Sliema, summer and surf!

Summer's in the air. Blue sky, slight breeze, and the mercury thread hitting 23 degrees Celsius.

We had a couple of overnight showers last week, but early yesterday morning the local council had some workers spread along the Sliema coast, bolting swim-ladders to the Tower Road foreshore; and that means a thumbs-up for the swimming season to open in earnest. 

The stretch of shore beneath the Tower Road promenade is just the place for sunbathing in Sliema. A flat limestone stretch punctuated at comfortably distant intervals with low sometimes circular natural rock basins perfect for a beach-towel and a comfortable lie-back; but the water's edge by comparison makes for some tricky manouvering and the best method by far to go down for a dip is via one of the several swim-ladders dotting this part of the coast in summer.

Foreigners of course splash around most of the year, to the extent that anyone viewing a beach-photo snapped in early spring or early winter, would be hard pressed in guessing when it was taken; locals huddled forefront in winter-wear, and the typical northern tourists frolicking in the sea in the background.

The most popular sandy beaches are up to the North of the island, and preferred by those having a dip earlier in the season given that the Eastern-facing Sliema front, including that off Tower Road, is usually exposed to rougher seas and treacherous currents. The Tower Road seafront apartments, setback at a comfortable distance from the foreshore, enjoy the scene all year round though. In winter the rough sea breaking surf on the rocky coast makes for a postcard view, and in summer, the seafront terraces beckon a lazier morning with a refreshing dip just a stroll across the road and down the steps.

As the sun sets in the West behind the apartments, an evening sea breeze rises, the sea disappears beneath the distant twinkling lights of fishing boats and partying pleasure cruises, and the sinewy coast line sparkles up in a myriad of pin-prick lights from the St. Julian's bay and peninsula across the shimmering waters .


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