Malta truly is a gem. The port at Valletta was not only clean but stunning, people were very hospitable and sights were easily accessible on our own. Languages spoken are Maltese and English.
During a stop at a McDonald's for a refreshment (and to use the free Wifi) Michael had to point at the menu, however when Nicolas bought a small toy car in a shop, the shopkeeper did speak English.
On our walk towards St. John's Co-Cathedral, we enjoyed the architecture of this city, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Auberge de Castille now houses the office of the Prime Minister. This inn was built by the Knights of St. John as one of their residences. It sits at the highest point in the walled city of Valletta.
The Castille Hotel, a beautiful limestone building, sits in the heart of this charming city offering 38 rooms to Mediterranean travelers:
I could have spent a week here looking at the architecture and shopping.
We toured St. John's Co-Cathedral. Visitors will want to make sure their knees and shoulders are covered. We wore pants. And narrow heels are not allowed due to the delicate inlaid marble floor. Built in the 16th century by the Knights of Malta, marble tombstones inlaid in the floor mark the resting place of 364 knights. The Co-Cathedral also serves as the final resting place of the Grand Master, Jean Parisot de la Valletta.
With our entrance fee of 6 Euros per adult (children under 12 are free), we were given a self-guided audio tour. Flash photography is forbidden thus a tour of the building via the above link would be worth your time. The building is amazing although Nicolas found it a tad bit creepy walking atop the marble tombstones. In Europe, it was much easier to locate others with the name Nicolas (spelled without the h):
Until our trip to Europe, Nicolas only knew Nicolas Cage (the actor) with the same spelling as his name. Why Nicolas? It's the only boy name we could agree on and yet we wanted it to be a little bit different. Oh, back to Malta.
After our tour, we stopped for a beverage before walking back to the ship. It was a wonderful first port of call on our Mediterranean voyage!