So, picking up where I left off. James is excited and tall, I am short and wearing improper footwear. And we're off... the boat that is. One of the first groups off behind one of the tours. Now to get up to the town, there is a huge hill from the port. We heard a rumor that there is an elevator in the parking garage behind the mall beside the port, so we decide to try to find that. James is charging ahead of me, walking behind the mall where there is no sidewalk and cars are rambling by in this tiny alley. We pass dumpsters and a truck unloading and come out... on the other side of the mall. Should've gone through it. Then we see the tunnel to the parking garage. Yes, tunnel. One way tunnel and we head up in the dark to who knows where. At this point, I am already fussing at James about walking too fast, leading us to weird places and generally annoying me. My voice echos through the dark tunnel and we just started in Malta. Fun. But we come out into a parking area and spot the elevator and are saved that huge hike. The one through the tunnel was much less steep and much shorter. I think we actually saved 5 floors of walking. So, good. We come out right next to the bus station and can see the gates to Valletta across the street. I think we made it up there before anyone, even if I was huffing and puffing. Here are the gates.
The Co-Cathedral is the church of the Knights of St. John as it is St. John's Co-Cathedral. It shares cathedral duty with a different church in Medina. The outside is fairly unassuming, but the interior is beautiful.
Pictures were not allowed, so google it. It is cool. The floor is covered with tombstones of the knights and there is fascinating artwork in every alcove. The fresco on the dome tells the story of St. John the Baptist's life. My favorite part about this church was the two Caravaggio paintings. They have The Beheading of St. John and St. Jerome. Let me tell you. If you have never seen a Caravaggio in person, you don't know what you are missing. I am not a huge art fan, but these were spectacular. They look so realistic, and he uses light in such an interesting way. Interesting thing about Caravaggio, he was a knight for a little while, but ended up leaving the island in disgrace. Apparently dude was crazy and had a penchant for drinking, fighting and gambling. Typical. He ended up dying young, but has quite a few paintings scattered around. I didn't get to see any of his in Rome, and all but one in Florence was on loan, but next time... I am coming for you Caravaggio.
The Co-Cathedral was totally worth it, but I would only do it again to see those paintings. There were also some really neat tapastries and old song books, vestaments, but not worth seeing again. As we left, James got a small statue of a knight of Malta. When we headed out the door, we were let out near a small street and saw a sign for St. Paul's Shipwreck Church which we had wanted to see.
Next on our itinerary was finding the restaurant that I had researched for lunch. It is the number 1 rated restaurant in Valletta on tripadvisor, and I had looked at the menu and it didn't seem scary or pricey. Up next- La Mere.