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Showing posts from October, 2013

CULTURE: Malta's Fine Cities - Valletta

Written by Ben Kesp

Each time I visited Valletta, the capital of Malta it radiates a sense of refreshment, like an isolated little haven sitting on the edge of a tangled urban sprawl. Why does Valletta feel different? Perhaps it is due to the fact that it was purposely built as a city on a peninsula and fortified heavily by grand bastions on all sides. This prevents a city spread allowing it to remain intact with all its features and characteristics since its construction in the late 1500s – excluding the fierce bombardment it received during WWII. The walls contribute to its uniqueness unlike the urban expansions of most other towns and resorts on the island, which have spread out of control causing over 80% of the land to be classified as an urban area. 
With only a population of just under 7,000 people it is very easy to navigate its grid street system and the majority of the streets are for pedestrians. This in itself is a relief from the vast amount of cars on the island (on…


Written by Ben Kesp
Copyright © 2013 Ben Kesp

Climbing the tree lined ditch, the briars cut through his lower legs, piercing his skin. Red lines soon mark his legs. The small woodland offers some relief from the heavy summer rain as Carlos continues to move inwards eyeing a clearing ahead.  Annoyed that he hasn’t waited at the bus stop for the next bus, it won’t be due for another hour.  He feels confident that he can walk to the town where he is staying; but after some wrong turns, he gets lost.  He curses his stupidity.  He is nearing the end of his holidays and succeeds in creating an unwanted adventure. Upon reaching the clearing, he spies a large old house looming strong through the heavy rain.  It is grand with three floors and poorly maintained grounds.  His eyes rest for some time on the old building through the rain, until he spots her. How long has she been watching him?  Standing by a window on the first floor is an elderly lady.  She beckons to him.  Carlos continues to foc…