Today the forecast was cloudy, 7% chance of rain with a top of 25 degrees, a mild day but we optimistically packed a beach bag and headed off to have brunch in Valletta before we made our way to a few different beaches.
As we drove along, the sky became grey as rain clouds started coming in. After a 20 minute drive from St Julian’s to Valetta we set out to find parking in amongst the narrow streets of Valetta and marvelled at the charming buildings and beautiful doors of the side by side terrace homes. Parking was nearly impossible to find within the streets of the town, so we managed to find Parking on the street along the Marsamxett Harbour about a 10-15 minute walk outside the centre of town.
With Harley in the carrier, we walked toward the centre of the town, on the outskirts we saw lots of parked cars along the streets of what seemed to be the mostly residential part of the town, but not a lot of people. It almost felt a little bit like a ghost town at first. As we got closer to the heart of the town we were relieved to find that was where most of the people were and we found the Piadina Caffe which was recommended on a few different forums as a great place to eat and enjoy freshly made ‘Piadinas’-wraps. We ordered a grilled chicken, organic cheese herb focaccia and a salami, mozzarella ‘Piadina’ wrap with a couple of coffees. The food was decent, but not really up to the ratings we expected. We were thankful though, for a place to wait out the rain as it started to pour, whilst we sipped on our coffees and tried to get our distracted Harley to drink her bottle.
As we sat and people watched, we noticed a few people slipping on the wet uneven stone pavements which got me worried about walking the town with Harley in the carrier, although with some of the steep streets I’m not sure a stroller would have been any better so I would say the carrier was the less hazardous option. As the rain began to subside, we decided that we’d walk around town since the wet weather didn’t look like it would let up for the day.
We walked around the main squares and checked out a few of the government buildings and churches and as it started to rain again and with Harley getting restless we decided to pop into a busy looking pastry cafe called Cafe Cordina which had a coffee bar, beautiful pastries on display and ornate ceilings and walls. The pastries looked delectable and so despite being full and sufficiently caffeinated we couldn’t resist having a ricotta, chocolate and pistachio cannoli with coffee. The service was quick, the pastry fresh and as usual Harley was greeted with adoring smiles.
We also had a peek at some of the other tables orders and immediately had food envy wishing we had lunch here instead. In saying that, I can only speak for the pastry and as it was delicious I’d recommend this place for sure. Also, I noticed this place seemed to frequented by locals and tourists alike so with the fast turnover I imagine food would be fresh.
Harley fell asleep in my arms at the cafe and there she stayed as we continued to walk around the town. It started to rain again so we decided to walk back to the car. It was a work out with Harley in my arms as we carefully made our way down hill of the steep streets and slippery steps to get back to the car, every once in a while ducking underneath for cover. Harley was covered with her jacket and was fast asleep oblivious of the rain. We finally made it to the car and since the weather didn’t look like it was improving, we decided to go for a drive around the island.
We drove through different towns and then onto the more rural areas as we made our way to Dingli Cliffs. Parts of our drive took us along the coastline and the views were truly breathtaking. The Dingli cliffs were gorgeous on a not so great day so I can only imagine how amazing they would be on a day with awesome visibility. We were in and out the car admiring the views, whilst Harley was in and out of napping.
We made our way back to the hotel and our baby girl enjoyed a much needed 2 hour nap. Harley is a bit of a light sleeper and has serious FOMO, so generally she sleeps best in the dark with her white noise playing. Although surprisingly she’s managed to nap whilst we’re out, it takes a little persuasion from mummy having to rock her to sleep and we’ve noticed that if we get the timing just right, being in the car works a treat. Otherwise when we’re in the room, we’ll sit in the dark with the white noise playing all for the sake of Harley’s sleep. Oh the things we do for our children. So there we sat in the dark as we built up our appetite for dinner.
We booked dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants called Quadro Restaurant as we didn’t want to venture out too far with Harley still adjusting to her sleep time. The restaurant is formal setting, but still felt reasonably baby-friendly. A high chair was provided for Harley which was great. We had the signature dish prawn and prosciutto pasta with parmesan sauce as a starter and for mains we had a scallop dish and a calamari dish. The scallops were delicious whilst the calamari was slightly overcooked, but otherwise it as an enjoyable meal despite Harley getting restless. We pulled out whatever we could out of the back pack, to keep her distracted including, a boxed shower cap which she enjoyed unpacking and pulling apart for about half an hour, then she played with the chord of the waterproof pouch for our phones/wallet and as we finally ran out of random things she could play with, we succumbed to giving her our phone to watch a Baby Einstein video. That kept her occupied long enough so that we could finish our dinner. After dinner, we walked back to our room and we were spent, we all passed out by 9 pm.