Thursday, 28 July 2011

The times, they are a-changin'

Quite literally in this case. But that's what you get when you go flat west straight across the Med. And in-between the sailing, there were an interesting few days, to say the least :).

So what was supposed to be a quick dash in and out of Valletta, turned into a week-long stay alongside arguably the best spot on the Grand Harbour :).

I made the most of it, went strolling along the stony, narrow and almost roller-coaster like streets of the fortified town almost every single day.

Needless to say, I took way too many photos :D. So much so that I'm actually considering a return to that awesomely convenient dumping ground of photographs in bulk :|. Anyway, enough of that.

So Malta! In a week I didn't even make it out of the old town part of Valletta and Floriana. There are old fort walls all around, quite literally, in fact. For the most part, the walls are quite well preserved too!

I suppose the volume of tourists visiting this part of town to some extent has contributed to the low number of actual residents, but there are still enough! As such Valletta has to be the most lived in fort I've ever personally seen :).

Speaking of tourists, this place is like the centre of the world for cruise ships! And big ones!! (The largest one was over a thousand feet long!) Given our prime location flanked by the two cruise ship berths, we saw, from quite up close, no less than seven of these giants during our stay. Quite used to being comfortably the largest object from horizon to horizon, we were suitably humbled :).

Each one would arrive, accompanied by much fanfare and unload a genuinely mind boggling number of holiday makers from all over the place. Soon enough they'd disappear through the gaps in the walls on buses and horse cabs and harbour cruise ferries and any other means of transportation available. But before the day was over, they'd be back and the ship would cast off for the next destination, looking festive as ever!

I suppose eight days was quite a bit more than I could have expected, and as such I am indeed thankful. But just as we were beginning to rather look forward to stretching our legs further across the island, almost suddenly, we were off!

So we set off to traverse the rest of the Mediterranean. Unfortunately the passage through the strait of Gibraltar was completed in the utter darkness of the early hours of this morning. All I managed to see were the lights spiralling up The Rock blinking quietly in the distance.

Tomorrow we arrive in Lisbon. And as much as I wish for a repeat of the Maltese experience, I rather expect this one to indeed be the planned one day affair :(.Currently: burrowing through hundreds and hundreds of Malta photos :)
Listening to: Apollo 440 - Make my dreams come true


Maria said...

Know what you're saying about cruise ships, we had the sister of the one in your photos moored next to us in Bergen :)

kray said...

:) and I didn't even get around to putting pics of the really big ones on here!