Showing posts from 2023

Ancona, Italy and ferry to Split, Croatia

We took a train from Rome to Ancona, Italy, where we had a one-day stop. Ancona is about ¾ of the way up the east coast, on the Adriatic Sea. The next evening we planned to take an overnight ferry to Split, Croatia, so this seemed like a simple transfer place, but Ancona is a really neat city itself! At night I wandered around and ended up hiking to a functioning lighthouse. The stone sign is at 104 meters above sea level, about 341 feet. Our neighborhood had some nice murals / graffiti: Here is a view out over a pentagonal building formerly used as a quarantine colony, a little island right by the city, open to the public: There are quite a few drinking fountains scattered all over, and all the ones we tried worked! This is the correct way for a city to be. It is very hilly, with stairs and steep roads all over. Many narrow little alleys between buildings, and connecting passages and staircases up and down hills, between houses, churches, and pa

Malta devotional niches and shrines

Malta’s long history is very interesting, including what is widely thought to be the shipwreck by the apostle Paul in AD 60 described in the New Testament Acts of the Apostles chapter 28 , the last chapter in Acts. Later there was a period where the inhabitants were killed and it was mostly unpopulated, then was resettled around AD 1049 by a Muslim community and their slaves, who rebuilt a ruined city and called it Mdina after the Arabian Madīnah / Medina. Eventually Christians reconquered the island, yet the Arabic dialect spoken by the population remained, with new Christian faith. Here is one example, a guest house called Dar is-Sliem, “house of peace” in Maltese, similar to Dar es Salaam in Arabic, the largest city in Tanzania: Nowadays Malta is a strongly Catholic country. This is evident in many ways. Visually it is obvious in the large in the many, many churches on the islands. In the small, see the very common house devotional niċċa (niches) and shrines that are al