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first thoughts after landing on malta

From the airplane Malta looks very flat. Looking this way and over there, one can see a rise, a hill of some kind, but generally from the plane Malta is flat.

Malta is warm in September, in the mid-80’s Fahrenheit. During the cab ride into Valletta, I started taking off clothing. I flew from Paris where I woke up one morning in late August feeling autumn in the air.

During the 15 minute cab ride, I decided Malta was flat.

After getting acquainted with my apartment, which is near Il-Forti Sant Iermu (Fort St Elmo), I left and started capturing images. I was no longer in Paris. I was immediately fascinated by the balconies.

Valletta, Malta , or Il-Belt (“the city” in Maltese), is a small city and the European Cultural Capital for 2018. In 1980 Valletta was officially recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The streets are narrow and many permit only pedestrians. They do not meander, but are laid out in a grid. One can look for long distances up and down each street, either seeing the Mediterranean Sea or a wall that surrounds the city. On each side of a street many balconies, sometimes in a patchwork, jut from the walls. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

The balconies are often beautiful. The owners have taken care to protect them. Some parts of Valletta, where I am staying, for example, need desperately some attention. The walls are solid, indestructible, but the windows and doors and many balconies are in need of repair. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)


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