Tuesday, 6 November 2012

What I Saw In Vittoriosa

(Behind the TREE) St Lawrence Church: When I left Vittoriosa, this bell was being really, really noisy and irritating.

Vittoriosa is a beautiful name, but The Maltese insist on calling the place by its original name of Birgu (pronounced Beergoo), despite the fact it has been Vittoriosa for four hundred and forty seven years.  The bus stop is called neither of these, quickly separating The Locals from The Tourists.  Here again were building works.  I was sick of them by this point.

Immediately by the gate were signs to The Malta At War Museum (€8.00), so I followed them into some kind of castle that is possibly called Couvre Porte.  Here the signs vanished but logic led me to the museum.  Eventually.

I was expecting a tour but there was none.  I don’t know whether I arrived between tours, but the man on the door didn’t mention this and there was no sign.  I was given a bit of paper with some info on it.  Without a guide, the museum was a bit of a mystery (presumably focused on The Home Front, according to The Bit Of Paper).  There were items in cases, like at The National War Museum in Valletta, but without any labels, so who knows what they were.

There were several TV screens showing war propaganda and newsreels that I loved.  Then there was a small cinema, showing a wartime propaganda documentary ‘Malta G.C.’, made to show The British the plight of Malta.  It was mesmerising, if you’re me and fascinated by 1940s Home Front stuff.  The other couple in with me weren’t me and left.  After the film finished, I went back into the museum and reached the air raid shelter. 

This was a maze of underground corridors carved into the rock.  There were some signs explaining what I was looking at, some roped off areas and some arrows pointing the way, but none of this was consistent.  I was also by this time The Only Person In The Museum. 

So I was



in intermittent lighting. 

It was freaky. 

Main aisle:
A private cubicle:
The birth room:
Looks nice.
It was interesting, and cool and exciting, just scary too.

The Malta At War Museum has the interactive stuff but The National War Museum has the detailed information, so both museums would do better if they merged into one awesome museum, instead of two slightly lacklustre museums.

I left here and had a look at the view from the bit of the castle-thing that wasn’t roped off.
Then I walked down the street to Misrah ir-Rebha (Victory Square) and then intended to turn left on to the waterfront.  Except there was more building work and I couldn’t find the water.  I was stuck down a seemingly endless grotty back street, boxed in by a wall of building rubbish, till eventually I found a narrow metal staircase and finally got on to Vittoriosa Waterfront.  I followed this along back to the entrance to the town.

Here’s the view from the street of where I was before with the cannon:

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