Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Way back in May!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Beautiful Malta
I have yet again fallen in love with this country! The bone shaking busses, the crumbling sandstone are only minor things compared to the modern museums, the joy of sidewalk cafes, and the tasty octopus stew I had for dinner. Since I have been here, I have been diving in Anchor Bay. (if you have seen the movie "Popeye" you have seen anchor bay. The movie set was made into a theme park. The water is clear, clean, and VERY salty. To my distress, I had a panic attack at depth....very unusual, and certainly unexpected. My guide was NOT impressed with salvaging 18 kilograms of lead off the bottom! I'll have to get a hold of this problem if I expect to continue in this sport.

The view from my hotel. The lilacs and the palm trees! Yeah! Below is Fort St. Angelo, looking west across the Grand Harbour towards Valetta. Tough nut to crack! Get a load of that wide ditch just to the left of me in the pic below.... On top of it are the Barraca Gardens...that pretty colonade you can see in Valetta if you click on the picture!

Watched the noon gun go off in the saluting battery just below the Upper Barraka Gardens. They have brought up another 6 cannons, and I can see mounts for as many as 11! Very Very cool. Day before yesterday, I watched the salute from right there at the guns, and today I watched them from Conspicua, a town about 3 and a half seconds away as the sound waves travel.
Above is the Barraca Gardens, the saluting battery. The cannon balls are sitting in a monkey. If it got really cold, the monkey would shrink, scattering the cannon balls. (or so I was told!) Fortunately, here in Malta, it NEVER gets cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

I dragged Brenda through the intense sun to Fort St. Angelo only to find it closed, and then to Fort Rinella, which of course was most definitely open! Bill A. and his gf, and Brenda and I watched the whole re-enactment. Very impressive. Initially it seems a bit pricey at 5 Maltese lira per person....but all in all, worth it. My friend Bill lighting off a beautiful piece of artillery. I understand this is the only functional howitzer of its caliber in the world.

And above are the re-enactors. Stunning display, and I am glad I did it.
(most of this report was lifted in toto from my "travel" journal ( from the May archives. I added some pictures which I had processed only now! I hope you like it, and if you do, then leave a comment!

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