Published: May 25th 2012May 25th 2012
First View of Malta
view from the plane
I have arrived in Malta, and checked into the hotel. The flight was uneventful. I flew from KCI to Detroit to Rome. I could not print a boarding pass for the flight to Malta before I left, and that caused a snag. But nice people with bigger problems of missed flights let me go first and I ran all the way to the gate in the nick of time.My luggage appeared properly, and I got an 8 Euro bus directly to my hotel, the Hotel Grand Excelsior.
In general, Malta is sunny, warm, historic, and easy to get around in due to the fact that everyone speaks English. Public transportation is frequent and inexpensive. People are nice and helpful, but not too overly friendly.
My Topeka-time watch says 7:30 am, but it is 2:30 pm here. I am sitting by the hotel pool overlooking the Marsamxett Harbor, having a “pint” of Cisk, the local Maltanese beer. One sees the British influence here not only in beer sizes but in driving (on the left), red phone booths (still), vintage double-decker buses, and the spoken English language. Malta was
Cisk Lager Beer
Cisk beer at hotel pool
part of the British Empire for 150 years (1814 – 1864). It was granted independence in 1964, It is now a republic with a president appointed by the parliament. It joined the EU in 2002 and adopted the Euro in 2008. The Maltanese Euro has the Maltese Cross on the coin.
I downloaded a novel about Malta on my Kindle, The Sword and the Scimitar, by David W. Ball. It occurs during the time of the Knights of St. John and the Ottoman sieges. Malta has had a colorful history, including the “temple builders” from 3600 – 2500 BC, the Phoenicians from 800-200 BC, the Arabs and Normans and Islam from 800-11, the Knights of St. John, Napolean, WWI and WW2.. I will discuss this more when I visit the sites.
Caravaggio has two paintings in the Cathedral in Valletta: The Beheading of St. John and St. Jerome, 1608. I have always loved Caravaggio, and memories of the summer Betsy and I found 14 Caravaggios in Rome! I am off to see them this afternoon!!!
I took a walk
and became very disoriented, ie., lost. I had dinner in the hotel and crashed!
More Pictures below!
There are more photos below