Valletta, Malta: We flew 1/3 the way around the world yesterday - Wyoming to Malta via Denver and Frankfurt - 8 time zones. Tell me that won't screw up our bio clocks a bunch.
Malta is a funny place, if you fly in as we did today you see how dry and barren the island is at this time of year. Rain happens mostly in winter, something it shares with California.
Malta is climatically more related to North Africa than to Europe. If you sail in you see the harbor which looks renaissance Italian.
The local language is a mixture of Italian and Arabic written in Roman script, very odd looking. The island holds a major election on Sunday and there are these billboards each picturing a most mainstream European looking man in suit and tie labeled with the frankly hellish looking local language touting their strengths, platforms or maybe their hat sizes, there's no way to guess.
It isn't clear why the Maltese bother with a local language, they were a British colony until the mid 1960s and nearly everybody speaks and reads English. Off island they use exclusively English as nobody there knows Maltese.
Parts of the quite large metropolitan area of Valletta look North African, parts look Southern Italian, and the formerly British parts look modern. Its population is roughly 300,000+.
The original inhabitants were Phoenician and Carthagenian, and most of today's indigenous population is nominally Roman Catholic. Brits retire here, if they can afford to do so, for the warm, dry weather.
Our hotel, the Corinthia Palace, resembles the palace hotel in Cairo - very atmospheric.