Weekly Blog No 122 – Malta

As we were sailing into port, I was in awe of the beautiful country before me.

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Entering the port you could see the fortress city of Valletta, the lovely stone walls

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I could definitely see why so many people including Queen Elizabeth 11 formally known as Princess Elizabeth/Duchess of Edinburgh was in love with the country.

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Prince Philip/Duke of Edinburgh was stationed in Malta whilst in the Royal Navy. Princess Elisabeth was living on the island as a naval officer’s wife between 1949 – 1951.

Their home on the island was Villa Guardamangia a townhouse. My understanding is this building is in disrepair and the government are obtaining the villa because of its historical heritage. It’s the only residence outside the UK that the Queen has lived in. It would be an amazing visitors site.

After the Great Siege in 1565, the knights set out building Valletta the capital of Malta. Valletta was founded by and named after the Grand Master of Order of St John Jean de la Valette.  Valletta was to be not only a fortress city, but the cultural home to some of the finest works of 16th – 18th century Europe. Jean de la Vallette was buried in the city some three years later.

Mr Zebrakat & I did an open bus tour of the city and got a brief overview of the history. It would have been nice to have at least a couple of days in Malta to visit the places of interest. Malta is definitely worth a visit and here is some of the photos that I had taken.

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Weekly Blog No 99 – Canterbury, UK

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Canterbury, what a beautiful place, especially on a sunny day. The city was overflowing with people consisting of locals, tourists and just a few foreign school children to add to the measure.

The city has an abundance of quaint shops and historic buildings. I was in my element; however, my body wasn’t prepared to do the shop tour. I did achieve taking photos of various buildings of interest and a visit to Canterbury Cathedral.

Canterbury Tales

Canterbury Tales is one of the main attractions in Canterbury. Mr Zebrakat and I didn’t indulge in Chaucer’s famous tales. Geoffrey Chaucer wrote 24 stories in middle English between 1342 to 1400.  There were huge queues going into the building therefore it appeared to be very popular.

Sir John Boys House

One of the most photographed properties in the UK, alongside Buckingham Palace, London. The building is also known as Crooked House, Kings Gallery or the Old Kings Shop. A delightful askew building from the 17th Century. It has been reported that the building got its skewed-up appearance after alterations to the internal chimney that caused the structure to slip sideways. The story told is that additional attempts were made to rectify the problem, nevertheless that caused more slippage. The property is now structurally secured by a steel frame. Therefore the front door is built askew with its corners altered to fit the frame.

The building is not usually open to the public, as it is in regular use by King’s School. The building can be viewed from the street and you can see the photos below.

Canterbury Cathedral

Astonishing building and should be seen, if you are ever in Canterbury, without sounding to nerdy. The Cathedral is steeped in history and I managed to speak to a maintenance employee who gave us insight into the Cathedral and pointed out a couple of areas of greater interest.

There is no way I could write about the history of the Cathedral so I have obtained this info below from the Cathedral website to give you an overview through the centuries.

Through the Centuries

597 – St Augustine arrived in Kent and soon established the first Cathedral

1070-1077 – Cathedral rebuilt by Archbishop Lanfranc

1098-1130 – New Quire built over a Crypt (present Western Crypt)

1170 – Thomas Becket murdered in the Cathedral

1175-1184 – Quire rebuilt. Eastern Crypt, Trinity and Corona Chapels added (all as seen today)

1220 – Becket’s body placed in new Shrine in Trinity Chapel

1377-1405 – Lanfranc Nave demolished and rebuilt as seen today; Cloister vaulting inserted

c1450 – Pulpitum Screen constructed

1498 – Bell Harry Tower extended and the Cathedral largely complete as seen today

1538 – Becket’s Shrine destroyed by Henry VIII

1540 – Monastery dissolved by royal command

1541 – New Foundation of Dean and Chapter established

1660-1704 – Repair and refurbishing after Puritan damage

1834 – North West tower rebuilt

1954 – Library rebuilt, repairing War damage

 1986 – Altar of the Sword’s Point (Martyrdom) restored

 1988 – Compass Rose placed in the Nave

 2000 – International Study Centre (Cathedral Lodge) opened in the Precincts