Our second day was Christmas, so we took it easy at the lovely hotel and watched Christmas movies. We walked around the neighborhood and ate at a Chinese place for lunch. Yes, we do watch “A Christmas Story” every year. At this point, I have to give a shout out to the hotel we stayed in “Cozy Room” in Sliema. It is a small family-run hotel. Every morning they had a great Continental spread and eggs made to order by Grandma. Her holiday baking of fruit cake and banana bread were fabulous. We felt very welcomed and greatly enjoyed our stay. Highly recommend.

The third day was a short boat ride across the water from Sliema to Valletta.

The water was remarkably clear. We could easily see jellyfish and small fish in the water. The morning light was good for photos of the scenery as we passed.

After landing, I attempted to make a new friend. He was having none of it. I’m a one man woman, but a shameless flirt with cats.

And up the hill we went from the dock. We walked to the city gates and went out and back in. The walls and gate are just massive.

We visited St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the National Archaeology Museum as per the recommendation of Lawdog. The Co-Cathedral was overwhelming.

It might sound completely dorky, but I have never, never seen such a column. Ionic, Doric, Corinthian? Yep. Seen ’em. Columns with diagonal grooves going up the vertical column? Yep. Seen those in Cyprus and Turkey. But this? Nope. Never seen a curly column. And there is a collection of paintings by Caravaggio, too. He did some of his best work on Malta and you can see it in this cathedral. I took pictures, but I’m afraid they don’t do the work justice.

We also stopped into the Archaeology Museum. In this place you really get a sense for the depth of the history. The long-past inhabitants of Malta built temples that were ancient when the foundations of the pyramids of Giza were being laid. From my own research, I imagined this work to be rougher than it was. There is refinement still evident in the carvings.

We didn’t make it to Ft. St. Elmo. Nerdling broke a bone in his foot a few weeks before the trip and was crutching around most of the time (a surprising number of sites had wheelchairs available which we borrowed). But the paving stone in Old Valletta is slick when wet. After a tumble and a half, we decided to cut our exploring short. I can leave you with a few other pictures I took that day.

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