Sunday, May 10, 2015

Old Valletta

Grand Harbour, viewed from top of fort at Old Valletta

Old fortifications being renovated on south side
of Grand Harbour

Tonight should be our final night in this hotel as we are scheduled to launch BeBe from the boat yard tomorrow afternoon.  So I am using this opportunity of having hotel provided free Wi-Fi to upload photographs taken this afternoon when we walked around Old Valletta and the old fort.  Beautiful views from up there.

Loved the red domed churches in the center

I have done no research about Malta and have no tourist guide books, so if readers want to know anything about the history of Malta they will have to do their own research.  These facts are all I remember from what I read about Malta some time back:

  • The first inhabitants arrived from Sicily around 5200 B.C.
  • St. Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked here.
  • Malta has survived under rule by Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Genoese, Aragonese and then some Maltese tyrants.
  • The Knights of St. John took possession around 1500 A.D.
  • The Ottoman Empire Turks attacked and were repelled by the Maltese and the Knights of St. John.  An enormous feat since they were outnumbered something like 10 to 1.  The Ottomans attacked with 30,000 to 40,000 men and left with about 5,000 still alive; one of few places where the Turks were defeated.
  • Napoleonic forces occupied Malta; then the British arrived.
  • Malta gained independence very recently...early 1960s as best I remember.

Saluting Battery near top of fort at Old Valletta
facing south to Grand Harbour

Here is a link to some historical information about this tiny island nation which is so important because of its location in the center of the Mediterranean Sea:
(Confession; I did not bother to read the info on that link or to watch the video; hope it provides interesting information.)

Mark your watches:  NOON!

Weather today was gorgeous for doing the touristy thing.  We caught the #13 bus to Valletta; walked a couple of hours; watched the cannon salute which is performed each day at noon (following the age-old tradition of marking exact time of noon); enjoyed a simple snack lunch in a beautiful little garden park at the top of the old fort; walked some more; caught the #13 bus back to our hotel area of town near the boat yard.

Hope you enjoy the photos.  We enjoyed the day.

Looking to the east.  That is the entrance to Grand Harbour

Narrow streets of Old Valletta

Another narrow street of Old Valletta.
Does not look it in this photo, but that
street was steep at the far end.

The old and the new.  Although that Bank of Valletta
building atop the old fort looks pretty old too.

Bill in the garden area above the Saluting Battery

Viewing the Saluting Battery level from the elevator

The elevator from sea level to near top
of the fort.  We walked up the first time;
paid for the elevator the next time up.

Near the elevator at street level, looking out to street.
Note how thick are the walls of this fort.

Pretty fountain and gardens above the Saluting Battery

More of the pretty garden area

Those spires in the distance are part of a large
cathedral.  Very pretty place.  We walked past
it but I forgot to take a photo.

One VERY large fountain
but no water flowing this day

Saw a number of these signs.It appears that fees will soon
 be charged for many areas that currently are 'free' public spaces.
Apparently, there are people opposed to this 'progress' for tourism.

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