Malta – May 23rd – 30th

We needed to buy a new outboard as ours was stolen in Taormina. ( Theiving bloody so and so’s!) ( our 1st day in Sicily too) The dinghy was crap too so we decided to get both. Malta is the place to go for this – we were advised!

So off we went. A 12 hour crossing which was awful. After we left the protection of land, the sea became officially ‘ rough’ , the wind gusting 30 knots – for 9 hours – and I was sea sick – for 7 hours. Ghastly. Best forgotten. But we will be much more careful about the weather, knowing that I can’t tolerate it.

Arriving in the harbour- the engine wouldn’t start – more misery. Simon sailed in to the marina, the boat came to rest against the bows of several boats, I fended off – and there was a Lefkas friend thank goodness. Irenka and Woody, otherwise known as The Haddocks with their 3 lovely children. Irenka and Woody climbed onto our boat, over their bow and helped us. ( the sail was still up!). Eventually the marina sent the promised help and we were berthed. I never want to experience that again.

BUT, I looked around ( when I had gathered my wits). We were in such a good position, right opposite Valletta old town was uninterrupted views across/ no other boats in the way. It should’ve cost us a fortune, but it didn’t. Some good friends invited us for dinner. The next day inviting me for a whole day ‘retail therapy’ around the English shops. Lovely.

Malta was brilliant. So many beautiful buildings, such history. We saw as much as we could using their cheap and easy bus system. We even had a day on the beach.

Here are some images:-

This fountain is the first thing you see when you walk from the bus into Valletta

The route into Valletta. Then we just had to walk up these steps!

To the Upper Barracca gardens. They fire the cannons. We saw it happen! Here you get fantastic views across Grand Harbour. ( that’s not where we were- that’s only for super yachts)

Random beautiful buildings- and these funny statues, which were all over the place! They are all about funny proverbs. This one is about not sticking your nose in other peoples business.

St Johns co Cathedral- the no 1 sight in Valletta, testimony to the wealth and importance of the Knights of Malta who created a stronghold of Christianity in the 16th C. It was impressive, I loved the decorative floors, which were the tombs of the said knights and the gorgeous painted ceilings by Mattia Pretti. There were even a couple of Caravaggio ‘s, with interesting historical background.

In one ear and out the other!

The Grandmasters Palace and Armoury. Simon found some dodgy friends!

That car in the middle was parked!

Siege Bell Memorial , erected in 1992 to honor 7000 people who lost their lives in the WW2 siege of Malta 1940-43 and Recumbent figure by Michael Sandle for the same reason.

A piece of Apostle St Paul’s wristbone in The Church of St Paul Shipwreck. Not to be missed!

We learnt a bit about Malta’s history- they’ve been belted from all sides, had thousands of bombs dropped on them during Ww2 but kept up their resistance.

We went to Medina , where the apostle St Paul was thought to have lived after he was shipwreck here. and Rabat also dates back 4000 years

Medina:-

Rabat :-

With it’s lovely old streets.

Malta is quite built up but they do have some green cultivated areas and poly tunnels. We didn’t discover what they grow in them. And a beach day- Golden Bay

We left on a much calmer day. The forecast was for winds 12-15 gusting 20 – in the right direction and wave height 1 m. I was just about ok, little bit nauseous at times, so this is the upper limit for me. We have to wait for the RIGHT weather window for our longer passages. Just like everyone else does…,

This passed us en route. Looks a bit top heavy!!

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