Sunday, July 30, 2017

Majestic Malta -

May 13, 2017 - Valletta Grand Harbour - last port of call.

The early morning arrival - cabin window rinsed by sea spray, but oh what
 a perfect shade of sea blue with the golden city beyond.

The Grand Harbour of Valletta, the 16th century 'Fortress City' built 
by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.
Go HERE for more of the very interesting history.

Arrow marking our ship, Noble Caledonia's MS Island Sky, being refueled
 on arrival in Malta.
Australian traveling friends, Michelle and son George enjoying
views of the city from the famous Barrakka Gardens, highest point of the 
city's 16th century bastion walls built by the Knights to protect the city.
Statue of Sir. Winston Churchill in the Barrakka Gardens. 
Maltese cats enjoying the gardens.
Always ancient faces peering down - what historic tales they could tell.

The richly decorated St. John's Cathedral was constructed 1572-1577 with
 elaborate inlaid marble tombstones and artworks, including in the oratory 
the famous Caravaggio painting 'The Beheading of St. John the Baptist'.
The interior was re-decorated in the 17th century and is considered to be one
of the finest examples of high Baroque architecture in Europe.
The barrel vaulted ceiling of the cathedral is painted with scenes from the
 life of St. John the Baptist. . . . . . .
. . . . . . . and the beautiful floor is inlaid with the glittering tombs of 400 Knights.

Queen Victoria (Malta was part of the British Empire for over 150 years) 
contemplating ordering a tasty Maltese pizza perhaps. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . whereas we opted for delicious coffee and pastries at the historic Caffe Cordina.

Our day ashore in Valletta became very hot and there was little green shade.
I was continuing to fight 'the bug from hell' and was definitely challenged trying
 to do a lot of sightseeing. . . . . . . or celebrating at the farewell dinner that night. 
It was an amazing trip through Sicily and Malta, covering such a lot of ground
 and sailing on the beautiful Mediterranean sea.

These last four photos at Marsaxlokk Harbour taken with
 my iPhone - other photos with Sony DSC-HX400V camera)

The following day we disembarked the MS Island Sky early morning and were transported
 by coach to the airport for the return flight to the UK.  A fun quick stop along the way was
here at pretty Marsaxlokk Harbour where the fishermen were tending their boats and nets.

 Restaurants around the harbour were opening for business - all looked inviting
 but we had to be on our way.

A return trip to Malta with more time to explore the history would be
 wonderful - who knows, perhaps it will be possible.
 Never say never when you plan to travel to distant shores.


  1. I can't get over the color ! Everything is colorful which is wonderful but the buildings all that golden hue ... so pretty !

    1. They are apparently trying to bring in more trees for planting - there is so little shade and I don't recall any parks which you and I always love Candice!
      Mary -

  2. Mary, we were last in Malta in 1991, we went to Marsaxlokk, I bought an organza and linen table cloth from the market. I also had a bag made from fishing net twine which I still use today. A lovely Island we have very fond memories of. Glad you made it to the Cathedral, its stunning. The painting by Caravaggio had been stolen from the church it had just been returned when we were there.

    1. Hope it was cooler when you visited Anne - so hot and sticky in May. Loved seeing it though - a place not so many people travel to.
      Mary -

  3. I am glad that you enjoyed your short visit here. If you ever come for a return visit, do not come in summer. The weather is hellish at the moment, though some people love it. I keep think of rain and Ireland during our summer months.I would say Malta is prettiest during the winter months and in March and April.

    1. Loree dear, I still feel sad at not being able to meet you that day we were on the island - but if we ever do get back and have more time you know I'll let you know. I hope I showed Valletta in good standing in my photos. I was feeling so ill that day with the bug - and yes, it was terribly hot even in May. The history of Malta is very complex and one requires much longer to take it all in than a one day visit!
      Hope all is well with you dear. Like you we have heat too - hopefully you do have air conditioning. I could never survive the summertime here without it.
      Hoping to see you blogging again one of these days - miss you.
      Hugs - Mary

  4. I have long wanted to visit Malta, although I think I would really miss green - I have heard there is hardly ANY green on the island, no woods, very few trees and no green fields or meadows; "worse" than Sicily in that respect.
    Who knows - maybe one day!

  5. Dear Mary, your beautiful photographs give me the wanderlust. I would love to see those inlaid stone floors and of course the island itself.

  6. Oh how beautiful! What a golden city, for sure. Loved the cathedral! Beautiful photos.

  7. Now Malta is not one I had thought about visiting, but your pictures entice me. How beautiful! That cathedral is spectacular, the city very beautiful.

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  9. Your second photo with the island in the harbour looks like topsy turvy stacks of little golden boxes piled high. Gorgeous colours. It's really too bad that you were battling that dreadful virus. The colour of the restaurant door is also very appealing.

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  12. gorgeous photos. That 2nd one makes it seem like time has stood still. Incredible Malta!

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