Marching through Malta


Malta—a small island with a big history.  Everybody goes to Malta, it seems.  The Sicani went there.  So, too, did the opther ancients–the Greeks, the Phoenicians, and the Romans.  Not to be outdone, later invaders included the Byzantines, Napoleon (who found the cuisine so yummy that he spent the rest of his life reminiscing about it by placing his hand on his stomach), the British, and invading hordes of unstoppable tourists (you didn’t really fall for that last clickable link, did you?).

We were part of that final group.  And while some of the residents of Malta probably considered it an invasion, we came armed with cameras rather than canon.  Speaking of artillery, our ship was given a canon salute leaving the Grand Harbour (thank our British cousins for that spelling of “harbor;” I had nothing to do with it).  At least I think it was a salute, because we never returned fire.  But, then, we were on a cruise ship.

In between arriving in the early a.m. and getting fired upon during our late afternoon departure, we saw some spectacular sights and some classic Baroque architecture.  Speaking of Baroque, I once knew a collector of art and antiques who hated that style.  He would collect anything else, everything else, anything but—no matter what the condition or the price.  As he put it, “If it ain’t Baroque, don’t nix it.”

Sorry.  Couldn’t resist.  I haven’t told a joke, even a bad one, on this blog in quite a while.  That one just slipped out.  Now, back to the travel stuff.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen so many fortifications in one place during my entire life as I witnessed in Malta.  There were everywhere, but the Grand Harbour in particular seemed ringed with them.  But you know what I say about Europe—where there’s a castle, a cathedral cannot be far beyond.  Malta is no exception.

Interspersed amidst all these castles and cathedrals are colorful examples of typical Maltese architecture.  Elaborate wooden balconies jut out from multi-story apartment buildings at nearly every turn, and varying shades of green seem to be the color of choice for these structures.

So, here are just a few examples of the sights that await you in Malta:

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