27.5.18

L-Imgarr to Xlendi Hiking Trail


L-Imġarr to Xlendi walk is the most beautiful hiking trail in my life: walk over high cliff top, open to the ocean, barren, quiet, gorgeous nature......  It is stunning and unforgettable. 12 km did not seem long but enjoyable all through.


This walk begins just opposite the Passenger Terminal and past the Gleneagles Bar. Cross the main road.

Take the road on the left under the imposing sanctuary (Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel) and climb up the first flight of steps on your right.



Once you are at a high position, look back to appreciate the beauty of the harbour in the shadow, the exquisite chapel and mighty fortification of Chambray.



Continue left past the church along the road adjacent to the woodland. At the last pine tree along the road take the left turn up to Fort Chambray.





Keep right to rejoin the main road of Għajnsielem. Go past the Casa San Giuseppe Hostel (closed down) and turn left after the traffic lights into Triq Cordina.


Keep right until you reach the junction and take the left road (signposted Diving Wrecks) to Triq il Fugazz.





Walk down all the way to the coast and before continuing along the coastal route locate the fougasse (stone cannon) cut into the rocky coast just below the road.


Take a short detour to the left if you would like to see the bay or have a swim. Several salt pans dot this coast.


Back en route you will be hugging the coast until the next bay of Mġarr ix-XiniThese low cliffs form part of one of Gozo’s geological faults. Along the road are white limestone cliffs, clear water and soothing blue.  The heat was not so high in early May.  It won't be bearable in high summer.

 
 
 
 


Proceed along the coastal path to the 17th century coastal tower of Mġarr ix-Xini.  Past the Tower the route follows one of the prettiest old paths on the island. The fjord-like bay of Mġarr ix-Xini comes into view as does its green hinterland. Locate the steep rocky steps at the end of the path and descend down to the bay.  Swim or take a long break to enjoy the beautiful bay. There is no changing facility.


Take the only road leading up from the bay and follow the only path. In about 1.5 hours we reached the sleeping village of Ta’ Sannat. We were greeted by workmen sculptures and stopped for seafood lunch with bread €19.



I don't remember the path very well. Sort of, look for a sign of florist. Somehow we saw the red signs, crossed over the low stone wall and proceeded to the coast again. Endless sheer limestone cliffs lining up to greet us.  Remember to look back to see them in another direction. Stunning! Plus, gorgeous views of the surrounding, including the fortified Citadel from far.

 

After Tal-Bardan take in the view over to the last section of the cliffs to the west and turn inland to start the descent to the final stretch of the walk down to Ix-Xlendi. Follow the concrete path turning inland and then take the path on your left to proceed downhill. The last stretch of Xlendi cliffs is also breath-taking.  If you still have energy, plunge into the Xlendi Bay, enjoy the cool water and sunshine before ending the day.

 
 













12.5.18

Mdina


Mdina (English: Notabile) is a fortified city located at the northern part of Malta.  It served as the capital from antiquity to the medieval period but its importance started to decline when the Order of St. John arrived. Mdina saw a revival in the 18th early century.  Several Baroque buildings were established. But it did not step up again. Today, the wall remains. It impresses tourists with its medieval character imposed by the various Baroque monumental buildings. Only hundreds of people live within the wall.  But Mdina is contiguous to the town of Rabat (Arabic word for suburb) which as a population of 11,000 (as of 2014).


Mdina is nicked name 'silent city'.  It is a labyrinth of yellow-stoned architecture dotted with elaborate door knockers and balconies. Its squares and lanes in medieval and Baroque styles form a timeless atmosphere.  Churches, palazzi, rich houses, speciality stores together win tourists' admiration.



 

Walking around in Mdina is very enjoyable, like going back to the old days long before we came to the world. You will pass by but unaware of buildings mentioned in the list of things to do in Mdina.  But one building, St. :Paul Cathedral, will not be missed out.  Legend says St. Paul stayed in Malta after the shipwreck on the island.  Next to the cathedral stands the awesome Cathedral Museum.


Strolling through the narrow and shady lanes is a pleasure. But step up a bit the city walk to have an open and panoramic view of the surroundings is fascinating. You can the the splendid views either at the city wall or ascending to the first floor of the Fontanella Tea Garden. We like the ice Irish coffee.  Very rich! The energy is sufficient for a day's walk.