— and other curiosities of travel to exotic climes!
Our pal Kevin Cook recently percolated over to Europe, and sends back a report.
First, on whether you can find a Maltese falcon on Malta: “Trust me, you wouldn’t have wanted one. There were a couple of small, ugly-shaped falcons in one store. I decided not to buy any of the overpriced Malta souvenirs.
“The Knights of St. John still have the painting with the first live falcon being sent back to the king of Spain as a gift. The tour guide there mentioned The Maltese Falcon, but only as a movie and just as an anecdote.
“The neat thing was that the original sea walls of the city are still standing, and you can understand why the Muslims at the siege had to attack from the land.
“Our cruise ship was docked directly across from the walls, and I had to walk up to the seventh deck (actually eight decks since Deck A precedes Deck 1) to get even with the top of the wall.”
After being on the scene, Kevin adds a plug for the Tim Willocks novel The Religion. “Quite a few of us who still read historical fiction today consider him the best, and The Religion is based on the siege of Malta in 1565.”