Sunday, 16 January 2011
Today, we climbed. AND, we did culture. But not too much culture, and only after a plentiful day swinging around on pocketed overhangs. First up was the escarpment of Victoria Lines (I'm pretty sure I've spelt this one right ;)), an ancient Hadrians-esque fortified ridge. Like Wieb Badu it is an undulating pockety white limestone, but somehow more fun despite it's relatively diminutive size. Route scale was gritstone-like, but skin-friendly knobbly pockets up wee bulging faces provided a jolly good jape. We were hosting an English lass for the day so mixed and matched and a good time was had by all. Although I finished on a slightly bum note, failing on a roofy prow thing due to an obdurately ill-fitting nut and subsequent terminal pump, and then bashed my thumbnail on the ground during the ensuing micro-tantrum. Ah well, another 3 good routes.
After dropping said lass off at the airport and using the impending flight departure as an excuse to further my Malta driving apprenticeship (which is coming on rather well except for my persistence in actually indicating), we headed to the fortified cathedral town on Mdida. This is indeed quite splendid, the creamy sandstone walls reflecting a delightful evening sun through the maze of narrow streets, and the ostentatious extravagance of the cathedral contrasting ironically with the relatively low-key status of the rest of the island. After all God expects nothing but the finest decor in his name... Here are a couple of photos I liked:
Finally we finished with a touristy but pleasant meal adjacent to Mdida, and I ticked the first of my 3 Malta food ticks - beef olives (the others being rabbit stew and ricotta & pea filled pastry nibbles). This however was no ordinary beef olive, it was colossal sauce-drenched LOG of a beef olive that would have Baldrick ineptly scribbling odes to it's girth. I am still burping up the taste.
And today, in honour of having a 3rd person to take photos, I broke out my £1.99 sports vest from Decathlon, as part of trying to get clothes that I don't overheat in but still stand out in photos. I'm sure you'll agree it's a winning combination with the tights...