Sun, Sand and a Marching Band

Time for a break?

You wake up, open your curtains – a gloomy, greyness, greets you. Lowers your mood like a Smiths record. You down your steaming coffee, quicker than a shot of sambuca; don’t even taste it. Rushing to your car, you attack the ice with the deft of an angry sculptor.

Warm blue skies, tantalise your thoughts like A Place in the Sun. You’re overworked, tired and stressed; sick of the lousy weatherMaybe it’s time you booked that holiday; take the edge off the fierce English winter. Something to look forward to after all!

Where though?

Not long haul, but not the ‘typical’ European beach break. You want hot weather, but don’t want a rowdy conga dance with Barry from Hull.

What about a tiny, little Island; a jewel in the Mediterranean; where the English language flows like the wine? Where the streets are equal part ‘open’ museum and apartment block. With good food and drink that won’t break the bank. Have you considered Sliema? A vibrant town, in the culture permeated archipelago of Malta.

Culture

Malta is packed with culture; Sliema being a cosmopolitan town with a year-round ‘buzz’. Trendy cafés, bars, and department stores give the town an ‘upmarket’ feel.

English is the chosen language for many Sliema residents; furthermore, British (ex-colony) subtleties are rather conspicuous; thus, you can easily forget you’re a stone’s throw from Sicily. However, you’re never far from jaw-dropping culture.

Sliema is the perfect ‘central’ location for hopping on a ‘sightseeing bus’ or cruising a ferry around the Island

The capital Valletta is only five minutes from Sliema by ferry ‘taxi’, which conveniently run all day. Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the European Capital of Culture 2018; a beautiful micro-city. Steep cobbled streets, beautiful architecture, and a wealth of history await you in Malta’s stunning capital city.

Sliema is an ideal place to seek out culture in Malta. Everything is within reach. If the beach is a ‘must’ – Sliema has a couple; albeit, small ones. If you want something bigger, just jump in a taxi – there’s plenty of beaches on the island!

Out and about

The streets can feel hectic when you arrive in Malta. With far too many cars for a Small Island: as well as drivers who beep their horns like they’re in a ‘loudest horn’ competition. What becomes apparent though is the stress-free lifestyle.

Having an ‘almost’ perfect climate and an abundance of facilities on your doorstep makes for a simple ‘laid back’ atmosphere. For example, the 10k promenade that stretches from St Julians to Gzira is a hub of activity during summer.

Affordable restaurants, bars, local towns, and Valletta are all ‘close by’

With Sliema sandwiched in the middle, the promenade is a great spot for people-watching, cooling off with an ice-cold beer or a thick, creamy, gelato. You can even pop on your spandex and join the sweaty joggers that pass by like a never-ending marathon! Or just take a stroll with the salty, sea breeze on your face.

Weather

With over 300 days of sunshine a year – Malta is the perfect destination for sun worshippers; furthermore, the temperatures can hit the 40s in the heart of summer. The best time to visit is between May and October, with these two months being slightly cooler; therefore, a great time to ‘comfortably’ enjoy the sites.

Although the sun is still abundant throughout the winter months, it can be cold at night; moreover, the lack of central heating can turn your apartment rather chilly. Winter is short and sharp in Malta; summer is long and sticky. The antithesis of England!

For a small town – Sliema packs a big punch. A loud, bustling, energetic, sea of bodies; where the marching bands hog the hot streets like the battered, smoky old cars. Far from an exotic paradise, but far from your typical bland, ‘Brits abroad’ bore.

Sliema has something for everyone. Whether you visit the upmarket cafés, use it as your gateway to the Island, or simply stroll the streets like an urban rambler: it deserves a visit!

Thanks for reading.

A.T Hawthorn – 9.2.20

 

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