Saturday July 4

We flew Aegean Airways from Athens to Malta airport and transferred to Valetta at the Hotel Osborne with the most amazing view over the city and ocean which I can’t show you because the Ozonemalta hotspot I bought for 24 hrs wifi doesn’t rate so I can’t get my pictures from my phone.  We look out at the vast dome of a mighty Renaissance Basilica rebuilt after war-time bombing and also St Paul’s Anglican Church with its high steeple and the massive St John’s Catholic church with its Caravaggio painting all lit up at night.  Malta also has an evangelical Uniting church and 12 other churches in a quite small city.  The remnants of Crusader architecture are everywhere because this was their last stand having been pushed out of Jerusalem, Palestine, Acre, Rhodes and finally ending up here.

The Maltese love saints days and celebrate with fireworks …all night intermittently from about 7.00pm until 11.30pm!  They are not “lights” fireworks apart from one flash but they give out an alrighty bang fit to wake the dead and it echoes around the old fortress town. When they fire them together it feels like a wartime mortar attack! The streets are narrow, quaint and filled with interesting shops.  The culture is a curious mixture of British and Maltese e.g. they drive on the left in right hand drive Skodas! There is much prehistoric history here as well and many quieter villages like Medina. We regret we did not allow more than three days to wander the streets and villages. Today (Sunday 5th) we are off to sung communion! at St Paul’s Anglican …part of the Co-Diocese of Gibraltar and Malta! Now there’s a gig for a bishop!  I will keep you posted on the sermon.