"Run baby run" - text on a Maltese bus
Valletta and The Malta Experience
We need more cash and walk to The Strand to find an ATM on the way. Actually the plan was to go on a harbour cruise today, but the wind is too stong for it to be comfortable and dry. Instead we jump on a bus to Valletta. There isn't much traffic and we get there in less than 15 minutes.
We follow Republic Street to Fort Elmo on the point. A hopeful horse carriage coachman tells us the fort is closed today, but he can take us to all the sights. The horse looks old and tired. We say no thanks and settle at the café outside The Malta Experience. We have time for a cup of coffee before the show starts at 11.
This show is advertised a lot, and it is good if you want a quick lesson about Malta's history and are willing to pay 3.5 £M. It is a picture presentation in a cinema and lasts almost an hour. For the headset you can choose between many languages including Danish.
Click to enlarge
After the show we walk straight to the bus. The rush hour doesn't start until 1, so we are in Sliema quickly, get off at The Strand and go to Tony's Bar.
Lunch at Tony's Bar
"Two pints?" - the young waiter asks.
Bright guy. He'll do well in life. We also order a cheeseburger for Helle and a shrimp omelette for me. Fresh shrimps mind you.
Tony's Bar is popular and the young waiters are kept busy. Quickly and efficiently they clear tables, take orders and serve. From time to time some impatient tourist goes to the counter to pay. For some it takes time to acclimatize - after all it is better to wait for the bill than the food.
Dinner at Piccolo Padre
After the siesta we enjoy an espresso at the promenade café. It keeps dry today, and we slip into the mass of people walking on Tower Road. The sun sets with a Pernod at The Mariner's Pub. Nut-brown children play by the water and laugh happily the way only children can laugh.
A bit further towards St. Julians is Piccolo Padre, where we dined some times last year. We get a table on the balcony above the surf, and when we have ordered, sky and sea are united in blackness.
For starters we have bruschette with tomato and garlic. Helle's main course is penne with tomato, Maltese sausage and cheese from Gozo. I have spaghetti with Frutti di Mare: tender squid, mussels and shrimps.
I think the fruits of the sea have been in a light soy marinade. It is excellent and unfortunately we cannot eat it all. We enjoy the rest of the Marsovin Chardonnay, before we walk home. The bill is a modest 12.95 - cheap.
194/5 Main Street, St. Julians. Tlf. 21344875.
If you come from Sliema by Tower Road the restaurant is just after the 'border' between Sliema and St. Julians, where the road twists sharply. It is mostly a pizza and pasta place and popular by the locals. Honest food and good service. Don't mistake Piccolo Padre for the expensive Barracuda restaurant next door.
Price level: cheap.