Over two years ago, just before we left France to return to Australia, we took a week-long holiday to Malta.
We had an incredible time and I took soooo many photographs, which explains why these were hiding out on my hard drive.
We spent this day in Valletta (the capital), and here’s what went on:
First stop – the Palace State Rooms. When the Knights of St John took control of Malta in the late 1500s they built a new capital at Valletta and this palace for the Order’s Grand Master.
The Knights of St John (retitled the Knights of Malta) reigned over the island for over 200 years until an upstart by the name of Napoleon arrived in 1798.
French rule didn’t sit well with the Maltese so they rebelled about two years after that and soon after became a part of the British Empire.
I love history as much as I love a good chandelier, and Malta has tons:
The Palace Armoury is located in the area that housed the stables back in the Grand Masters’ time.
The Great Siege of Malta (where the Knights of Malta and the Maltese resisted the Ottoman Empire’s invasion) was in 1565 and there are plenty of examples of armour from this time period.
I had to put both these helmets in because, honestly, how on earth could you see, hear and communicate wearing these? What a nightmare.
How about some fancy gold inlaid armour?
There were examples of other weaponry as well. Check out this folding gun – both the stock and barrel folded so it could fit into a coat’s inner pocket.
How about this sword-gun? You can see the barrel running along the side of the blade and a trigger mechanism is housed in the sword hilt. For those days when you just can’t decide…
Here’s all the paraphernalia needed to operate a flintlock musket. They must have had to carry it all around in those cute bags you see at the back there. The Maltese were metrosexual before their time.
Here are the drills to fire the bloody thing. Seriously, who could be bothered? Much quicker to just run them through with your sword-gun.
After the Armoury, we had a brief stroll around some of Valletta’s streets and squares:
Then we took a guided boat tour around the peninsula that Valletta is built on.
This little guy was only 16 months old then and his thumb-sucking brother (I’d forgotten about that) had just turned 3.
After our guided tour we jumped on the ferry to get back to our apartment in Vittoriosa.
A magical day. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to Malta, there’s still so much I’d like to see.