Where to eat? A twice daily question. It was hot and humid and we didn't want to be inside, so that limited us a bit. There were 10 of us, so that limited us further. There are lots and lots of restaurants in Valletta, but the ones that can manage to seat 10 are on the main squares. They are good, but not fantastic. I didn't have a single bad meal, but I didn't have a single exceptionally excellent one, either. Servings tend to be enormous.
From the Cathedral, we strolled down the main street,Triq (street) Republika, to the Archeology Museum. The visit there gave me a better understanding of the temples we had seen and the ones we were going to see, later. After the civilization that built those temples left (Why did they go? fire, earthquake, disease? Where did they go? further north to Carnac and Stonehenge?), others came: Phoenicians; Romans; early Christians; Arabs; Normans; the Knights; the French (Napoleon's army stayed two years); the English from 1800 to 1979. The Maltese language is, apparently, a Semitic language written with the Latin alphabet. In this museum, they have the gigantic neolithic statues from the temples and many smaller statuettes. There are some statuettes of pregnant women and on the backs of these statuettes, marks that seem to indicate the pregnancy calendar. There is one, who looks very close to the end of her pregnancy and she does have nine marks. Interesting. There is also a very small statuette of a woman lying on her side -- absolutely beautiful. That's what struck me in this visit, but there is also the pottery from all the different civilisations, and all the other things one finds in an archeology museum.
On the way back to the hotel, we dropped in at the Fine Arts Museum, almost next to our hotel, and met up with the rest of the group, who had done things differently in the morning. Valletta is very small, so it's not surprising that we ended up in the same place at the end! There are a lot of dark, badly lit, gory religious paintings, portraits of the Grand Masters of the Order, and some very pleasant paintings of views of Malta, including one watercolor sketch by Turner, who never visited. As we checked in with our "Heritage" tickets (bought at the first visit, at Hagar Qim in our case, it's a
multi-visit ticket), we discovered that there was a slight chance of getting to see the Hypogeum. Pleyel, and Dancla performed by a young violinist and an equally young cellist, both excellent musicians. It was a short concert and a good appetizer, so we all (well, 8, not 10) went off to lunch.
Links to Wikipedia articles that might be of interest to you:
Malta, general article
Co-cathedral St. John
Museum of Fine Art
National Museum of Archeology