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Little Turtle is pleased to see how well restoration to the Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta is coming along. After bombings during the Second World War, the original Royal Opera House, completed in 1866, came crashing down. Various restoration projects were planned over the decades but went without implementation until 2008. Considering the importance of cultural and historical landmarks such as this gorgeous old theatre, Little Turtle couldn’t be happier!

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Here is Little Turtle on the bridge leading into Mdina, also called the Silent City. It is one of Malta’s older cities and has a fascinating history. It’s called the Silent City because the only people allowed to have cars are residents; unfortunately, it’s such a tourist spot that it wasn’t really quiet until everyone else had gone home. Then it was dead quiet. Little Turtle felt a little spooked by the silence, and thought the huge stone buildings were closing in ominously on their narrow alleys, but The Girl loved the quiet and soaked it up like a plant in the sun.

It’s Little Turtle’s favorite game~ you know the drill, try to spot the turtle! He was super impressed by the many artistic doors and door accessories in Malta, for example the strangely beautiful and traditional fish-dolphin-gargoyle twin doorknockers, or the scrolling iron grills over the doors. The Girl got a little obsessed with doors while in Malta; this particular one is in a back street in Sliema, Malta, discovered while definitely exploring, not lost.

LT couldn’t help but wonder how old this wall is and what kind of person spray-paints “PSYCHO” on stone that old. A few weeks after seeing this, The Girl told him about the recent destruction of a famous 200-million-year-old rock formation in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park, an action which neither he, The Girl, or The Guy can comprehend. Little Turtle doesn’t want to turn this space into a political one or a social commentary; so he will say that whenever he goes traveling, The Girl’s rule of thumb is anything she can touch, he can touch, and they stay carefully back from anything in need of protection.

Little Turtle wonders how old this decorative limestone next to Saint Julian’s Tower could be. Though this was in Sliema, he saw similarly worn bits of stonework all over the island, and overheard The Guy telling The Girl something about how acid rain was a problem at some point.

The day after the Squid Ink Pasta Fiasco, The Girl and The Guy walked from San Ġiljan to Sliema (pronounced “Seh-LEE-muh”). These gardens offered some much-appreciated shade, quite a nice view of the Mediterranean, a quieter stroll than the sidewalk next to the street, a shelter for the many stray cats, and, apparently, wifi. Little Turtle was most impressed.