Mo’ Malta and Sicily

My normal blog writing process is to write a short essay and then find the pictures that best fit that story. In this case I’ll do the opposite. Here are some of our better pictures of the trip with a sentence or two that puts the picture in context.

First up, the featured image above the title. Before Europe we spent three great days in Louisville centered around grandson Hudson’s second birthday. I was at the house when he woke up for his birthday breakfast, and there’s the happy family. No one should look that good first thing in the morning, much less all three of them. And here are a couple of good pictures from the birthday celebration itself.

As it was hotter than blazes (Kentucky in mid-August, not a surprise), Hudson spent most of the day in his pool. We sweaty adults could only look on in envy.

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And it wouldn’t be a family get together without a great spread of food. Note the Moana theme – Disney reigns supreme in a two year old’s home.

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Moving on to Europe, if we ever went back to Sicily (unlikely, to be sure), I would stay in one of these luxe seaside hotels in Taormina. Nuff said.

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A highlight of our Sicily trip was the journey up Mt. Etna and an included hike (more like a crawl) through a lava tube. Here we are before entering the underworld. The lava tube was a little intense but a great experience – razor-sharp rocks on all four sides, terrible footing (making the concern for said razor sharp rocks more acute) and wedging our way through a tiny exit hole. Was glad to experience it, but once was good for me.

Looking back at what I’ve documented so far I realize there aren’t many pictures of Palermo. We can remedy that. Palermo was surprising, in that it was mostly pleasant, huge, and fairly photogenic. Quite different from Catania. And another missing feature of our trip is churches. Churches, cathedrals, ex-mosques, religious ruins…we saw lots of them. Below is the cathedral part of the Royal Palace of Palermo near where we stayed in Palermo. These places are vast, and it’s hard to get a good picture showing the scale. And they’re ornate – mosaics, gold leaf and sculptures covering every square inch. It’s mind boggling how much labor and cost went into building these religious monuments. We saw cathedrals and churches like this in each city – Catania, Palermo, Valetta, Mdina, etc. They’re ubiquitous in this part of the world.

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Another trip highlight occurred in Palermo – we took a bike tour of the old city. We got to see and hear a lot of the history of the place, which is deep and rich. Bikes were a great way to cover ground and get a little breeze on a hot day.

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Next up are nighttime and daylight pictures of the Palermo Cathedral, built in 1185 and a beautiful structure and plaza just steps away from our B&B.

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Finally, on to Malta where we have many great memories. I think we’ve documented those pretty well in previous posts.

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