Postcards from Malta

Places like Malta make me want to spend my time going around looking at beautiful sights and taking photos.

Images © Melissa Corcoran.

The charm of memory

It was where an adventure began. Everything had the charm of novelty—learning how to grocery shop, what was available over the counter in a pharmacy, the virtues of pointing and pantomime, that it was okay to drink wine at lunch, what a wealth of cheeses there was to explore, that the French know their way around a tarte citron, and what it was like to live in a language and culture not my own.

There was the thrill of standing on an exposed section of the Roman road—not cordoned off but there to stand on, and boats going through the lock of the canal, and sunshine, blue sky, and flowers even during the winter. When we walked a geocaching trail on the Canal de la Robine on a golden day in December, I realized that I was over feeling that Christmas should be cold and snowy!

There were day trips—learning to drive standard shift as a teenager came in handy since automatic-shift rental cars were hard to come by—that took us to interesting places. We explored the countryside around the city and the nearby seaside towns. Along with navigational triumphs (and mistakes), we seemed—every single time we came back into town—to drive the length of Boulevard Marcel Sembat at least three times. We also discovered, and to this day, still say, that the last 30 kilometers are the longest.

There were things to dislike of course: an annoying amount of dog poop on the sidewalks, the mistral blowing for several days in the winter, the frustrating self-serve gas stations that didn’t take cash or our credit cards (because they didn’t have the security chip needed) when we wanted to refill the gas tank of a rental car late at night. Set against that were great meals and friendly people and beautiful sights.

While you can’t go back and there will never be another first time, it was lovely to return to Narbonne recently, walk streets still familiar, visit favorite places, and enjoy the charm of memory.

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Antarctic light

Light in Antarctica—otherworldly, mysterious, dramatic, stark, muted—I’ve used each of these words to try to describe it. Perhaps the images will convey its qualities better.

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Images © Melissa Corcoran.

At sea

If it hadn’t been for the expedition photographer, I might not have used my camera much on the days we were at sea. However, at a workshop he gave, he suggested we could capture interesting images at sea by incorporating the ship into the image. We took up the challenge!

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Images © Melissa Corcoran.

Ice

The original title of this post was Icebergs, but it turns out there are parameters for classifying a frozen chunk of freshwater an iceberg. An iceberg must be five meters above sea level, 30-50 meters thick, and cover a minimum area of 500 square meters. Smaller chunks of ice are called growlers or bergy bits. Like icebergs, they can come from a glacier, but can also be broken-off pieces of an iceberg.

Whatever they are called, there is a fascinating variety in size, shape, and color.

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Images © Melissa Corcoran.