffs formed a natural defence at the highest point on Malta, rising 250 meters above sea level.
Rabat — From Dingli we made our way back to Rabat, which is outside the walls of Mdina. The name literally means suburb. After a delicious lunch we visited the St Paul’s Catacombs.
Map of Malta
Malta's total area including Gozo is 122 square miles. Compare this with the area of the Isle of Wight, which is 146 square miles. So the travelling distances were always very short. The map is rather misleading because Gozo lies north-west of the main island.
How to ride a Maltese bike stand!
One of the horse carriages that ply for trade all over Malta.
The main gateway into Mdina
Grace talks to the group.
The gateway from inside the town
St Agatha’s chapel built in 1417 and rebuilt in 1694, after an earthquake. Agatha is one of Mdina's 3 patron saints.
Narrow streets are everywhere.
Only residents’ cars are allowed inside the town walls.
Houses in St Paul’s Square
A sign of British involvement: an Edward VII post-box
There are many interesting doorknockers.
Colourful flowers in front of a house
Rabat just outside the town gate, a tourist train
Waiting for the coach to take us to our next destination
Grace tries a prickly pear – peeled, of course!
A view to the horizon and the uninhabited island of Fufla
Some in the group take a break
A church in the village of Dingli rises from the scrubland.
A typical Maltese stone wall from the local limestone
A narrow street with a small shrine
St Paul’s church and a Belisha beacon
Unknown – Music from Malta 1