Malta and Trapani

April 11. Tuesday, 6:30am. Yesterday we docked in Valletta, the capital of Malta. Today we are just coming into Trapani, Sicily as I write this. Let me describe Malta. Very old, very Medieval, very pretty. Lots of walls, forts, Baroque Christian churches (over 350 on this small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea), narrow cobblestone streets, and ruins. We toured some Christian catacombs in a town called Rabat that dated back to Jesus’ time. One of the photos shows me wedged into one of the passageways. I seem to run into these problems a lot in my life!!! The other photo shows what might happen to me if I don’t stop trying to make El say “obey”!!! Legend says that St. Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked here and lived on the island for awhile. Some say he was entombed here.
It was pretty cold yesterday. Low 60’s with a brisk wind. Springtime in the Mediterranean is very cool. We also saw another glass factory. Much better than the Murano factory in Venice. It was called the Mdina Glass Works. Less expensive than Murano but still way out of our price range!
Malta was first colonized by the Phoenicians around 800 B.C. as a sea trading colony. It was then conquered by every major power until after WWII. It was used by the Crusaders as a refuge for injured soldiers and pilgrims during the Middle Ages. It was an R.A.F. base in WWII and heavily bombed by the Germans. Luckily, the bombing spared the Old City. We walked through it and visited the most famous church on the island. The most impressive church we have ever seen. More impressive even than St. Marks in Venice, in our estimation. So beautiful!! Wait till you see the pictures!! By the way, I have taken 2031 photos with my Canon camera so far. This doesn’t include the photos Ellen has taken on her phone. Can you believe it???? The main language here is Maltese. Sounds very Arabic but written with our alphabet. They use the Euro for currency. The ancient Greeks and Romans called the island Melita which translated as “island of honey”. Parts of the movie “Gladiator” starring Russell Crowe were shot here. That’s it for Malta. Time for breakfast. Tell you about Trapani later this evening. Bye.
7:00pm. We did Trapani, Sicily today. The city is over 3000 years old.We chose not to go on an organized excursion, instead we took a double decker bus around the city and then walked around a little bit. We had lunch at a sidewalk restaurant (shared a pizza) with wine and a Coke Zero. We then found a place that sold gelato and had cones. Yum! Yum! Another beautiful day in port. On the entire trip, we have had only two days of rain. One in LA and one in Zakynthos. Pretty lucky I would say. We now have two sea days in a row. Time to relax and recuperate before arriving in Ceuta, Spanish Morocco. Can you believe we have only three more stops? Hard to believe!! Signing off. Captain CabralStuck in catacomb.jpgIMG_1826.JPG