It was a choice between visiting the fishing village of Marsaxlokk or the Hagar Qim temple complex.

We checked the bus time tables and found that the bus to Marsaxlokk would arrive earliest so we decided that we would go there for the day. Then Mr C noticed a bus that was heading to the temples which caused him to change his mind. It was only when we were on our way that he realised the journey wasn’t direct and we would have to change.

We changed at Zurrieq, a quaint Moorish town with picturesque narrow streets. There were lots of buses returning to Valletta but we had to wait for half an hour one that went to the temples.

Before entering the temple complex, we had a traditional Maltese tuna ftira. The sandwich was so large we shared it between us.

Hagar Qim

The Hagar Qim complex consists of a main temple and three additional megalithic structures beside it. The main temple was built between 3600 and 3200 BC but other structures on the site are even older. Hagar Qim is quite different to other megalithic sites that I have seen.

Hagar Qim Nature Walk

Hagar Qim Nature Walk

We viewed one temple then, instead of taking the direct route to the second temple, we took the route of the nature walk. The ground was rugged and rough under our feet. Thankfully I had put my walking shoes on but, even so, when Mr C decided to walk along the cliff edge I headed uphill, keeping to the pathway.

Hagar Qim

Arriving at the second temple we found it to be a lot smaller in footprint than the first one. Like megalithic structures elsewhere, there are sun and moon alignments to the solstice and equinox. There is even a theory that one of the stones has markings that align it to the Pleiades constellation.

Both temples have a canvas canopy over them to protect them from the harsh elements that would erode the soft limestone rock.

Back at the bus stop we found out that, counter-intuitively, we needed to catch the bus back to Valletta on the same side of the road as we had alighted. We waited for quite some time (other people joining us) and no bus appeared in either direction. After a while we suspected that one of the scheduled buses had been cancelled and we were now waiting for the next one which arrived eventually.

The Grand Hotel Excelsior

Back in Valletta, we decided to relax with a cup of the tea on our balcony before setting off for our evening meal. We settled on the restaurant That’s Amore where we didn’t have the best of experiences. They were extremely slow to take our order and when the bottle of wine arrived the glasses were filled unevenly. Mr C’s empty plate was taken away whilst I was still eating and he was advised that he could order desserts and coffee later! My plate was left in front of me for a long time after I had finished eating. The lovely local rose wine we had chosen was the saving grace of the experience.

Back at the hotel, the bar staff tried to fob me off with a small bottle of inferior wine because they had run out of the normal wine and needed to go to the cellar for some more. I sent it back to be replaced with the higher quality wine that I had ordered on other occasions.

2 Comments CherryPie on Nov 28th 2023

2 Responses to “Malta – Day Nine”

  1. The temple area looks rather barren.