Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In Search of the Maltese Falcon

November 26th we're at sea.  At dinner, I jokingly wonder whether, when we're ashore tomorrow in Malta, we'll find the Maltese Falcon.

On the 27th, the ship stops at Malta, and we head for a shore excursion.  First, we visit the Grand Harbour.

These "guards" are really just people in "fancy dress" soliciting donations

The view of our ship in port

A real Maltese Cross
After stitching Maltese cross stitches for years, I finally meet a real Maltese Cross in person!  And earlier we visited Rhodes.  Who knew that this Holy Land cruise would turn out to have such ties to the stitching world.

Next stop, the old city of Mdina.  Where what do we find - but the Maltese Falcon gift shop.

Gift shop even sells Maltese Falcons!

Narrow streets in Mdina, just wide enough for one small car

Ornamentation above a door

Mdina City Center

Food trucks

A real phone booth!

Tourists getting a carriage ride through Mdina
Mdina is famous for their fancy door knobs

Last stop, the modern city of Valletta.  We visit St. John's Co-Cathedral and then walk to the town square.

In the town square are a number of vendors, I find a man selling small water-color prints.  I pick a Mdina scene and a Valetta scene.

View of Malta from our stateroom balcony

Leaving Malta
Today is Renee's birthday.  Back on board ship, we celebrate at dinner, and John has ordered a birthday cake for her for dessert.

November 28th we were scheduled to stop at Naples, Italy, with a shore excursion to Sorrento and Pompeii. But guess what - that stop is cancelled - not due to any political unrest, but due to bad weather.  The waves are too strong for the ship to land at the dock!  Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow, and the waves not as strong, so we are able to dock in Rome!
The weather and waves on the 28th, which preclude our docking at Naples
John's birthday is the 30th, when we will be flying from Rome to London to Chicago to home.  So we celebrate his birthday early.  Another birthday cake for dessert!

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