Postcard from a Parade

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Valletta, 16 September 2018

Hello from Malta.

Sometimes it’s best to have no plans. Our original itinerary called for a morning visit to the island of Gozo and a trip to the Blue Grotto, but for “operational reasons,” whatever those are, the captain brought us straight to Valletta where we’ll be until late tomorrow.

Thus without a planned excursion, we ventured off the boat and into a horse-drawn carriage that let us off in the town center just in time for thunderous fireworks and a music-filled religious parade featuring the massive statue you see on the reverse side heaved up and down Valletta’s hills by 10 grimacing acolytes.

We were so exhausted by the sight that we immediately repaired back to the ship for a lunch and a nap. Upon awakening at 3:30p we leapt onto a Hop On-Hop Off bus for what the guide told us would be a three-hour tour. Hunkered down in the open air top deck we noted with dismay that the bus seemed to be taking us far out of town into the sun blasted countryside at 100km/hour — too fast even to hunt Pokémon — but then arising out of the dust we saw a vision, the Mdina, Malta’s 17th century walled capital. It’s called the silent city, populated by 300 live souls, and thousands of dead ones in the Roman catacombs below the cathedral. We hopped off, never to see our bus again, and ventured into the most amazing city. Disney could have built the Mdina if he’d only had a little more imagination. Lisa and I have lots of pictures. Just ask.

Tonight we go to a classical music concert in a nearby chapel. We’ve had an amazing day thanks to a little luck and the spirit of adventure.

Love to you all!

Valletta, Malta

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