Xemxija Ridge Walk

The other day Iwent for a walk with my brother (who was out here for a few days) around Xemxija which was where we were brought up. We had a fantastic childhood. Xemxija in those days was very much an area where people came to pass the hot summer months here in Malta, but we lived there all year round and were virtually alone for most of the year...........so Xemxija was OURS! OUR TERRITORY - everyone else was trespassing! We had so much freedom and ofcourse it was very very safe. We used to be able to play in the middle of the road with no worry at all about being run over by a car - quite a different story today. Anyhow, we walked from my parents house in St. Paul's Bay and along down by Vecca where I took the above picture of one of the local fishing boats.
The carob tree above (known in Maltese as Harruba) was just one of our play areas behind our house going up to the ridge. The road up to the ridge is an old Roman road and the road is as it originally was with the same stones. Actually our road makers should take a walk up there cos I think they could learn a thing or two on how to make a road last and also about water drain off and catchment!


Above is a poem written about this particular carob tree.

The above pic is an old apiary going back to the Romans and beyond. Its preserved state is perfect. When we used to play up here all this area was totally overgrown with creepers growing over and hiding most of the apiary. Infact I can only remember a few holes in the wall leading to the bee hives. We used to go inside and hide and play but there were no wooden doors on there then.
The roman road is called Pilgrims Way and this led up to various caves and the punic tombs which are scattered over a section of the ridge. As you go past what we used to call ''Monkey Cave'' (our childhood headquarters!) you can see little crosses carved into the hillside. As kids we also used to find all sorts of pottery in the caves and I just cringe when I think we used to use it for target practice! Some of it was surely very very old. It's only recently that I discovered we used to play in punic tombs!!! There wasnt all the heritage and environmental awareness there is now.



The little chapel in Pwales. I remember a hermit type priest living there. Now I think they just have a monthly mass in it. It seems like its being kept in good condition.
So for my brother and I it was a real trip down memory lane and one to be treasured.
Hope the above has been of interest.
Location: Xemxija/Xemxija Ridge/Punic Tombs/Pwales - Malta

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