Our first stop today was across the Grand Harbor from Valletta to the Three Cities. In the 1500 – 1600's, the Knights built a defensive wall around the cities on this peninsula. The wall was very thick and well protected and Knights from the eight countries in the order (thus the 8-pointed Maltese Cross) each had a section of land they were responsible for. The three cites of Senglea, Cospicua & Birgu were completely enclosed and each of them had defensive wall around their city. There was only that one way in. We strolled through the oldest part of the city of Birgu with the narrow streets and many steps going up or down. The steps were very wide but only a couple of inches high because if there was a call to defend the walls, the Knights had to put on their very heavy armor and make their way to the outer walls. Once we reached the outer walls, we could see the Grand Harbor and the walls of Valletta.
Then it was on to Marsaxlokk which is a small, traditional fishing village in the Southeastern area of Malta. It has a harbor, and is a tourist attraction notable for its picturesque views, its fishermen and for the Marsaxlokk Market, which is mainly a large fish market which takes place along the seafront on Sundays, and a tourist market during all other days of the week – except for two days a year and today happened to be one!! We were sorry to miss it but even without the market, you could hardly make your way along the seafront. We took a break in the main square which is in front of the parish church. Unfortunately, it was Sunday at Noon and the church bells rang for an entire 30 minutes!!
On the way back to the hotel, part of the group took a boat tour of the two main harbors. We pack tonight to leave for the smaller island of Gozo tomorrow.