Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Sun Comes Out (Malta)

We woke up early on Wednesday and any signs of the storm were completely gone. Since the bus system wasn't the best, we decided to do a hop-on hop-off bus for tourists. 

We learned a lot about Maltese history. Malta has been occupied by the Normans, Arabs, Romans, French, and British at various points in history. This means that remains around the island come from all different cultures and it's one of the most linguistically interesting places. Maltese is a Semitic language, but most residents of the islands also speak English and Italian. 

The first stop was Valletta, where we saw ancient gardens and old buildings used by the Knights of Malta. We didn't have much time in Valletta, but we walked around and saw palaces, a fort, and St. John's Co-Cathedral.

The next city we went to was Mdina, which was the capital established by the Phoenicians. While some people still live there, most people in the area live in Rabat, the adjoining city. Mdina is completely walled in and mainly a tourist attraction. 

The view from the tea rooms on the city wall:

The cathedral:

Inside the cathedral:

Outside the gates to Mdina, there is a Roman villa which is the museum for all the Roman artifacts found on the island. 

The bus tour took us around the rest of the island, where we saw more churches and some beautiful bays.

After a long day of walking we went back to Spinola Bay for dinner. We went to Paparazzi, which Italian-Maltese food with a 1950s movie theme. It seemed very random, but was delicious. 

No comments:

Post a Comment