I think the other highlight of my Maltese experience was definitely the grandpas wandering the street, speaking intensely with each other in plazas, or just hanging out. Apparently, Malta is home to lots of older folks, just from what I saw, and they have nothing better to do on a Tuesday in July than just chill throughout the city. They were so cute!!
Valletta, Malta, was the first stop on our cruise after spending a couple days in Barcelona. I actually didn't know that Malta existed, much less was its own country, until a couple days before we arrived! I guess you learn something new every day.
Malta ended up being one of my favorite stops on our trip, and I would love to go back someday and explore the island more. Well-known for its fortresses used for protection against the Ottomans, and its ruling class of Knights throughout the Middle Ages, Malta is definitely an historic experience.
The country's most famous tourist destination, St. John's Co-Cathedral, was one of the most beautiful churches I saw in Europe (and trust me, I saw a lot of churches). I think the highlight of our visit to St. John's was the lovely skirts we were given to wear because our shorts were too short.
Valletta was small enough for us to tour in one morning, by foot, and it has some amazing views. As the ship left the port, everyone was on the decks taking pictures. That was when our cruise director decided to inform us that Valletta was actually the backdrop for several movies about Ancient Rome, because of the similarity of the ruins and there are a lot fewer people! We sailed by the set that was used for both "Gladiator" and "Troy" and I would have to say, if I didn't know it was Malta, I would have thought it was the Coliseum!
Unfortunately, though, we saw neither Russell Crowe nor Joaquin Phoenix. Drat!
As the title of my post says, "Narak iktar tard." See you later!! (in Maltese). Look forward to catching up with you tomorrow for our first day in Italy. Mmmmmmmm, pizza!