Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Euro Spring 2015 - Part 14 - We Attack The Mountain Fortress

Where Our Heroes
  •  Uncover heretofore veiled mysteries
  • Find out the real reason the Turks failed in the 16th Century
  • Go Baroque bonkers
  • Find important limits to the TA app
  • Go even deeper and deeper into history
  • Use their hard won knowledge to secure possessions of utmost value
  • Find scary evidence of Borg invasion!
Last night I discovered a route planner for the Malta bus system.  However, I was having a helluva time figuring out how to make it work for the times that I was choosing.  Every time I'd plug a time in to the planner, it would come out hours off of what I was looking for.  Suddenly I figured it out.  The tool was using the time off of my computer clock setting but the results were coming in local time so everything was 8 hours off!  With this new found knowledge, I was able to plan our trip for today to the old capital, walled city of Mdina.

I'm going to devote an entire post to the history of Malta because it is incredibly fascinating for such a small place.  With our new transit planning capability, I had us to our bus stop with only a wait of 10 minutes until our bus... which was already packed.  In fact, only a single seat opened up in the entire hour that it took to get from Sliema to Mdina so I ended up standing the whole way.  Everyone things it was poor generalship that caused the Turks to lose their siege of the Knights of St. John.  No.  It was the fact that Mustafa Pasha had to depend on the Malta bus system to move his troops around.  After months of that his troops were totally demoralized and easy pickings for the Catholics.

However, we got to Mdina in a timely fashion.  It was a very windy day, the winds at over 20 mph all day and the temperature was in the high 50's so it was chilly.

Looking at the main gate , the city walls and the big ditch

Entering in the City

Cruise ship people here too!

AHHHH this is more like it

Coming into the main town square

And to the Baroque Cathedral of St. Paul

The Baroque style is not for everyone's taste but it sure is a contrast from the mosques we saw in Istanbul

I tried to take a pano picture to capture the full scope of the ceiling

We were in a number of museums and saw all kinds of painting but there was this one in the church that really struck me.

I wish I had taken one even closer up than this because the expression on the girl's face was simply breath taking

We needed to get some lunch so I went to my trusty TripAdvisor App.  No problem finding the places (two of them).  The problem was they weren't open for lunch!  I supposed if I had looked a bit more I would have found their hours for today.  We ended up at a third place not in TA that was OK but not a gastronomic experience.

We then went to the St. Paul Catacombs in Rabat which is right next door.  This was a Roman/Roman Christian/Byzantine burial place.

It was fascinating how this was an organized underground burial place for hundreds of years until customs changed

We ended our day at the Domus Romana which is the only well excavated Roman ruin on this site.  They had even more information on the art of mosaics especially discussing how they were done in a way to create pavements that could hold up to all the wear and tear of long daily use.

It was time for us to head home.  With my prior research, I knew when the buses were coming and based on my observations from the morning, I figured a lot of folks were going to board at the Mdina bus stop so I took us to one that was just before it.  Bingo, we were first on the bus, the bus was empty, and both Wife and I got seats.  Within two more stops the bus was full and stayed full until we got back to Sliema.

On a separate note, Second Officer Wife being the alert Eldership Command officer she is notice that here in Malta of all places evidently there is a secret Borg Collective plot taking place.  She saw a sign for a G & P Borg construction company (Great and Powerful Borg) and then saw reference of a Borg speedboat cruise in our guide book.  Good grief.  Will we all be assimilated before we can get to Amsterdam.  Will resistance be futile!

1 comment:

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

As they say (right before you are assimilated): " We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own." It's the mantra of all conquerers.

I am so impressed by your bus navigation skills!