Saturday, 8 June 2013

Malta, Public Holiday, Day 18, June 7th

Sette Giugno (Italian for "Seven June") June 7 is a Maltese holiday which commemorates events that occurred on that day in 1919.  Following a series of riots by the Maltese population, British troops fired into the crowd and killed four people. The holiday is in remembrance of this uprising against profiteering merchants and the British colonial government and is seen as the first step towards Maltese independence.

As we were finishing breakfast, we looked out at the harbour to see a sailboat race underway.  It was very windy with large sea swells and several times there seemed to be close calls before the boats got themselves pointed in the right direction and headed out to open water.

We decided to find the National Museum of Fine Arts so we strolled to the southwest part of 
Valletta, an area which for some reason we had not yet explored. It was very quiet due to the holiday and very peaceful.  We came across a gated park called Hastings Garden and were floored when we walked through the gates and there in front of us was the Sette Giugno monument with wreaths from the Prime Minister, Leader of the House, Official Opposition and various other dignitaries. What a serendipitous thing to happen on this day.  The gardens are beautiful.  They are set behind the fortification wall protecting the back land-side of Valletta.  Being so high, the cool ocean breeze bathed us into tranquility as we took in the amazing views of the inner harbour which we had walked around when we made the long trek to Sliema. And a great view into the fort on Manoel Island.  We made our way back across the city for lunch at Aaron’s Kitchen.

                                              The race is on. Taken from our kitchen window.

                                                   Fabulous old stairs up to Hastings Street

                                                              A great door and knockers

                                                                     The four doors

                                                           Streets like San Francisco

                                                           Sette Giugno bronze monument

                                              The last of the cannons that protected Valletta

                                                              My sweetheart chillaxing

                                                                     Matchy, matchy

                                              Through the fortification wall to Manoel Island

                                                          The fort on Manoel Island

                                                    These wall were so incredibly thick

                                                      A beautiful tree, Hastings Garden

                                    WWII gun placements and our apartment in the background

                                                             Weathered old building

                                                                WWII gun placements

                                                      Manoel Island from Valletta

     Mouth of Marsamxett Harbor with our apartment on the right to the left of St. Paul's cathedral tower
                                                         Traditional Maltese balconies

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