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).

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