23 February, 2010
Woke up, had breaky, we are still at sea not expecting to arrive at Malta until 11:00 am this morning. Scenery as we are coming into Malta is beautiful, lots of old buildings, large ships, freighters. Noel is taking lots of pics. Ship finally docked at the City of Valletta, which is the capital of Malta. Valletta looked like a fortified City in the past, with lots of forts, palaces and very old buildings. Inside the harbour tucked away in one of the many small inlets, we came across a very futuristic and highly technically advanced sailing ship, maybe it is Malta’s secret weapon, for what I don’t know. We left the ship on foot for our own excursion. We were hassled by about 50 taxi drivers and at least a dozen horse drawn carriages, but we decided to see the City on foot. It took about 15 minutes to get to the centre of the City and the numerous stores. Valletta looks to be a quaint, clean and quiet City until 2500 people descend on them, photo g. They have a lot of Canadian shops here, Claires, Body Shop, Tommy Hilfiger and even McDonalds. We think
that once the cruise ships arrive, the main street turns into pedestrian only. It was really neat to walk around the City. Gerrie pictured by the phone booth made us almost think we were in England. We even passed the Police Station as well as the Police Academy (these are not pretentious buildings). We both would return here and to Turkey again, but would pass on the others especially Egypt. Valletta drivers are a little crazy as are the drivers in every other place we have been. The pedestrians appear not to have any rights (you literally take you life in your hands if you attempt to cross the street)
I guess this marks the half way point in our cruise. Don’t know we have mentioned this before, (probably have) but time has slowed down, feels like we have been gone for a month. It is just wonderful. Gerrie says the sun is transforming me into her own personal black man, at least from the neck up, (Gerrie: I’ll never tell.)
With the exception of Spain and Rome, the weather has been great, we have managed to dodge several of the storms which have hit northern Mediterranean. Listening to the
weather reports, our destinations in the Atlantic (ie Madera has been hit by heavy rains which caused a lot of damage and 41 deaths and are due for another torrential downpour (hopefully we will miss it).
We have also managed (lucky for us) to avoid the civil unrest that has plagued Spain, Italy, Greece and in Turkey where they have made several arrests (2 days after we left) of their past and present high ranking military officers for plotting to over through the government. In a way it feels like we are passing through mine fields of political discontent. Shaping up to be an interesting summer in Europe a lot of finger pointing is starting amongst the Euro states, Portugal, Italy/ Ireland, Greece and Spain, dubbed the PIGS (the letters worked out) by the business world, are all in really desperate financial shape.
Next stop back to Barcelona and then we’re on to Morocco, Canary Islands, etc.
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