Notice all the building-cranes over Portomaso & Paceville:
The next boom has started here, as well as Ireland.
1960 to 2000 buildings (looking to the right from
Balutta Bay towards St Julian's Point). Malta is the
most densely populated country in the world.
To maintain rural landscapes, building
is confined to urbanised areas.
Seafront promenade (St. Julian's): always lively,
due to large population. Actually, while there is
plenty of recreational area along the seafront,
there is a lack of urban parkland (and playing
pitches) away from the seafront. To the right,
between the promenade and the sea, and on
a lower level, is a garden area.
The flowing water turns the ball, but
somebody needs to give it a push
to get it started.
Ballutta Bay to the left and Spinola Bay, centre; Portomaso
to the right. So far the 21st century buildings in
Portomaso are a significant improvement on the
20th century buildings dominating this view.
Entrance to 24-hour oratory attached to Parish
Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Balluta Bay
Frontal view of Church of Our Lady of
Mount Carmel, one of dozens of churches in Sliema,
all well supported by parishioners, with
Masses every hour on Sunday morning.
Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel; 19th
century buildings on both sides of the Church
seem to belong to the Parish.
Good 19th century buildings, influenced by English
taste, at Balutta Bay. Small, pleasant park behind
the motor cars, to the right.
20th century buildings at Balutta Bay; not as
attractive in design as the 19th century buildings!
Coming up towards Portomaso; Cuba seafront
café/ restaurant centre.
Contrast between 19th century and 20th century
architectural styles, as we approach Portomaso
Portomaso, fashionable area; large building
projects under way
With its lack of active parkland recreation, such as
football pitches, the seafront offers many recreational
activities, including swimming, diving and water-polo clubs.
This sign includes the Knights of Malta cross-emblem.
Seafront at Portomaso, old buildings sandwiched
between 20th century construction. Perhaps
it is a pity that high-rise building is allowed right
on the sea-front. It might have been more elegant
to restrict the height of sea-front building,
allowing the tall buildings to pop their heads
above lower sea-front buildings!
Some colour added here, with 19th century
balconies and painted doors
Love is turned upside down. Adjoining railings are
provided for the many love-locks, which brings
to my attention the lack of graffiti and anti-social
behaviour in this beautiful town.
Wagamama sushi and Dr Juice, Balutta Bay;
vintage car (red and black) parked outside,
Boats on Balutta Bay
McCafe and Pizza Hut, Balutta Bay, as we approach
Frank Salt, influential estate agent, as we
approach Portomaso. See separate page of
photos on this beautiful area.
Entering back-streets at Portomaso
Preparing for new high-rise buildings
Busy side street
Building in progress
Helpful street-side map
Large development, phase 2.
Plenty of building action here
Café/ Cake Shop window
Maltese craft-shop window
Inside Cuba Café/ Restaurant
Another view from Cuba
Balutta Bay from Cuba Restaurant
Cuba Restaurant again
Car covered in dust: alas, dust can hardly be
avoided, since Malta is made of soft,
veery porous, limestone
Backstreet behind Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
More back-street views
Continue on from previous photo, then look back
to get impression of different styles of architecture,
as the past gave way to 20th century.
A corner reminiscent of Paris
Alas, Malta is not friendly to wheel-chairs
and push-chairs, and, except for the seafront
promenade, not disabled friendly.
Footpaths are poor and frequently obstructed
But clean and tidy and, generally-speaking
of attractive, native limestone, and,
up to the 20th century, of vernacular architecture.
Vernacular architecture: abundant availability of
easily harvested limestone meant good, solid
buildings could be built at low cost. Large
blocks, thick walls; no particular attention
to foundations, since you were building straight
A site for a high-rise building. It would be a good idea
to set the high-rise buildings back from the seafront.
However, how about providing some recreational parks
away from the seafront?
A painted door, reminiscent of Dublin's Georgian doors
This is me, of course. A drawback of the
native limestone is its porosity and easy-weathering.
Buildings can, consequently, look dirty and feel
damp in winter-time.
Yes, easier to walk on the road than the footpaths.
Perhaps the answer is more pedestrian streets.
In many cases, buildings have internal courtyards,
in the Spanish style. Here, we have, unusually,
a chance to peek in through the railing.
A garden effect through flower-pots; but
what has it done to the footpath?
Coming from the back-streets back to the seafront
A good old door and door-knob
Another view of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The little park at Balutta Bay.
Seafront promenade and this park provide
some comfort for wheelchair travellers
Statue and fountain in the park
Café area in the park
Inside the little oratory at Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Church; open 24 hours a day
What's this doing in this collection? It's the
bus-terminus at Valetta!
Inside an atmospheric restaurant in Balutta Bay:
Peperoncini's. Excellent food: come early
or book, since space is limited.
View of Portomaso from roof of Carlton Hotel
This and the next three photos could be stitched
together to give a wide-angled view of
Spinola Bay and Portomaso
Plenty of well-kept seating along the seafront
A swimming area along the seafront: no topless bathing!
The Independence Garden along the seafront
from Balutta Bay up to St Julian's Point
Did we spot any Aloe Vera among the plentiful
flora of Gozo? Not I anyway. But here is
Aloe Vera in bloom in Independence Garden
A bathing area, complete with stone diving board
Diving club and restaurant at St Julian's Point;
we continue along the sea-side track.