Today Dad, Alex, Andrew and I left for Malta. We'll be spending 4 days, 3 nights here. Malta has a 7000-year history, having been domianted by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Normans, Angevins, Knights of Malta, British, and is now independent. Its rich history has left two "official" languages. Maltese is a semitic language and sounds like a blend of Italian, Arabic and French. English is also spoken by nearly everyone. (We haven't met anyone who hasn't spoken English..and not broken English, fluent English.)
We arrived in Valletta, (the capital) Malta, a short hour after leaving Rome. I hope you don't mind a few aerial photos.
This is some of the coastline as we made our descent.
This is the city of Mosta with the famous Mosta Dome plainly visible. We'll be visiting that over the next couple days so stay posted for pictures from ground level.
Malta is completely crisscrossed with these stone fences, reminding us of Portugal and Ireland. For a country that doesn't have any naturally occurring sources of fresh water it is a surprisingly green island.
Malta International Airport in Luga, about 5 miles from Valletta.
Malta's bus fleet is ancient! It was started after WWII with ex-troop transport buses. Eventually the buses became a popular tourist symbol, with their bright orange and white bands. They go all over the island, even to the most remote corners. They are also all privately owned and named. We rode the "Adelaide" from the airport to our hotel.
The Maltese Cross flying over one of the churches.
The view from our hotel on Triq il-Batteria (Battery Street).
A close-up shot of Grand Harbour.
And one of the rooms in our very quaint hotel.