Tuesday, November 13

The Big Five Zero

Garry and I are waiting to board our flight home from Malta. We've spent three relaxing days on the main island for Garry's birthday. This is also the 50th country I've visited.

Malta is a facinating place. Over the centuries it's wonderfully sheltered natural harbours have been heavily fortified by successive generations of the Knights of St John. It's capital, Valleta, is a long, narrow penisular jutting out into the Grand Harbour. Its coastal rocks have long since been modified by grand, towering walls of light brown stone - close to six kilometres in total.

In fact, almost every building in Malta is constructed from the same brown limestone, quarried from the opposite side of the island. We've spent days wandering delightful narrow laneways lined with brown stone buildings. The typical Maltese house also include a small enclosed balcony on the first floor, jutting out over the sidewalk. The effect is incredibly quaint, giving character to an otherwise featureless street.

This wasn't the only quaint experience in Malta. Marsaxlokk, a nearby fishing village, seemed straight out of an old travel brochure. More about that tomorrow.

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