Malta From Above. P.1 (Valletta) | CruiseBe
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Malta From Above. P.1

mff • 7 minutes read • May 2nd, 2017
How can a geoblogger have fun in


and take many amazing pictures easily and inexpensively?
The answer is to take pictures from above!

I booked a flight with Harbour Air. 

Harbour Air flies on the only de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter. There are two routes: on Gozo and a 30-minute tour around Malta. It flies several times a day from a sea passenger port at the Valletta Waterfront in Floriana.
Booking the flight in advance by phone is necessary. Registration starts half an hour before a takeoff and ends in 10-15 minutes. 
A safety briefing is held by some guy in the airline uniform standing in the back door. Then he shuts the door and stays on the land. There are even safety cards.

A short boarding is over.
Flaps at 45 degrees, a short run along the Grand Harbour, and a rapid rise. You can see the city of Senglea located across the Grand Harbour from Floriana under the wing. A distinctive tower belongs to Fort Saint Michael. A bay on the left, a branch from the Grand Harbour, is called the Dockyard Creek. A bay on the left is called the French Creek.

You can see Fort Saint Michael on the left again. Huge cranes on the right belong to the so-called China Dock, the largest one on


. It accepts Panamax-sized ships and is built, apparently, as part of the Chinese help to developing countries.
Fort Saint Michael

Now you can see the Kalkara Creek on the left. The Dockyard Creek is on the right, and Fort St. Angelo (under the wing) "ends" the next city of Vittoriosa. The super yacht on the right is called Vibrant Curiosity. She belongs to some German rich man, Reinhold Würth. You can see the city of Cospicua behind the Vibrant Curiosity.
Vibrant Curiosity

Then you can see Fort Ricasoli and an open sea!

The plane makes a sharp left turn. The view is becoming more interesting. You can see the town of Marsaxlokk and Malta's commercial port of Freeport at the top right by the distant sea. The cities of Kalkara and Vittoriosa are at the top of the Grand Harbour from where we just took off. The City at the bottom is Valletta.

You can see a million photos of Malta from the land and the sea, but still not be ready for the realities of Maltese geography. The area of Valletta is a real metropolis, where cities turn into each other without leaving a single free meter to nature. Medieval Maltese cities grow up leaning on the fortresses. They look like stone cakes.

Valetta borders Floriana, Floriana turns into Pietà without border, then into Msida, then into Ta'Xbiex, then into Gzira, well, and then into Sliema. By sea, Sliema is separated from Valletta by the only bay of Marsamxett :)

Then we fly above Julian's Bay and the town of St. Julian's. St. Julian's is the town to the left of the outdoor pool. At the bottom of the frame, you can see the town of Sliema. The only skyscraper in Malta sticks out in the town of Paceville :)

Paceville is the main Maltese center for studying English. Most of the English classes and schools are concentrated here. Some European parents send students to improve their English here. 

Here are tunnels on the road number 1 at St. Julian's. Almost the only place in Malta, where the road briefly takes the form of a highway.

This is Mosta and its famous Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It has one of the largest domes in the world. According to Maltese standards, Mosta has a rare feature: the green wadi Wied il-Għasel with a creek (you can see a part of a bridge at the top right).

At last, the countryside began to appear between the towns. This is the traffic circle at the intersection of routes No. 16 and No. 17.

From the air, the impression that each piece of Malta is either built up or cultivated is erroneous. This is the city of Mġarr. There's a view of the northern part and Gozo at the top.

It is the first month of summer, but everything begins to burn out. This is the view to the north of Malta along the west coast.

Ras ir-Raheb.

A beautiful cape with an unknown name separates the beaches of Għajn Tuffieħa (on the left) and Ġnejna Bay. I climbed it in 2001 and saw the nudists in Ġnejna, although there's a struggle against the nudism in this Catholic country.

Golden Bay (on the left) and Għajn Tuffieħa (Ġnejna is on the right, almost outside the camera's view). You can rarely meet sandy beaches in



This is the narrowest point of Malta: in the distance, one can see the bay of Mellieha with a sandy beach, and Anchor Bay below, and the village of Popeye popular among the tourists.

Marfa ridge, North Pier. Then Malta ends and Gozo (the distant island in the photo) and Comino (the island in the middle) begin.

There are 6 kilometers between Malta and Gozo. The islands are connected by Gozo Channel Line in 25 minutes. 

Gozo is on the left, Comino is on the right, Malta is to the right outside the camera's view.


Let's continue our flight (Malta From Above. P.2)!
Author: mff
Translated by: Olesya Zhukova

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