Bus tour of Malta island, April 17, 2017

Today we took a bus tour around the big island of Malta!  Below, the Maltese flag! Above is the Siege Bell War Memorial and below a huge cemetery outside the city limits.Then we left the bus for Hal Tarxien Prehistoric Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site. While walking through the area, spotted some flowers and one of the famous Maltese rabbits (they are on most menus!!!). Then back on the bus for more sites!   Next stop at Marsaxlokk, a fishing village on south coast, for lunch and walk around town.

 

 

Valletta touring, April 15, 2017

Today was our day to walk around Valletta, seeing the sights! Views over Grand Harbour, above and below.Waiting for the firing of the cannon, enjoying Spritz’s with Chuck and Laurie, and checking in with our families with emails! The Saluting Battery was constructed in the 16th century by the Order of St John.  It saw military use in blockage of 1798-1800 and in World War II.  It was an active military installation until guns were removed by the British in 1954, and opened to public in 21st century for tours with gun salutes daily at noon and 1600.We then walked to Baracca Gardens. Above and below are pics from Church of St Francis of Assisi.Above, Victoria Gate, one of the ports through the city walls!A great day in Valletta!!

 

Valletta, Malta, Good Friday, April 14, 2017

Today we started our tour of Valletta, capital of Malta, with Chuck and Laurie, our friends from Aledo (now Angel Fire, New Mexico)!  Below is Court of Justice. Below, Chuck and Laurie discovering the Shipwrecked Church!Above is Ft St Elmo and below is Grand Harbour behind us! Above and below is St John’s Co-Cathedral, behind the city walls of Valletta.   This Baroque Cathedral was built by the Order of St John between 1572 and 1577.   We then walked to find a good vantage point for watching the Good Friday procession through Valletta.  This was phenomenal with most of the actors staying in character, even the little kids, for over 2 hours!  The scrolls that are carried seemed to be books of the Bible or different characters in the procession. John the Baptist, below!The 8 men below (4 on each side) are carrying this huge statue, weighing about 500-600KG (1100 -1300 pounds or over 150 pounds PER man), with wooden posts on their shoulders.  This is considered an honor to be chosen, and if you wish to fill a vacant slot, apparently sometimes you have to pay for the postition!  There were numerous statues carried this way throughout the procession! The above mass (poor quality, but best picture I got), is a traumatic bursa on the man’s neck from carrying the statue for so long over his shoulder!  They rub them during their breaks, but seem to put up with the discomfort!What an amazing event for all of us to witness!!