Malta – Valletta and Gozo

Malta (26) (800x600)“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain (Courtesy HAL)

Every since Barbara and I got hooked on cruising, one of her dreams is to visit Malta.  Today that dream was realized and it was so much more than we expected.  The sail-in to Valletta harbor was a dream, the weather was perfect and the scene all around us was like a set from a movie. I could not do justice with words and pictures with the medieval-ness  of the city and country side.

Malta (31) (800x600)We docked right at the foot of the city and all manner of transportation was ready to whisk us away,  from horse and carriage to modern minivans to the seemingly universal HOHO bus. (Hop-on-Hop-off)  We chose the latter and soon we were speeding through the town and into the countryside.  In her research Barbara had chosen the hilltop walled city of Mdina.  No I did not misspell the word that is just the way the early Arab language is written, and has had a marked effect on the Maltese language.

We spent the bulk of our “exploring time” within the walls of Mdina, even having lunch while we observed a Mickey Mouse themed birthday being held in a walled courtyard of the café.  The kids had hot dogs, pizza and cake, while we dined on peperoni pizza, been and a pot of tea.

Around every corner, down every narrow street, over every wall were fantastic photo opportunities.  It was so hard to chose just one or two to include in this post, so I chose a view of the valley below the bastion walls,

Malta (54) (800x600)

and this door so that you might get a feeling for the ancient limestone walls and how beautifully they have weathered and framed this entrance through the centuries;

Malta (61) (800x600)

That night our  ship remained at her berth refueling and awaiting an early morning departure to Gozo.

Malta 73 (1) (800x600)

Next: Gozo, I name you the Garden Isle of the Mediterranean!

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