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Exploring St. Julian's
One of Malta's most scenic towns is a place called St. Julians.
It's great for eating out, watching boats in the bays and it's home to Malta's only skyscraper.
Trendy among locals and foreign visitors, it's a city established along and around a number of bays - which are generally filled with boats.
The town was named after its patron saint St. Julian, who is also known as Julian the Hospitaller, the patron saint of hunters.
View of St. Julian's with Malta's only skyscraper
St. Julian's has slightly more than 10,000 inhabitants and it thrives on tourism and entertainment, while until the 19th century it used to be mainly a fishing and farming-driven place.
Boats anchored in the Spinola Bay
Although postcards frequently depict the bay areas of St. Julian's as one with an abundance of luzzu boats (traditional painted Maltese wooden boats), I only spotted a solitary one...
The luzzu is a traditional painted Maltese boat
I've found the bays of St. Julian's particularly nice. In fact, the huge bay of St. Julian's Bay give birth to secondary (inner) bays: Spinola Bay, Balluta Bay, Exiles Bay.
Staring towards Exiles Bay
Those three bays are all very beautiful...
A prominent historic attraction near the Spinola Bay is the Spinola Palace (shown below), constructed in 1688, found on top of the Spinola Hill.
The Spinola Palace
The Spinola Palace was constructed to serve as a place of entertainment. Back then, the palace was surrounded by rural environment, which had disappeared since...
A weird huge concrete sphere that was rotating in every direction (literally)...
The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church overlooks the Balluta Bay and was built in 1859 and has been rebuilt three times (!) since then. It has interesting looks, but besides a few Neo-Gothic motifs, there's nothing very special about it...
The church "Our Lady of Mount Carmel"
One could say the Balluta Buildings are monolithic, as they stand boasting in front of a small triangle-shaped green park.
At first I couldn't believe, but yes - they're Art Nouveau. Admire them below...
The imposing Balluta Buildings hide behind the bay with the same name
To me, it really looks like a single complex, but it's really three buildings stuck together. Triplets!
The Balluta Buildings built in 1928, designed by Giuseppe Psaila, are characterized by three elongated openings in the middle of each building.
Also check out the entire Malta Photo Gallery
But, a rather unexpected attraction to the visitor is the Malta's only skyscraper, the Portomaso Business Tower, which is found here in St. Julian's.
It rises 98 m above ground and has 23 floors.
The building stands there since it was opened in 2001 and in my opinion there really is nothing beautiful about, I hope Malta won't go down that "Mahattanification" road.
I wouldn't say it ruins the views, but it just doesn't feel like it belongs there...
It's a typical high-rise office building for various commercial firms.
These are already cliché buildings everywhere they turn up, in any corner of our World.
The monolithic symbol of power has reached Malta as well.
This tower's desert drab colour nuance plaques accompany its reflective mirror-like glass windows.
Perhaps in order for it to get at least a step close to "Maltese colours", but it still was a contrast-shock to me...
From the marina...
Also check out the entire Malta Photo Gallery
Right in front of the skyscraper you'll find the Portomaso Marina, a luxurious establishment for boat owners and for those seeking luxury accommodation.
But not only...
I went out boat watching and photographing.
This place was really scenic...
A modern complex really well-designed, but again - as it is with marinas - it's very easy to just step off the ground and fall into the deep water!
The place is boasting with luxury yachts, tall green palms and there's a large number of expensive restaurants around as well.
Consult this guide to find out about the best place for eating and drinking.
A tip I'd give you is to rent out a flat in the marina area. It might even score better on comfort than a hotel...
I can't help mentioning that there's also a Portomaso Casino (inside the Portomaso Tower building) and the Hilton Malta Hotel is a stone's throw away from the beautiful marina...
Portomaso Marina in all its splendour
Wandering out of St. Julian's (at the other part of the town), I walked out to the seafront (some would call it "the beach").
Rocky, rough, wicked, but interesting to the new comer.
The same type of rough sea front as I saw in Sliema
Don't twist your ankle, don't break a leg between those rocks.
I was a bit nervous about stepping in and out of the "craters". They all felt hard, nothing "swallowed" me in. But I can't guarantee the same experience to you.
Feels like the Moon...
Some watery "craters" are entire habitats for tiny fish and other creatures. Like aquariums or ponds, they're isolated from the sea and life thrives in them.
Neet fish, sweet fish swimmin' in the water
In closing I will leave you with a few more (mixed) photos of St. Julian's.
Enjoy and don't hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments section...
View from Sliema's side
I might fancy one that's just a wee bit bigger...
From behind pretty flowers
An island of green amid a sea of concrete
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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