The Ramblers’ walks programme for 2017-2018 ends in June with five walks and a cultural visit during the month. It is already uncomfortable to walk in the sun, so two of the Sunday walks will start at 8.30am and the two Wednesday walks will begin at 4pm.
Next Sunday, June 3, the walk skims the Valletta bastions along the foreshore, revealing the majestic high walls in their splendour after the recent clean-up. It starts at the entrance to Valletta at 8.30am and involves about three hours of relatively easy walking.
On Wednesday, June 6, at 4pm a walk along the Victoria Lines to Żebbiegħ via Għajn Riħana starts from near the Mosta Lidl supermarket, retuning via Bidnija. It is an easy walk of about three hours.
The walks enable participants’ soul to rest for a few hours amid peaceful pastoral panoramas, far away from turbulent tower-craned centres being downed and drastically deprived of their Maltese character
Another walk on Sunday, June 10, along another stretch of the Victoria Lines may include a visit to Fort Mosta. The is a rather rough walk that starts at Ġnien l-Għarusa tal-Mosta at 9am, following the Lines all the way down to Wied il-Għasel. Though walking time is short, the route includes rough terrain and steep inclines.
On Sunday, June 17, the meeting place for easy walk down Wied tal-Isqof will be at the main gate of Verdala Palace, Buskett, at 8.30am. Participants will visit the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace built by Bishop Davide Cocco Palmieri late in the 17th century as his summer residence, to compete with the Grand Master’s and the Inquisitor’s palaces nearby.
The second Wednesday walk on June 20, starting at 4pm from the Roman Domus in Rabat, will visit the beautiful countryside at Wied il-Qlejgħa, Nadur Tower and Fiddien. It is an easy walk lasting some three hours.
The 2017-8 programme will end in grand style with a guided cultural visit led by Mgr Alwiġ Deguara to the Mdina Cathedral and its magnificent Aula Capitularis, as well as a tour of the precious exhibits at the Cathedral Museum. The meeting place is the Mdina main gate at 9am and the visit will last some three hours.
This last walk will be crowned with a celebratory light lunch near Città Nobile. The venue to be notified later.
There is no walks programme planned for the summer season. However, there may be some early morning walks or night walks, in which case members of the Ramblers’ Association will be informed by e-mail. These ad hoc walks may be publicised in this newspaper and on the Ramblers’ website.
The association’s programme of walks for autumn will be published towards the end of September to cover the months from October to December.
The Ramblers’ Association would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who contributed to attract such a huge following for the 2017-8 programme. The many local and foreign guests who came along and expressed their appreciation after every walk, and the increasing number of members turning up, are a strong and lively testimony to the selfless, devoted efforts of all concerned with drawing up the walks programme, starting with the organisers, co-ordinators, walk leaders, helpers and scouts.
A special mention goes to the Friends of the Victoria Lines Trail and their mission of upgrading the scenic path along the Lines to the rank of a leading quality national trail.
A lot of thought and work goes in the organisation of these walks to ensure varied and safe routes with interesting cultural and/or scenic content. Socially it is ascertained that guests and newcomers are welcomed and accepted by all in a spirit of camaraderie, so jovial among ramblers.
The walks physically stretch the body to reap the full benefit that only nature can provide, with graded routes as far away as possible from main roads contaminated by dust and fuel fumes. They enable participants’ soul to rest for a few hours amid peaceful pastoral panoramas, far away from turbulent tower-craned centres that are being downed and drastically deprived of their Maltese character.
Ramblers call on the government not to continue turning a blind eye to the ongoing environmental degradation being permitted by the Planning Authority with the spineless Environment and Resources Authority helplessly looking on, as time is fast running out for the survival of Maltese cultural and natural heritage.
For further assistance or information, call 9949 7080 or 7733 2433.
Alex Vella is the executive president of the Ramblers’ Association of Malta.
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