Review 25 Feb 2009

25 Feb 2009 Valetta, Malta

We didn’t come into port until midday.  The seas were particularly rough, but we got some great views.

oooh, do you see that???

look a little closer. . .

the pilot-boat!

Remember before I had described to you how the pilot gets from one ship to the other?

oop, whew!  He made it!

Now, as for the pictures below. . .I don’t have the foggiest notion what they are!  (You know, other than our views coming into port.)  So, just sit back and relax and scroll through the next half a dozen pics. . .

Water got a lot calmer, didn’t they!  Like that wave break!

See the horse,  one of the boys thought it was real before they took a closer look at it.

A whole new concept to “parking”.  (Yes, I know it’s “docking”. . . You could make it into a joke, “how many men does it take to pull in the rope?”)

This was only a 1/2 day tour and we had the “nazi tour guide” from . . .

Well, anyway.  We found out at the end of the tour that she had just become a grandmother 3 days prior and was eager to see her grand-daughter again.  (I’m desperately trying to cut her some slack.)

Ahh, but she liked to tell us how “important” she was and how much money she made.  Which just begs the question, “Why is she guiding tours??!”

Anywho,

Two tidbits.  Like Venice, Italy, Malta celebrates Carnival.  And, they drive on the “wrong” side of the road like the British.  😉 (Makes sense as they were a British territory till the 60s.)

I didn’t get but maybe 10% of what she was saying as I was frequently lagging behind in order to take photos.  Silly me, thinking I had time to take photos

The doors made me think of Hobbits. . .think it had something to do with the placement of the knobs.

Oh what a difference from Egypt!  Malta was green and clean!  It was such a pleasant change.

Malta consists of 5 islands — 2 uninhabited, and one of them only having three families.  I think she said all of Malta had about 400,000 people which rather surprised me.  Oh and they have 12 desalinization plants on the island as their water comes from rain collectors or the desalinization plants.  Which brings to mind the saying they supposedly have in Malta, “It’s cheaper to bathe in wine than in water.”

Malta also has a fairly rich history that I was not aware of.  It makes sense though, as it’s a perfect “hopping point” in the Mediterranean.

We went through St. Paul’s Catacombs in Malta.  (Side note:  The Egyptians were very stingy with allowing us to take pictures; whereas, the Maltans allowed us to take photos where we wished.)

Well, the catacombs were obviously used for burial, yet all the remains were removed in WW2 and the catacombs were used as a bomb shelter.

The little niches were for infants. . .*sigh*

just a nice, clean city street.

We went to St. Paul’s Cathedral in the old city of Mdina.

These first two pictures are of the “moat” that surrounds Mdina (which is essentially a Castle and its surrounding area.)  In the first you see orange trees, and in the second a parking lot, and tennis court. 

The main entryway into Mdina.

This is called “Christine playing with her camera because she can’t hear a word the tour-guide is saying. . . “

The inside of the cathedral.

These, like the medieval cathedrals in England, are stones covering their dead (buried beneath).  (I can’t recall what it’s called.)

Over the entrance / gateway into Mdina.

Then we went “shopping”.  And I found a souvenir!  I purchased a Maltese cross necklace that I’m going to convert into a Christmas ornament.  That and my Turkish “evil-eye” ornament are the extent of my souvenirs.  I’m pretty bummed about that.

After the shopping trip we took the long-way back to the ship.  In case you aren’t catching it in the photos, it started raining mid-way through our tour.  (However, I’m of the mind that cloudy skies make the colors all the more brilliant.  It just would have been nice if it hadn’t been so darn cold!)

the harbor

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