Day 4: Valetta and Noto

Our last day in Valletta. Another hot night meant a fairly early start. We shared yoghurt and watched the boats on the harbour from our little verandah. Packed our bags and as I went to iron my dress ( yes even on holidays!) the iron had a leak and blew the power! Lucky we were leaving today. I phoned the lovely landlord Michael and explained what had happened. All was good and we left our packed bags ready to collect that afternoon .
We caught the no 52 bus to Mdina the old town about a 30 min away. It is heavily influenced by the Moors and is known as the quiet town. We wanted to arrive before the crowds (in busses off the cruise liners) and the heat so set off at 9. We got off the bus and walked through a small tree lined park and in through the ancient main gate. The town was clean, quiet and built with honey coloured sandstone . We bought our SENIORS ticket for the Cathedral and its museum and then went straight to the coffee shop of the Xara hotel. Gorgeous spot with beautiful views. Would love to stay in the hotel. Maybe next time! Brian and Jenny Byrne our friends (and Pandanus managers) are staying there in a few weeks.
After coffee and passing by St Dorothy’s the convent nearby (where we thought of our lovely Aunty Dorothy) we went to the cathedral. Fantastic – beautiful red curtains gave it an almost theatrical feel. The flowers were lovely (we think a wedding that afternoon) and when the crowds arrived we left and went to the museum. A wealth of gold and silver religious artefacts.
We walked around the wall, looking at the beautiful views and then visited Palazzo Falson.
I really like visiting houses belonging to local people, seeing them set up in way people lived. This one was very elegant and had a great commentary available with a little headset and wand you clicked as you entered each room. Very slick and worked so well.

By now it was hot with a capital H so we sought refuge in La Fontanel right on the wall with amazing views. Had another seafood thing – all my meals so far have involved sea food! Maybe I’m working on the theory that if I eat enough seafood I might swim like a fish! Here’s hoping!!!
After lunch we strolled in the shade of the buildings across to Rabat the town outside the ancient gates. Rabat is a common name for a town. and today we found out it actually means suburb.

To escape the heat we headed for the church of St Paul to visit his chapel with the catacombs under it. It was without bones but was cool!

Made out way back to Valletta and collected our bags from the apartment and after just a minor drama had a taxi deliver us to the port for our catamaran ferry to Pozzalla in Sicily.
It was a really easy comfortable ride across the calm waters (in an Australian built vessel) and spectaular leaving Valletta harbour by boat. We arrived in the port at Pollozzo at around 8 . We’d booked a taxi to save dramas with buses and found him waiting .

But life in Italy is nothing without a drama. Noto – here we come. Well we made it despite the taxi driver having a little “Italian Opera” about the location of our B&B. This was a good choice. Large rooms and a larger than life host – Giovanni. He sent us to a typical Trattoria for dinner Italian-style and it was terrific. We then walked the main start and saw all the locals enjoying a FRiday night together. Lots of chat, gelato and no drunk kids anywhere.

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