I clearly got stuck in my fantasy version of Malta when planning this part of my trip. I had imagined small, quiet, quaint . . . Yeah, no, it is large, loud, and quaint-ish. And so Arabic. Somewhere I read that English is widely spoken here, and it is-ish. The native language is Maltese, which is 70% Arabic-based, with Italian, French, and more mixed in for good measure, and it, not English, is the main language spoken. (Here is one direction I was given: turn left on Fuq San L-Inkuruanzzjoni.) The English spoken is highly accented to me, and spoken very quickly. Also done quickly is the driving of large public buses, whose drivers I suspect are imagining they are driving sports cars; I was tossed around like a wet noodle on one ride, causing the driver to say, “I think you have never ridden a bus before”! Well, not his bus, anyway.
Most of the buildings are made of a blond sandstone, and gorgeous, but hard to photograph in the bright morning light. Also, it is hard to photograph anything when one leaves one’s camera battery in one’s room, note to self.
Fun fact: the limousine of some fancy pants person was escorted through the main street of Valletta by a mounted guard, and the horses had Maltese Cross tattoos on their left rumps – look closely.
Valletta is very boaty. As the plane was landing yesterday, there were a kagillion huge ships hanging outside the harbor, waiting to enter. I sat for hours watching them come and go in the port.
I spent the rest of the day, after returning to retrieve said battery, cruising Birgu/Vittoriosa and taking photos, and had dinner at a posh restaurant, my one fancy dinner for the trip. The local wine was fantabulous. The dinner good. The host/waiter kind and sexy. Not a bad evening.
Here are some photos. FYI, Maltese are into fancy doors/door knockers. (And apparently so am I.)
P.S. I have a crush on tug boats. And one of these tugboats was working backwards. Be still my beating heart.
Live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.