Messina, Sicily and Valetta, Malta

Book worm book count: 13

We are two ports into the trip and to be fair we have not given either port a fair hearing.


Firstly, Messina. The Messina Straight is the small stretch of water that divides the boot of Italy from Sicily.  Just as you pass through it is Messina, a sleepy little Sicilian town, the gateway to Sicily.  Other than that it’s main claim to fame is a cute little square and a clock tower that puts on a little show at noon everyday. If you ever find yourself in Messina at noon, be at the church and watch the little tower. It’s the highlight!

IMG_0506Most people race through on their way to Taormina or Mt Etna or their next port of call.  Arriving into Messina is pretty spectacular and we were treated to great views of both Sicilian and Italian coasts.

Given it was day 1 and we are coming back to Sicily we opted not to join the tour buses heading out of town and to just wander about by foot.  Charlotte was ecstatic as it meant a short sightseeing day and she could get back to her books.  IMG_0567So we lounged about poolside in the early afternoon, reading and relaxing.  The great thing about cruising is during the day when people are rushing about cramming in the sights, the pool is deserted and its easy to just watch the ever changing views without the rush of cramming all the sights in.

So Messina was a bit of a non event for us.

IMG_0598We arrived in Valetta this morning and it waa stunning.  Think blue sea, sandstone walls and medieval towers and turrets at every turn.  The tiny port opens up and exposes you to a wonderful walled collection of littles cities.  We spent the morning wandering through the narrow streets of Valetta, taking in the sights and generally planning our time for when we return in 8 days.

Simon always loves to change something on any trip – I have never been on one where he hasn’t rebooked a flight or a hotel or something. So we checked out the options for hotels in Malta and Simon promptly changed ours.

IMG_0591As we are spending a lot more time in Malta soon, I will leave the details of our adventures until then.


Needless to say – its amazing.  It’s like stepping back in time and I am very much looking forward to coming back.   The photos do not do it justice.

But for now, its a lazy afternoon before we head out to sea again.  We have a day at sea tomorrow and then its Mykonos.   I expect the following days will be full indeed, so we’ll rest up and be ready!

Highlights from small heights

Mum actually had a short, non-chatteebox post today. Its a miracle! Truly astonishing. Anyway on to my post.

Messina A.K.A Nothing town has as Mum said has very little in it. The clock tower Mum mentioned and a church near by it are its only spots of interest. Not that Messina isn’t beautiful. It’s the absolute perfect mix hot and cold so no sweat or shivering and although everyone is trying to advertise maps or train rides for sale Messina is a lovely to quietly stroll in.

IMG_0565Plenty of horses and carts trot by at a pleasant pace and Mum and Dad let me go back to the boat early so I can cuddle up in the one of the Hideaway circles as there isn’t much sightseeing (of the boring variety) to do.

IMG_0568Valetta on the other hand has a lot more to offer in terms of sightseeing. Thankfully as Mum mentioned we spend four days there after the cruise so not TOO much was done there.

IMG_0600.JPGWe spent most of the time repelling advertisers trying to get us to ride in the carts pulled by horses (hundreds of them) and sorting out our change of hotels.

Originally I was against this but after I saw the other option…well lets just say we had a unanimous family vote.

Messina fun rating: 9 out of ten. Improvement tip: Get rid of the advertiser weirdos.

Valetta fun rating: 8 out of ten. Improvement tip: Get rid of the other advertiser weirdos and book the right hotel first time for goodness sake!

Charlotte’s two top tips:

Give the advertisers a wide berth and check your hotels to make sure you got them right.




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