Monday, 7 November 2016

Malta Diaries 2016: The Mdina

Another popular tourist attraction is Mdina which is the ancient capital of Malta. Named The Silent City because of the lack of interest in it when Valetta became the capital. All the ministerial offices and the people who worked in them moved to the new capital and today only 250 people live there within its walls in a space of 0.9 sq km. 
The only cars allowed through he gates are of residents. 
We took a bus to the huge bus station at Valletta and another bus from there to Mdina. Traveling by bus in Malta is so easy. 
Once again like Valleta the Mdina was really busy when we visited. There was a lot of parked cars which spoiled taking photos. The streets were narrow as expected and when the noisy clip clip of the horse drawn carriages passed by ringing their bell you had to press yourself against the nearest wall to save being trampled. 

The fortified walls of Mdina

I did manage to take a photo of one of the streets without tourists.

At night the streets are lit with gas lamps and it's quieter. I would think it quite an eerie place to live but living surrounded by all that history would be amazing.
The Mdina has churches,cathedrals, museums and at least one nunnery. I think the largest cathedral is St Pauls. They were opened for visiting at different times but an entrance fee has to be paid for everything and it can get quite expensive. 
The nunnery of St Bennidict where twenty nuns still reside is a closed order where the nuns spend their days in prayer. The nuns never leave even when they die they are buried in the crypt.  The only men allowed in are the doctor and the decorator.  The doctor I can understand but a decorator? 
I think this is one of the Windows to the nunnery. I'm not sure if it's one that is not used now or the Benadictine one. 

If you love history then you'll adore Malta. My advice would be to read as much as you can before you go and don't go in the height of summer. 

Some more of the Mdina.

The stairs to nowhere.

I forgot to say there are lovely eating places here and here are views I took from one of the restaurants.

And my favourite ...old doors.

Many doors like this with a fish or whale.

Mdina is such an interesting place to visit. It's like time has stood still here. I still think without the cars it would be much better, and I'm not too keen on the horse and carts either. There are very few shops here , just a tourist information centre and a few souvenir shops.

I'm left wondering... What kind of people live within the city? Have the properties maybe been in their family for generations? Are they permitted to sell the houses ? What price would they sell for? What would it be like to live within a tourist attraction? I wish we had gone back at night to experience it in the dark with fewer tourists and gas lit streets.
If you google Mdina you will find ore information and much better photos than I could take with my iPad. I really must take my camera when I next go on holiday. I must find out how to work my camera first! 

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