Archive for May 15th, 2010

The Windy Country

Today we set out for a real adventure.  Or so we thought.  We have been reading for months about how reliable, efficient, easy and inexpensive Malta’s bus system is.  We thought we’d have no trouble since we are generally quite competent when it comes to matters of public transportation, but we were wrong.  All of the buses pretty much originate and end in Valetta, known as the New Capital since it has been the capital since only 1500-something.  Buses don’t seem to travel between other places without having to go to Valetta.  It’s sort of like All Roads Lead to Valetta.  Because we had wanted to hit Valetta (itself a beautiful walled city), a fishing village whose name I can’t pronounce or spell, these ruins in the south that I can’t remember the name of, as well as Mdina, the Old Capital, we thought that we would buy an all-day bus pass for 3.5 Euros.  Our plan was to bus it from St. Julian’s (where our hotel is, basically) to Sliena and catch the ferry to Valetta from there.  And then head out across the country, back to Valetta, back out again…you get the picture.  Instead, though, we caught the bus to Sliena where we discovered that the ferry had been cancelled for the day.  Hmm.  And then we couldn’t find any buses going to Valetta.  Which is weird.  Because, as you may remember, all buses go to Valetta.  So after getting bombarded by offers for harbour (yes, with a ‘u’) cruises and boat tours and bus tours, we caved.  We took a double-decker, open-top tour bus that went all over the south and west of the island.  I had been rooting for this option yesterday but was convinced by Aaron and the guidebooks that we could take it on on our own.  Oops.  Anyway, the tour was of the hop-on, hop-off variety so we were able to walk around Valetta (yay!) and get off for lunch in the fishing village.  The town was really great, but we decided we’d pick probably the worst restaurant in town.  I thought my seafood might join us on the bus once we got back on.  Unfortunately, while the bus stopped at the ruins, it was late in the day and we were too tired to get off.  I hope that we see them from the water tomorrow on our boat cruise.

Anyway, it was a nice day, but it was very VERY windy and chilly, despite being about 75 degrees out and sunny today.  We both have red faces, which I suspect is a bit of sunburn, but could easily be windburn.

It’s already quite clear we don’t have nearly enough time in Malta.

Oh!  I just heard the nice Welsh woman we met yesterday say to her son and daughter-in-law, “Yesterday we met two lawyers from Wisconsin.”  That’s us!


May 2010

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