I’m not going to go into much detail about the history of the Madliena Tower, as I’d only be stealing from other sources but the basics are that it’s the fourth of 13 De Redin towers in Malta and was built in 1658. It’s situated in Madliena, right on the limits of Pembroke. It was built as a coastal watch tower and has seen action as recently as World War II. It has undergone slight restoration in recent years, as has the area surrounding it which is being actively monitored and has been fitted with shiny new paved walk ways for those who want to explore the nature rich area.
A Winter Walk in Malta
It was a bright and brisk November day, I’d woken up late and felt a bit groggy. I thought I’d go and grab a coffee to get some fresh air and get my muscles moving, instead of spending another day holed up on the sofa. I waddled to Pascucci in Bay Street, got myself a Hot Mocha and off I went. After about 15 minutes I realised I should have been home by now, looked up and suddenly became aware that I’d actually walked into Pembroke (the opposite way to the way home) and appeared to be heading towards the little nature reserve they have built there. Apparently, my subconscious didn’t want to go home yet.
Winter in Malta is a wondrous thing. It’s windy and the sky is peppered with fluffy white clouds. If the sun is out (as it usually is) the warmth still reaches you and it can feel like summer most of the time. If you’re walking, it’s easy to work up a sweat. But there are grey days mingled in, my apartment has already turned freezing and we’ve had a few grizzly days so I wasn’t prepared for such a gloriously warm and sunny day this close to December.
The Colours of Nature in Malta
I was startled by the vibrance of all the colours around me; the deep, burnt red mud, the glowing white foam from the waves, the intensity of the blue from the water, the surprisingly green shrubbery. Despite the chill wind, the sun was beating down on me and I soon had to take my jacket off. I wandered between muddy walk ways, car tracks and paved paths. My ballerina flats were not suited to the uneven terrain and I was performing less of a walk, more of a slip, trip, falling with style type movement, but no ankles were seriously harmed in the making of this blog post and I made it home in one piece.
Military Firing Range in Pembroke, Malta
At one point I found myself stumbling into a military shooting range. I’m not sure if this is still in use but it’s a really remarkable place, filled with destroyed buildings, hills and stairways to nowhere. I checked around for the red flags but didn’t spot anything and I wasn’t the only one wandering around this way so figured it was safe for now. I understood it was only a training area for target practise and the like but it had a very eerie feel to it, amped up by the plethora of abandoned buildings.
Panoramic View Point: Madliena Tower
After a while I found that I was being drawn towards a tower in the distance and, although it seemed really very far, something told me to just keep walking so on I went and it was no time at all until I reached the Madliena Tower and stood for a long time, just admiring this piece of history and the view surrounding it.
Once I’d had my fill of the tower I began the much faster walk back. I noticed that the waves were really crashing noisily over on the rock beach and found a point, high enough to miss the foamy splashes and strong and sturdy enough for me to sit on and hang my legs over. I am equally fascinated and terrified by the sea and with every swell of the waves, so my heart would swell with an addictive cocktail of fear and exhilaration.
In all the walk was absolutely worth doing one day when you want to get some exercise but nothing too taxing. The scenery and views are lovely, the walk is pretty easy (so long as you’re wearing the correct footwear!) making it perfect for families with kids and dogs as well as couples and lone walkers like myself. It’s a nice quiet route so it’s peaceful, clean and great for some quiet reflecting if you fancy some time alone.