Thursday, November 01, 2012

I'm watching you, Pirates

This is a watchtower — one of 18 built round the coast of Malta in the 1600s to help defend against irascible North African pirates. The towers are all in-sight of each other, so any pirate sighting would be signalled to the capital in a matter of minutes. I imagine the signalling code was pretty simple, so as to avoid any confusion ('Did he say "pirates" or "pretzels"? No time to think; if he has salty treats I'd best get word to the capital.')

That chocolate fondant of an islet in the distance is called Filfla (which is apparently derived from 'peppercorn' in Arabic). It's a bird sanctuary now, but until 1971 it was used by the British Royal Navy as target practice. Those guys! They sure know how to have fun (at someone else's expense).

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