Day 96 April 9 (sea-day/ early arrival in Valleta, Malta)

Up in time for Lido breakfast.

Tai Chi at 9. Vantage at 10 was a lecture on the first part of Russian History. Czar was chosen as a title for early rulers because it was close to Caesar and the ruler who decided to call himself Czar felt he was important enough to warrant such a title.

The 11 AM lecture was pretty good. It was a history and current status of the European Union (Common Market, etc.). It is an amazing organization and continues to surprise nay sayers (our lecturer is one but gives kudos where they are deserved).

Trivia Victory today! One of the questions was a 4 pointer: Name the six different flags which have flown over Texas (our quizmaster is from Houston)! I knew these and a couple of other ones that really helped because I think we won by one point. Yea me! It is great to feel like you helped win. The prize was an Amsterdam umbrella. We have one already but you can't have too many umbrellas right? Especially in El Paso. Hmmm.

The 2 PM lecture was about the Phoenicians. They really gave us much of our alphabet and some other important things. They were amazingly advanced as seafarers. They were actually called the Caananites but the Greeks called them Phoenicians because of the purple dye they traded and purple clothe they produced which was worn by royalty. The lecturer has a really dry delivery but seems to know his stuff and throws out many interesting facts. He also answers questions well.

At about 4 o'clock I was running on the top deck and had to dodge a lot of photographers. I knew that was likely to be a problem because our schedule had changed and we were due to sail into Valleta, Malta around 5 PM. The reason we had to arrive early was that we had a medical problem onboard which needed more attention than we could provide. I hope whoever it was recovers quickly. After my run I ran (ok, I walked and used the elevator) and got my cameras and arrived up top just in time to record our arrival. The sun was at an unfortunate angle so the pics won't be as good as if we had arrived in the morning but a medical emergency does seem a good reason to change the schedule.

I went to the show at 8 PM. It was a comedian/singer named Hillary O'Neil. She was on the UK series Copykats and has performed for the Queen. She sang quite well and most of her jokes were pretty good. Part of her routine was about how hard it is to have a social life with the schedule of entertaining on ships. She was soliciting the audience for a boyfriend. I would have volunteered but I was in the balcony. Perhaps I'll get a chance later.

After the show Daryl, Carol and I went out to the dock. What a beautiful dock! they have a real shopping center here. Most of the shops were closed but there are several restaurants including a Hard Rock Cafe right on the pier. It looks like they have renovated the area and it must be part of the night scene in Valleta even without ships being in port. This town has been owned by most major Mediterranean powers at one time or another and it seems like English is the main language. We are going on our own trip tomorrow. Daphne has been here before and I think Anita and Jack too. They are planning the places we will go and we'll meet at 9 in the morning to move out. Should be a fun day.

We got a gift tonight. Today was supposed to be a formal night until we had all the schedule changes. And we get gifts on formal nights. The gift was a plush Cocker Spaniel to keep us company on the trip or to give to someone. I think this one needs to go to a grandchild. The only question is which one. What do you think Quinn? Would you like a plush puppy? Thatcher is too young right now and your soon to be born cousin will also be too young. Let me know. It is yours if you want it.

Well, I'll try to send this again tonight. It is after 11 PM here. Nighty night!

No comments: