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Cruise Diary: Valletta, Day 2

Guests Jan and Dick Yetke set sail on Prinsendam’s 64-day Grand Mediterranean Voyage in March, and we’ve just received these wonderful posts. We’ll catch up as quickly as possible. Enjoy the journey with Jan and Dick!

Now, for all of you following our itinerary on a daily basis, you should have noticed that we were supposed to be in Mġarr, Gozo, Malta today.

Well, at about 5 pm yesterday, we were informed by the Captain that the weather conditions were such that the anchorage for Gozo would be too rough for safe tendering operations. So, that stop was canceled, but the good news is that we were able to stay docked in Valletta for a second day!!

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In case you don’t know, Gozo is a small island, still part of Malta, just off the north coast of the main island of Malta, so it’s very similar in nature to the main island. We were all quite thrilled that the alternative arrangement was such a good one. This was not an April Fool’s Joke!

So today, we took the opportunity to do the Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour that took us out of Valletta and around the north end of the island. These Hop-on, Hop-off tours are available in most major cities around the world and are a wonderful way to sight-see. The tickets are for a 24-hour period and they give you a set of earphones with commentary in lot of different languages and you pick the channel for your language. We always ride the bus for the whole tour first and then see if there is time or if we really want to go back to a place and get off. The idea is that you then pick up another bus coming along when you are ready to continue. Today we just had time to do the blue line total ride. We sat up on the top of the bus and it was a great tour!!!

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IMG_3165_resize Triton Fountain in Valletta

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We pretty much immediately headed out of Valletta, going through the Floriana area first, then out through Hamrun and on. While in town, there was lots of traffic. Also, note the interesting little enclosed balconies on the homes.

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There was also an extensive old Roman aqueduct system which we saw part of. We went by the Mdina Glassworks factory (this is a very special type of glassblowing here in Malta) and we went thru the town of Mosta, where we saw the church with the large dome. During WWII, a bomb came through the dome and into the church, but did not explode and no one was hurt or killed. If you go into this church, you can see a replica of the bomb, which was very interesting.

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We then drove through the town of Mdina, which is a beautiful walled city up on a hillside. We went through Mgarr town and then headed up along the north coast road, seeing beautiful beaches and resort hotels all along the coast. This is where you would go to vacation. We came back through the Sliema area where there are lots of resorts and many marinas with lots of boats (mostly large sailing yachts). Malta really is a lovely island that you all would enjoy if you get a chance to go there!!!

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IMG_3174_resize Prinsendam docked in Valletta

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