Well, we made it to Malta, after what Dave pronounced the worst flight of his life. I would estimate there were at least 80 babies on our plane. (There may have been only about eight, but it's a mathematical law that every baby on land produces the noise and bodily fluids of at least ten babies once it takes to the air.) The family sitting next to us had two babies, which they stuffed with Cheetos until the kids' eyes bugged out, and Dave said one of them had smelly gastrointestinal issue on its clothing, which the parents decided to simply ignore. They were too busy being vexed and belligerent with the flight attendant, who had insisted that they put their stroller in the cargo hold. It was quite a show.
But anyway, we got here!
Above is the view from our third-floor hotel room balcony. I could do without the satellite dish, but I think it's on the roof of the French embassy, which makes it somewhat more romantic. All of Valletta, the Maltese capital, is built from that beige stone.
Our hotel is called La Falconeria. Apparently actual Maltese falcons -- a subspecies of peregrines -- haven't been seen in the wild since the 1980s. But that doesn't stop the falcon from featuring prominently in the islands' mythology.
Dave and I went out for a midday meal and found a terrific pasta place on a sloping street, where the cafe tables had longer legs on one side than the other to accommodate the slope. I'd never seen anything like it. The food was fabulous.
A lot of the shops have signs that seem to be at least a half-century old. I'm going to have fun photographing shopfronts, I can tell! (This particular shop appears to be vacant. Apparently it's looked this way for more than ten years.)
There are plenty of modern shops, too. And since Malta was a British possession in the 19th and 20th centuries, there's lots of British iconography.
In fact, Queen Victoria still reigns in front of the National Library.
After walking around town, past the sleek modern Parliament building and the city walls, Dave and I wound up on this wide plaza with a gigantic fountain. The sun was setting and it was getting cold, so we went back to the room for our jackets -- and I'm ashamed to say we stayed in the rest of the night. So much for being adventurous! I think all those babies just wore us out. We'll make up for it today.