A street called Help
Yesterday I took a late lunchtime stroll in Valletta. It was a cold, grey day with a temperature of around 10 degrees with the dipping afternoon sun occasionally peering briefly from behind the shifting clouds. Low light which plays wonders with the golden limestone of Valletta, setting it aglow as if through some ethereal flame.
I drifted to a lesser visited part of town, an area featuring entire abandoned blocks of old houses, all awaiting restoration and rehabilitation. Old palazzos hiding forgotten wonders occasionally rise between more humble houses and blocks of apartments. Together with the occasional conversion into a beautiful company head office or lawyers’ offices.
Walking along the deserted quarter, I chanced upon a street which I had never seen before, a street lying a mere twenty minutes away from my place of work. A street enticingly and mysteriously called Triq l-Ghajnuna: Help Street.
More of a passage than a street, Help Street is neatly cobbled with original hardstone paving slabs called cangatura tal-qawwi, a type of stone that has been quarried to extinction and unfortunately dug up or tarmacked-over in many other parts of town. A neatly pointed wall on the left and rows of tenements on the right. Some showing obvious signs of neglect as evidenced by the bare balcony bases.
Perfect perspective leading to the perpendicular Archbishop’s Street at the top of the hill and one lonely pigeon looking for a scrap of food on a dreary winter’s day complete the picture of yet another small and mysterious part of Valletta which I felt I had to share.