Thursday, October 9, 2008

Malta, with a Sidetrip to London

All of the following postcards came to me
from Jackie, who lives in a small town on the island
of Malta. She has been so kind and generous to
send them to me--just like the kind and friendly people
who welcomed Paul and his shipmates after their shipwreck
in approximately 60 AD. Part of Paul's story is included
below, but you can read all of it in the Bible Book of Acts,
chapters 27 and 28.
All these wonderful postcards from Malta and the one from
London came to me with this beautiful stamp.

This is Malta's flag. The emblem in the upper
left corner is a George cross and it reads:
'For Gallantry'.

Acts 28:1 ff--"Once safely on shore, we found out that the island
was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They
built a fire and welcomed us because it was raining and cold."
Acts 28:7-10--"There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius,
the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and for three days
entertained us hospitably. His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and
dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him
and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and
were cured. They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail,
they furnished us with the supplies we needed."
These are some of the beaches of Malta. I wonder if one of them
is the beach where the Apostle Paul and his shipmates ran aground
being shipwrecked.
St. Paul's Cathedral in Mdina

Mdina--the Silent City.

Mdina is the oldest city on the island of Malta. The Phoenicians were
among its first inhabitants in about 1000 BC, and there is evidence
of habitation as early as 4000 BC. Although sometimes classified
as a medieval city, it is actually much older.
At one time, it was part of a Roman settlement.
Later, Arab rulers came and added higher fortifications and a moat
for greater protection. The name, Mdina, is derived from the Arabic 'medina',
meaning 'city'. As it was the only city on the island at that time,
it was not confused with any other 'city'. Prior to this time,
the island was called 'Melita', a Roman word for honey.
Mdina has been called the Silent City. There are no vehicles allowed
in the city except for a limited number of residents and emergency
vehicles, wedding cars and hearses. The streets are so narrow,
traffic could not get through, or only with great difficulty.
There is a palace of the Knights of Malta, a cathedral dedicated to St. Paul,
and some catacombs, some of which are pre-Christian.

Valetta is the capital city of Malta. It became the capital in 1570. Previously, Mdina had been the capital city.

It, too, is a fortified city.
You can see this fortification in the top view. I believe the building in the center right, is St. John's cathedral. The other
center picture looks like it might be either the inside of the cathedral or a museum. At the bottom, there is an aerial view of Valletta, showing the city and the harbor.

On front of the card, it reads:
Valletta--"a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen".

Beautiful London!

Jackie and her family took a holiday trip to London in July.
She bought this card there and sent it with the rest of the cards.

No comments: