At 5:30 a.m. a full ship alarm went off and the captains voice blasted us in our room, “All personal, code Alpha Charlie on the starboard side.” That was it. About a half hour later, he came on again and said everything was fine. We’ll never know what that meant, but we were up and ready for the day.
Someone told Pat to be sure and watch as we enter Malta by sea. Sure. I get it. Cool port and such, BUT! It was more than I ever expected. As we got within a mile of the mouth of the port, I noticed that I’d better get out the camera. I was glad I did. What an amazing sight. Words can’t explaine it, so I’ll just post a couple of photos. I’ve seen some pretty cool ports coming in by boat, but I really never knew the feeling of “Breath Taking” until we came into Malta.
All the limestone walls, buildings and towers really did take my breath away. In fact, my daughter Nadine shot me a note on WhatsApp as we were experiencing this and as everyone knows, our relationship has grown amazingly in the last few months. If I get a note, I answer. If I get a call, I pick it up. I would never hesitate to get right back to her, but I found myself texting back saying, “Just coming into Malta. I’ll get back to you soon.” But ended up sending her photos of what I was seeing and then called her on the spot just to say WOW!
I knew that today was going to be something special. Magic was happening. So up to the Lido Deck to grab a bit of breakfast and then off the ship with Pat, Pete and Iva. We had a driver waiting for us to show us around her homeland. We looked for the sign for Patricia West and there it was. A nice car, guide and driver ready to take us around the Island of Malta.
After introducing ourselves and getting loaded in, we headed away from the port and kicked back listened as we learned about the history of Malta and details about all the great things we were seeing. Always more information than we could ever digest, but like watching a documentary unfolding right before our eyes. What a wealth of information.
We pulled over at the fishing village. Lots of very cool boats. Fisherman were coming and going and working on their stuff. Pretty much like any marina in the world. Boats love to be worked on. It was Saturday. It was explained to us that most people work Monday through Friday and then spend Saturday and Sunday with the family. Going to the beaches and parks, playing together and connecting with real family time. On Saturday they may open businesses for short hours, but almost all businesses are closed on Sundays. I like the sound of that.
We enjoyed the fishing village, bought some real fig cookies and other treats and a couple of trinkets. They were just setting up a bizarre with booths that had a lot of hand crafts and bake goods. Jackpot! We fount a Costa Coffee Shop. We found these guys in London and fell in love with their coffee. So another treat was here too.
After we left there, we headed to the inside of yet another walled city. We were taken for a walk and were shown the buildings and VERY small streets with houses and window gardens. Beautiful views of the bays and marinas as well as stairs, angled sidewalks shops and churches. We were told that they have 400 Roman Catholic Churhes on this island. One for each day of the year the guide said.
Once back on the road, we were off to the Blue Grotto. This was over on the coast that was a rock formation with beautiful caves and blue water. We had planned to take a boat ride to the caves, but weather conditions (wind direction and strength) were not on our side, so we shot some photos from the cliffs and trail and we’ll have to come back to do the boat adventure.
Now off to an area of historical beauty. Like we haven’t seen any of that so far. The time of day was getting to the point we were catching up with tour busses, so traffic was getting pretty crazy. They drive British style here. On the wrong side of the road than us in America. So when the driver pulled out, my butt tightened up much more than it has in a very long time. I’ll have sore mussels in the morning. But he was a great driver and hit nothing all day long. I’m not sure how he missed stuff, but he missed it all.
He dropped us off, with our guide, and we walked the complex of shops, hotels, private homes, an amazing church, and historical buildings along side of modern ones. Of course the modern ones were 50 to 75 years old. In America, we would have blown them up and built something else, but they call it the modern buildings and they are built just like the ancient ones, so they will be here for hundreds or even thousands of years. What a concept.
At this point, it was time to head back to where we started. Our 4.5 hour tour was coming to an end. Time to head to the ship. Once aboard, we had a bite to eat and headed to the room to relax and get ready for the evening. We had a cocktail party to go to at 5 to 6:30 then Pat and I had some sushi, walked the decks, listened to some music and checked out some places aboard that we haven’t seen yet then back to the room. What a day.
Tomorrow, we are going to be in Italy. We’re moving fast at this point of the cruise.