Arrival in Valletta, Malta

We hopped a short flight from Valencia, Spain to Valletta, Malta. Malta is a small archipelago of islands in the Mediterranean roughly 93 km south of Sicily and 300 km from Tunisia and Libya in North Africa. We’re staying in the capital city, Valletta which we will use as a base to take a few day trips to other parts of the islands.

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Jardim Botânico Tropical

After Sunday’s visit to the more famous landmarks in the Belém area of Lisbon, we found lunch and then wandered through the nearby Jardim Botânico Tropical.

Palms
Palms

Much of these tropical gardens were originally installed for an exhibition in 1940, and the original intent was to showcase plants native to some of Portugal’s more tropical colonies, including Brazil, Goa and Macau.

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Cats of Mouraria

Many cats roam freely around our Mouraria neighbourhood. They pop out through doorways and from beneath cars without warning. They are friendly but somewhat distrusting of any humans who are not in the process of feeding them.

We’ve seen this well-fed tabby a few times on Rua Marquês de Ponte de Lima.

Tabby in the sun
Tabby in the sun

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Castelo de São Jorge

After admiring the Castelo de São Jorge from many different angles since we arrived, we finally made a proper visit yesterday evening a little before sunset.

Moat Bridge
Moat Bridge

The Romans had created fortifications here by 48 BC, but most of the castle was built by the Moors in the 11th century. It was in ruins by the early 1900’s, then heavily reconstructed in the 1930’s and 1940’s, which is probably when most of the walls we see now were actually erected.

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Around Reykjavik

Our Reykjavik layover was short, so we only had a few hours on our last evening to explore the downtown area.

This was the colourful corner of Klapparstigur, Týsgata and Njálsgata near our hotel.

A colourful corner
A colourful corner

As in most cold-weather countries, Icelanders consume a lot of coffee. We visited Reykjavik Roasters, one of the city’s most serious coffee places, where I enjoyed a very nice and very hot $6 Americano.

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