May 6, 2009

Day 4: {Valletta, Malta}

I must still be somewhat jetlagged as I woke up at 4am again this morning. The great thing about a cruise though, is that you don't have to stay in your room when that happens. I threw on some gym clothes and headed straight to the gym on the 12th deck, which has a magnificent sea view (ofcourse!) and is open around the clock.

At about 8am, many people gathered on the top deck of the ship as we approached our first port--Malta. I was amazed at how beautiful it looked! (see photo above)

The Republic of Malta is made up of three small islands and positioned in the Mediterranean just south of Sicily. It's got an abundance of history to it, which I am not going to go into right now, but where we docked was the capital of Malta name Valletta. It is a beautiful city with cobblestone streets, shimmering blue harbor, and charming lace work. Since this was our first port, we decided to play it safe and joined one of the shore excursions through our cruise ship. The tour started off with a traditional Maltese boat ride around the harbor. Then, we walked around Senglea, a fortified city in the Grand Harbor with views of the historic bastions, followed by a walk along the narrow streets of Vittoriosa. We stopped at Fort St. Angelo which offered a magnificent panoramic view! Lastly, we ended the tour in the city of Marsaxlokk (aka Fisherman's Village) where we had some free time to roam around the open air market. I ofcourse could not resist picking up a cute t shirt for Bridgette! We also ate one of the best gnocchi and some wonderful local chardonnay.

Since Malta is quite small, we only spent half a day there before re-boarding the Norwegian Gem for more sailing at sea. For the remainder of the afternoon and evening, we lounged around a bit, ate a mediocre dinner at the French Bistro on board, and crashed before 9pm (since I woke up at 4am!)

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