Today we took a guided tour of the main island. Our stops included Mdina, Hagar Qim, and Valletta.
Mdina is a walled city, the ancient fortress capital with winding streets. They were on a high point to keep an eye out for invaders coming to steal people into slavery. They would light a bonfire on a high platform and the surrounding villagers would come inside the city walls. We enjoyed the car free streets, gas lamps, and charm.
Hagar Qim is an ancient temple from 5700 years ago that also functions as a calander by aligning with solar and stellar events, like solstices and constellations.
Valletta is the modern day capital built in the 16th century by the Knights of St. John. in contrast to Mdina, it is a port city on a grid. The wealth of Malta, collecting something from all the civilizations that have come and gone, are apparent here.
It was a good day. Thank you to our hostess, Joan from https://www.maltatourguide.com/
This morning, we watched the sunrise. After breakfast, we took the ferry to Valletta. There was a morning downpour, so we ducked into some shops for a bit. After it cleared up, we took the ferry into Valletta. We had lunch and wandered around. We stepped into St. Paul’s cathedral, one of the characteristic spires in our view from our vacation apartment. The view back to Sliema does not suck either. Spencer entertains himself with his Rubik’s cube in any downtime.
This May has been cold and wet, but there have also been some rainbows. When the clouds clear, we ride to some local parks. Rob and the kids play Ping Pong or basketball and I play Pokémon Go.
Thomas and Uli Shared some rhubarb from their garden. Among other things, I made a tasty rhubarb infused gin and tonic.
Meg got a starter for a sourdough „friendship cake“ and cared for it all week before baking it and sharing new starts with other friends. We flavored ours with a cinnamon bun ribbon swirled in and cinnamon Creme cheese frosting with a pecan smiley face. It was very tasty and a fun rainy day project.
After almost a month of grey clouds and rain, the sun is shining and it is warm. We are so ready!
Meg helped me get a COVID Schnelltest so we could go shopping at Bauhaus with Uli to repair their tomato house at their garden. They are watching my plants during my US visit, including growing a tomato I started. It’s good to have friends. Thomas made us a delicious lunch while we worked.
Meg also has a friend spending the night today. We had a sushi feast on the balcony and watched a movie. Spencer is at another friend‘s house.
I also included a picture of Spencer‘s soccer practice. It’s far away because we are not yet supposed to go in the arena yet. But I walked by and got a picture because we don’t want to miss too much.
On my walk, I also found some roses that remind me of my childhood. It turns out that many of the special plants my mom‘s family liked are also popular in Germany. Mom says it is a Florabunda and that she started it from a start from her Aunt Margie. Fun to see it again here.
Germans celebrate Father‘s Day on Himmelfahrtstagen, or Ascension when celebrated in English. Typically guys go on a hike or bike ride. Here are some pictures from our ride to and hike around the Würselener Wald. The rapeseed fields are so photogenic! Clare made strawberry rhubarb filling and Rob made a delicious pie. Following are pictures from the next day when Spencer chose to join us. You can see he is thrilled.