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WEB LOG of my visit to Malta
Don Ravey - February/March 2004

SEVENTH WEEK

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Foggy day in Xemxija  Roger and friends  Knights of Malta HQ  Arch  Fort St. Angelo, Vittoriosa  Thursday, 18 March - My leg has been giving me trouble for several days, so I haven't been getting out much. But this morning it's feeling much better and when I looked outside and saw the layer of fog in Xemxija, I thought I must be back in Daly City!
  So I set out for Valletta once more, this time to see places I had neglected before. First, I ran into my neighbor, Roger (in the middle), the auto repairman, and two of his buddies and Roger asked me to take their picture. Roger is the one who saved me from a cryogenic fate by selling me his spare butane cannister on my second day in Malta! He always shouts a cheerful 'Hello' as I pass his garage on my way to and from my excursions. The next photo shows on the left the Embassy of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta! The next photo is a picturesque archway in Valletta, and the last one is looking across Grand Harbour to Fort St. Angelo in Vittoriosa. I also visited the Lascaris War Rooms which are very impressive, where General Dwight Eisenhower and Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham had offices overlooking the underground war planning operations in the Mediterranean. I'll have photos from that fascinating visit on my travel photos pages soon.
Mellieha beach  Road in Mellieha  Main street in Mellieha  Balcony in Mellieha  Friday, 19 March - With my leg feeling better and a beautiful day in the making, I took the short bus trip to Mellieha, on the road to the Cirkewwa ferry to Gozo, which Ute and I had passed through two weeks ago and had admired.
  Mellieha has one of the few sand beaches on the island; it is high on a hill with a winding road down to the beach; here are a couple of photos along the main street through Mellieha.
Fort St. Elmo entrance  Reenactment of the First Siege  Reenactment of the First Siege  Valletta from horse carriage  Sunday, 21 March - I'm afraid I grew overconfident about my leg and made another trip to Valletta to see the weekly Reenactment of the First Siege of Malta, in which the British defeated the French. By the time I had walked the length of Valletta to Fort St. Elmo, my leg was becoming very tired, but it was too late to turn back then, so I watched the Reenactment, hired a horse carriage to get me back to the City Gate, where I hired a taxi back to St. Paul's Bay. I'm going to really rest the leg from now on!
  With less than a week before I return to California, I doubt that I will be going out to take photos, which is a shame, since the weather is finally turning quite nice. I might further update my travel photos pages, but this, then, essentially ends the blog.
  I hope you have enjoyed these photos and my commentary as much as I have enjoyed creating them. The unfortunate injury to my leg has curtailed my activities for much of two weeks, but I'm all the more grateful that I had so much time earlier to tour these interesting islands.

Maltese Falcon P. S.   Some of you have inquired about the Maltese Falcon that played a prominent role in the 1941 movie of that name starring Humphrey Bogart. When I first came to Malta I looked in dozens of souvenir shops and was surprised that I didn't see any little Maltese Falcons. When I visited Mdina I chanced upon one shop that advertises that it has the exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute replicas of the movie statue. The origin of the connection is that when the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the 5th ceded the island of Malta to the Knights of St. John in the early 16th century, he demanded the token payment of "one black falcon from Malta" to be delivered to him annually on All Saints Day, the 1st of November. Falcons were once native to Malta, but apparently the bombings of World War II drove them all away and they have never returned.

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