Atlantis Alumni

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Back in Malta

It’s always fascinating to return to Valletta, the capital of Malta. After the Equinox docked here, Jim took a diving tour and recorded the underwater world, including octopi, on two sides of the island. Dan walked up many steps to the old city, where he saw the Baraka Gardens, the ancient walled streets, and the great co-cathedral of St. John’s. The cathedral was actually the oratory of the Knights of St. John’s who ran the island for centuries. There were mobs inside the church, but I was happy to see it again, particularly the two great masterpieces that Caravaggio painted for the order. And unlike some of the tours we’ve been on in past years, I was able to see the museum. Tour groups skip that part of the building; inside there are Flemish tapestries based on designs by Rubens, a collection of ancient choral manuscripts and more. After the Cathedral, I walked to the Palace of the Grand Masters. The state rooms are magnificent and there is also an armory full of arms and knight’s suits of armor. I walked back to the ship, happy to be able to play some Chopin on one of the great Yamaha grand pianos on board. –Dan

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