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Your Guide to Malta and Gozo - Yacht Marina

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 Yacht Marina

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The stretch of coast between Sa Maison in Pieta', with the Floriana bastions as a backdrop - to Sliema makes for a pleasant stroll, notwithstanding the incessant stream of heavy traffic that reaches frightening levels during rush hours. The tree-lined pavement widens into a garden adjacent a densely packed yacht marina, punctuated with romantic gazebos, a parking lot and bars where one may grab a quick drink.

The coast bends sharply at Msida, opposite the monumental St. Joseph Parish Church. This was designed by architect Andrea Grima and first open its doors to the faithful in 1889. Also prominent here is a monument by master scultptor Anton Agius, depicting and honouring the Maltese working class.

As you steadily march on through Ta' Xbiex, a ship-turned-restaurant will certainly catch your eye: the erstwhile Black Opal was constructed in Sweden in 1909, and was briefly owned by Hollywood-great Errol Flynn in the 1950's. The Black Pearl reached Malta in 1976, but sank to the seabed shortly thereafter. It was brought back to the surface in 1979, only to sink once again in 1981. It enjoyed fame and glory as one of the protagonists of the Popeye feature film, shot in Malta in 1979. Calamity is unlikely to strike again as it has ceased to sail the high seas and is only engaged in the less hazardous catering industry in a well-sheltered spot.

Manoel Island is connected to the mainland by a bridge, and is undergoing heavy development and is scheduled to become the new location of the Gzira Yacht Marina. Fort Manoel is currently out of bounds to the public whilst it is the recipient of extensive repairs and rehabilitation. A delightful “Duck's Village” is close to Manoel Island's point of connection to the mainland.

The former Yacht Marina Garden is now known as Garden of the Council of Europe. It is the perfect spot for a break as you approach your destination, whilst children may enjoy some gleeful moments in the garden's play-area.

Sliema is very close now, but you have to walk through the pleasant Gzira promenade with its several monuments and gazebos before actually getting there. And when you do get there, you will find that Sliema is a vibrant town with an abundance of restaurants and cafeterias, and its range of hotels and shopping malls.