One of the reasons I haven't blogged for a while is because we went to Malta for a well earned break. My parents and grandparents both used to live and work there so it does feel comforting when I walk around.
The weather was lovely and warm (in the 80's) but there were a few days of heavy thunderstorms and downpours (but hey, if you are swimming you are wet anyway).
We were staying in Floriana (just outside the city gates of the capital Valetta) and knew that they had a street art festival (similar to the one we have in Bristol) back in the summer so we headed off walking the streets to see what we could find-and boy did we find some amazing pieces. This is just a small selection:
These were down by the lido (where we swim if we are there in season but as we were just out of season it was closed, so we swam in the sea off the rocks with the locals instead.
This gent was HUGE and was painted on the roof of fishermen's huts
!!This was painted on the walls of a local cafe
These were next to the lido on the roof of their bar/changing rooms. The jelly bears are larger than a person and when you walk amongst them it is difficult to tell what they are....but climb up through the streets and peer over a certain wall and voila, 3D jelly bears! Several people were there and taking photos of the lovely harbour view but not looking down! That soon changed when they heard us "oohing and ahhing"!
This large 3D melting icecube complete with trapped blue bottle was next door. It almost felt you could reach out and touch it.
A short water taxi to Sliema and we came across even more
This one was 3 storeys high
The eyes on the skull cleverly used the drainage holes in the wall
So many colourful pieces all hidden under a walkway next to the sea, the only way to view them was to climb down when the tide was out and look back towards the town
I think this was a really old painting looking at the weathering
From the road you wouldn't know any of this was here
Some stunning work and not what I expected to find
Back in Valletta we came across new bars and galleries since our last visit as it gears up to be the 2018 European City of Culture
Tables have been upcycled with handpainted tops
Locals have embraced the anarchic nature with "this is a piece of art!" we found in the street
Whilst we were there it was the 10th Anniversary of the performance and arts festival Notte Bianca where 60,000 people descend on Valletta for one evening. These were Mdina Glass light shades suspended along one of the streets. There was so much to see and do,
such as crafts,
like this weaver
ancient and public buildings (including the Prime Ministers private office!! The queues for that were massive) threw their doors open (free entry)
There were lots and lots of art installations such as this bedsit covered entirely in paper
These were small diarama's made by prisoners depicting what time in cells meant to them
We explored the WWII bomb shelters where my nan probably spent some of her time whilst she was on the island. As you can see it was VERY far down into the depths of the island.
We then walked to the far end of the city to Fort St Elmo. This was only recently re-opened after refurbishment and not somewhere we had been before so we took advantage of it all being open for free, with bands playing and lovely light displays
With rows of giant floor lanterns once again made with Mdina Glass
Then there were the fireworks....which carried on,
and on for almost 6 hrs!! There could not have been any gunpowder left on the island!
We did some tourist things such as visiting the markets and Mdina (the silent city)
The biggest change we noticed were the new city gates in Valletta which are a stunning execution of stone masonry.
If you like your street art and are looking for somewhere sunny I thoroughly recommend the capital of Malta.