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Cruise Diary: Valletta, Malta

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 starting from the beginning so you don’t miss anything, and we’ll catch up as quickly as possible. Enjoy the journey with Jan and Dick!

We hope you had a wonderful Happy Easter, if you celebrate that holiday!!! It was a beautiful celebration here on board!

And we hope all our Jewish friends celebrated a joyous Passover!!! They had a very nice Seder dinner here on board as well.

This was a beautiful day – mid 60s temps – and sunny! Since it was Easter Sunday, everything was pretty much closed. The shops on the pier, however, did open for part of the day which was nice! And all the restaurants along the waterfront, on the pier, under the white tents were open and very busy with families having their Easter celebrations!!! During the morning, all the churches were full with people coming and going!!! We have been to Malta before a couple times and taken tours there thru the city as well as a 4 x 4 drive tour out across the island. It really is a neat destination and well worth visiting several times!!!

It was a biking day for us. Valletta is on a hill and is surrounded by walls from olden days. It basically was a wall-fortified city!!! We were docked along the Valletta Waterfront, Pinto Wharf dock. It is a lovely dock with shops and restaurants. They have an elevator (lift) (cost 1 Euro round trip per person) that we took from the lower road up to the Mediterranean Conference Center.

Elevator Lift

Elevator Lift

View at the Top of the Elevator

View at the Top of the Elevator

We went around the beautiful garden there taking photos of the ship and harbor!! Then we headed up a street that took us into town and then we headed down Merchant’s Street ending up at Fort St. Elmo.

There were lots of horse-drawn carriages taking people on rides thru the city and around the walls along the waterfront. We then headed on the road that goes around the city. Some of the photos included are looking across the Marsamxett Harbour over to the town of Sliema where you see lots of yachts in marinas. We rode all the way around and then walked up the hill road ending up by the Triton Fountain. We went around the Fountain thru the main gate into the city down the “yellow” walking road to see the St. John’s Co-Cathedral.

St. John's Co-Cathedral

St. John’s Co-Cathedral

We rode around some of the streets up there and back out to the Fountain. Then we went down and rode on the Mall (War Memorial) and out the main road thru Floriana. Wanted to get out into some more open roads hopefully. Well, this took us into some local roads and we finally decided to turn around and go back. Went back thru the main gates into Valletta and to the right back down the hill to the Lascaris Wharf area and over to Walletta Waterfront area. First, before going down hill, we ended up in a park which was directly across from the ship, up above so even with deck 10 about. Was kind of neat to see from that angle. Then we went down Crucifix Hill back to the ship. We had covered a total of 9 miles so a good day again.

Some historical info about Malta: Malta’s ancient monuments and ruins reveal the great age of its civilization, including artifacts from the Stone Age and Bronze Age. The islands became a Phoenician colony about 1000 BC and were subsequently occupied by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, and the kingdom of Sicily. Holy Roman Emperor Charles V granted Malta to the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem (also known as the Knights of Malta) in 1530, which fortified Valletta so strongly that it became one of the greatest Mediterranean strongholds. In 1798 Napoleon invaded but British naval officer Horatio Nelson besieged Valletta and compelled the withdrawal of the French in 1799. Malta became part of the British Empire but increasingly demanded self-government. Malta became independent on September 21, 1964 and a United Nations member on December 1, 1964. Valletta, the capital of Malta, occupies a rocky tongue of land with harbors on either side. The Knights of Malta are entombed in the St. John’s Co-Cathedral, itself an excellent example of the architectural grandness of this beautiful old town.

Pier View

Pier View

City View

City View

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