Sunday, January 8, 2017

Europe 2016 - Last Day

Monday was our last day in Malta, and it was the final day of my Europe Trip 2016. We headed back to Rabat (Mdina), as we wanted to do St. Agatha Catacombs but they were closed when we were in this part of the island on Saturday.

Tradition holds that Agatha fled from Sicily to escape the persecution of the Emperor Decius (249-251 AD) and sought refuge on the island of Malta. Agatha is said to have lived in the city, but used to come to pray at this place. The Maltese kept this place as a sacred Crypt in her honor.
The catacombs are underground cemeteries, which are dug in the globigerina limestone. They dated to the 2nd and 3rd century AD.
This is called an agape table. A funeral banquet was held at this table in honor of the dead person. The food was put in clay dishes, laid on the flat table, while the relatives and friends participating in the banquet used to recline (in Roman fashion) round the table which is cut in the live rock. During the meal, people participated in the sharing of the Eucharist.
We walked around St. Paul's Church again.

The verses from Acts 28 talking about Paul's visit in Malta.

We then drove back to the Blue Grotto. We had been here on Saturday as well, however no boats were running that day so we wanted to see if we could get a boat tour in before heading to the airport. Fortunately, the boats were running and there was space on one that was leaving almost as soon as we arrived.
The Blue Grotto is a number of sea caverns on the south coast of Malta.

The water was so clear and blue.

Cactus and the ocean...
Finally, we went back to Marsaxlokk where we walked around for a bit and ate lunch.
Representing Phoenix in Malta. When we were eating lunch just after taking this picture, a couple sat down next to us and they saw my shirt and were asking if we were from Phoenix. They were visiting from Seattle, but she had done a nursing rotation at the VA Hospital in Phoenix. We ended up talking about places like Lux, ChopShop and Churn. Turns out it is a small world after all :)
On the plane leaving Malta and flying to Frankfurt.
When we landed in Frankfurt it was late afternoon. I ended up just getting a hotel at the Frankfurt airport for Monday night, as I had an early flight Tuesday morning from Frankfurt to London to Phoenix. This was such a memorable trip, and Allen was an AWESOME tour guide and host during my time with him. Thanks Allen! I can't wait to come back and visit you and Vanessa someday (soon).

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 By City

Annual year by city post. Each of the below cities included at least a one-night stay in 2016. Cities denoted by an asterisk included multiple visits.
  • Puerto Peñasco, Mexico
  • Dorado, Puerto Rico
  • Washington, D.C.*
  • Tysons Corner, VA*
  • Waterloo, Belgium
  • Münster, Germany
  • Schallodenbach, Germany
  • Sliema, Malta
  • Sedona, AZ
  • Huntington Beach, CA
  • Saratoga, CA
  • Houston, TX
  • San Diego, CA

Monday, December 26, 2016

Europe 2016 - Malta Day 2

On day 2 in Malta we started the day at the Sunday Fish Market in Marsaxlokk. The market consists primarily of fish that was caught in the Mediterranean during the same morning, but also sells locally produced honey, fruit jams, vegetables, souvenirs and clothes. The market is right where all the brightly colored fishing boats are anchored.

I bought some Maltese honey.

Allen bought breakfast at the market.

More brightly colored doors...
We then went to St. Peter's Pool, which is a natural pool and supposedly a popular place with the locals.
The water was so clear.

Allen and I both cliff jumped from this spot. I wasn't going to but Allen talked me into it and I am so happy I did...would have regretted it if I didn't jump.
We stayed at St. Peter's Pool for an hour, maybe two. It was in a secluded place and roads were not great to the pool, so you had to park and walk for a bit. Once we got back to our car (which was parked in this family's backyard who we paid a couple of euros to park) we drove to the opposite side of the island to catch a ferry to Comino.
There were lots of jellyfish in the water where we were waiting for the ferry.
On the ferry to Comino.

Comino - this is a small island and a popular tourist spot so it was extremely busy.
The water was beautiful though.

This was our spot where we hung out for the afternoon.

On the ferry back to Malta.

We got back to our place and got cleaned up and walked to dinner again. We both had seafood that was most likely from the Marsaxlokk market. I had Mediterranean sea bass and I forget the kind of fish Allen had. Mine was very similar to branzino (maybe the exact same thing) except I had to de-bone it and eat around the head - I like it better when the kitchen does that for me :)
And finally since this was our last night in Malta we stopped again for gelato.