June is the harbinger of hot, sum­mer weather, and the month when the Ramblers’ programme of walks come to an end. Very soon the climate will no longer remain favourable for enjoying long walks. The landscape bares its arid soil rapidly after the green mantle has transformed to parched gold.

In truth, there is still glamour in the scorched scenery, with sporadic specks of foliage contrasting the deep blue of the sea and light blue skies. Lucky are those who know how, and have the time, to appreciate that the Maltese countryside has its particular allure for every season, blessed as our islands always are with bright, clear days.

Accordingly, the Sunday morning walks will mostly frequent breezy hillocks, cliffs and littorals. Starting at 8.30am before it gets too hot, the walks promise a variety of great outdoor experiences, from the unique cliff views along Dingli heights, to wooded areas and rocky coastlines, and sandy beaches on the north of the island.

Very interesting will be the circular stroll on the rocky shore beneath the Valletta bastions, where admiration of the restored fortifications of Fort St Elmo and Fort St Angelo may be contrasted to the aversion of the unimaginative apartment blocks built on the Tigné front.

To think that the future beckons more of the same and to even higher dimensions is tormenting agony. Rambling does not always offer heaven on earth. Sometimes one gets glimpses of the diabolic.

The Wednesday afternoon walks start at 4pm and have more cultural content as participants will visit chapels, churches, gardens and interesting archaeological and historical sites.

All are invited to come along. For more information call on 9949 7080 or e-mail ram205@gmail.com.

Ramblers passing through Burmarrad.Ramblers passing through Burmarrad.

June programme of walks

Sunday, June 4: Dingli Area (Scenic)
Duration: Approximately three to four hours.
Rating: Moderate with some rough terrain.
Meeting place and time: St Mary Magdalene chapel, Panoramic Road, Dingli Cliffs, at 8.30am.

Sunday, June 11: Għadira – Paradise Bay – and surrounding country roads (Scenic)
Duration: Approximately three to four hours.
Rating: Easy to moderate with some inclines.
Meeting place and time: Mellieħa Bay Hotel parking place (at Għadira) at 8.30am.
Participants may wish to follow up the walk with a cooling swim at Għadira Bay.

Wednesday, June 14: Qawra, Burmarrad, Bidnija, Mosta, Qawra (Scenic and historical)
Duration: Approximately two to three hours.
Rating: Easy to moderate with some inclines.
Meeting place and time: Kennedy memorial in Salini Park at 4pm.

Sunday, June 18: Five wayside chapels trail (Scenic/geological)
Duration: Three to four hours.
Rating: Moderate.
Meeting place and time: San Pawl tat-Tarġa chapel (Bus 260 every hour) at 8.30am.

Sunday, June 25: Valletta gardens and bastions
A coastline walk around the Valletta bastions taking in the restored bridge to the breakwater and the side beneath Fort St Elmo, then rising up to the scenic gardens overlooking Grand Harbour.
Rating: Moderate.
Duration: Three hours + lunch   
Meeting place and time: In front of Hotel Phoenicia, Floriana, at 8.30am.

­A chapel in Gudja.­A chapel in Gudja.

Wednesday, June 28: Luqa, Santa Luċija, Għaxaq, Gudja, Bir Miftuħ, Luqa (Scenic and historical)
Duration: Three to four hours.
Rating: Easy to moderate with some inclines.
Meeting place and time: Luqa parish church at 4pm.

Alex Vella is executive president of the Ramblers’ Association of Malta.





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