Perpetual Plan B

Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Fantastic Trip, Part Two: Malta

Monday was a day at sea, but we were able to meet the people we were going to be touring Italy with.

I was so relieved and pleasantly surprised by how much I really liked all of them. (You never know what you're going to get when you sign up for things with people you've only corresponded with through the Internet.)

First we met Jim and Sabrina, the couple we had originally made the arrangements with. They are engaged and from West Palm Beach, Florida and Canada, respectively. They were great and I immediately knew we would get along well. I enjoyed talking to Sabrina, as she was a retired school teacher (though she doesn't look old enough to be retired) and was very interesting. Hal and Jim seemed to hit it off too, which was nice. Jim had a quick wit, which we happen to appreciate.

Next came Vicki and David. They were also celebrating their 20th anniversary so it was fun to travel with them. They were a very fun couple too, and Vicki reminded me a lot of my mom's next door neighbor and also one of my favorite aunts, so I felt like I already knew and liked her. David was very entertaining and funny too, I got a kick out of him.
Here we are in Jim and Sabrina's (sweet) suite.

(Sabrina, David, Vicki and Jim. More on our travels together later.)

The view as we pulled into Malta was truly breathtaking. Probably the most spectacular sight we saw on our whole trip. There was scenery like this to the right and left of us (and at one point in front of us too, so we were literally surrounded by this beautiful sight). I'm glad we went up to the front of the ship so we were able to experience it.

One thing that surprised me was how all the buildings were all the same color, not like what you usually picture when you think of Mediterranean coastal views, which added to the unique feel and look of Malta.
Valletta, the city where we were docked, was built in the 1500s, though much of Malta is much older. At that time it was ruled by the Knights of Malta and many of the steps were only about two inches high to accommodate the knights in their armor. Check out the steps in these two photos.

Another thing that fascinated me was all the really old, original (at least they looked original) doors everywhere. I'm not sure if you can see it well here, but the second photo might have the best examples.

Most of the city center was built up on cliffs like this.

This next shot is the view from up in the old garden area where the knights used to exercise.

I also loved all the old cobblestones that were everywhere we went throughout most of our whole trip.

Next stop: Pompeii and Amalfi Coast, Italy

1 comment:

The Gathering Place said...

Wow! Are you lucky to travel in such interesting places. What a great gift to yourselves!