Kalle is working today, so I took the Anderssons to Valletta by bus. The plan was to check out the christmas sale, but we didn’t buy anything.
First we stopped outside Naxxar to look at the view.
After Naxxar we went to Bahrija and Fomm ir-Rih…
…and then across the country to Vittoriosa.
Tonight we were invited to a Majjalata (pork feast) in Birżebbuġa. We were immediately served Maltese specialities such as Maltese goat cheese and bigilla. Together with the snacks they served a strong punch made of gin, vodka, red wine, sambuca, fresh fruit and probably other stuff. It was strong but tasted good.
Bigilla is a traditional Maltese snack, made out of beans. The main ingredient of bigilla is a special type of broad beans known in Malta as “ful tal-Ġirba”.
I think there was about 20 people at the majjalata. Everyone but me was men. I don’t know if that’s how is usually is or if it was a coincidence. I felt very welcome anyway.
It takes about 6 hours to roast a suckling pig. This weighed about 45 kg I think, and was ready about an hour after we arrived. The meat was served with Maltese bread and sliced potatoes and onions cooked in wood-fired oven . It tasted really good!
After dinner it was time for telling stories and funny jokes. They tried to tell some stories in English, but some of them were only funny when told in Maltese, they said. It was fun to just listen and see the other’s reactions anyway.
Later on they served cake and had fun with firecrackers.
It was a fun evening and I’m glad we got invited.
One really sad thing here in Malta is the fact that people throw their waste anywhere. This picture is from a spot with wonderful view over the northern part of Malta, but it’s really no fun to bring visiting friends and family when the surrounding area looks like this.
In Pembroke a lot of people walk their dogs, like us, but it’s not safe for the dogs…. a lot of broken glass can be found here and there along with cans, bottles, old papers, plastic bags…
We came to the parking lot close to Laferla Cross, but we ran out of time and had to leave immediately. But I managed to take this picture over the view from the parking lot anyway.
Situated next to Verdala Palace in a valley just inland from Dingli Cliffs, Buskett Gardens was planted by the Knights as a hunting ground.
Heavily wooded with native, hardy species such as Mediterranean pines, Buskett Gardens was created by Grand Master Lascaris. The gardens also hold vineyards, orangeries, olive and lemon groves. There are pathways lined with ivy-clad stone walls and wilder woodland that allows for nature walks and exploration.
From autumn to spring the gardens are full of wild flowers, natural springs and woodland creatures. The wood leads up hill to the more formal gardens of Verdala Palace. A good picnic spot for tourists and locals, the garden is the venue for a lively summer tradition – the feast of L’Imnarja, a folk festival and harvest thanksgiving.
The cactus fruit is common on Malta. We see them everywhere… They are full of seeds, but the taste is sweet. Just peel of the skin and dig in. But beware of the cactus tags on the skin when you peel them!