Posts Tagged 'Malta'

Seriously, It’s Windy

Today we took a boat tour.  It was supposed to be a tour of the island of Malta, as well as of the small island of Comino.  We should have been able to see some awesome temples and cliffs and all sorts of things.  Instead, due to high winds on the south side of Malta, we were put on a different boat and told we’d cruise along the north and see Gozo, the second largest in this tiny archipelago.  But even that didn’t happen.  It was WINDY!  We cruised along the north and saw the teeny tiny islands called St. Paul’s where Paul was supposedly shipwrecked in 60 AD.  We anchored in a couple of bays, one of which had some neat grottos, and just hung out on the boat.  People had gotten sick left and right — including Aaron — so we didn’t get past Malta.  It was still really beautiful, though, and after the noon hour the sun came out and was warm and lovely.

It was about a 6 1/2 hour trip, though, so as I write this, I still feel like I’m riding the waves.

The question of the day: will our flight leave for London tomorrow or not?  I hope so.  I’d love to stay in Malta, but I miss Gracie.


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!

At Last…Malta!

I’ll try to be brief.  We arrived in Malta last night and had a smooth trip.  Though I will say I doubt that I’ll opt for RyanAir again.  While it’s seemingly cheap, you pay through the nose for baggage so it seems a realistic option only if you are based in Europe and don’t have to bring a lot of stuff.  I knew this, but didn’t know that the one bag we had paid to check had to be no more than 15kg.  That’s about 35 lbs.  Ours was significantly more than that becasue we had complied with the US rules, having the bagcome in at just under 50 lbs.  This meant we had three choices: (1) throw things out, which I wasn’t excatly against; (2) pay 120£ to check the 50lb-er; and (3)  repack so that bag was under 15kg and check another bag with all of the extra crap for 35£ or $50.  We opted to repack, but have already been strategizing for our return.  We are obviously RyanAir amateurs: a guy in the airport with us looked like he was dressed relatively normally but at the gate, while in line – right before our eyes – he stripped about 5 layers off and stuffed them in his carry-on (which had been measured for size before the gate).  I overheard him say, “I know how to play their games.”  Yikes.  Anyway, the flight was nice and we got into Malta around 8:30 pm local time.  That’s an hour ahead of Britain, 6 hours ahead of NYC, 7 hours ahead of Madison and 9 hours ahead of LA.  Thank you.  We were able to jump on the transfer we (I) booked and took off for the hotel: the Hilton Malta, a generous gift from our beloved Terry.  The hotel is beautiful.  I wish you could see it.  But, alas, you will have to wait until our return as the internet is too expensive…How am I writing this, you ask?  Well, given Terry’s diamond status, we have access to the Executive Lounge, which has free internet.  Supposedly.  We can’t get it to work on our phones, though, so I am using the free computer provided in the lounge.  Our room has a spectacular view of the Mediterranean, though, so I’m not complaining.  I did call the front desk last night, however, when we arrived in our room.  It was supposed to be a king, but it was two twins.  I didn’t care too much but could hear Terry’s voice in my head, so I called and said, “Um…”  The guy said, “Oh, we’ll fix that.”  While we were out having a drink and a snack someone came into our room and pushed the two twins together.  Hmm.  I could have done that.  Of course, now the headboards are all weird and there’s only one bedside table, but we are in…Malta!

So, unless our phones shape up, no more pictures until we’re stateside!

March 2023

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