Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Well I have had an exceptionally good last few days!
On Thursday afternoon I left work a little bit early to catch the train up to London. (Even though it's technically South of here). ANYWAY... I had a fairly uneventful journey and showed up at Kings Cross ready to hop on the underground to get to Victoria. Well that was the plan but it was not to be... the escalators were broken so King's Cross Underground was closed! No problems just a quick walk to Euston Station... in the heaviest rain I've ever been in. I was absolutely saturated by the time I got there - and don't you just love the way jeans soak up the ground water. Anyway got to Vic station, train to Gatwick, then bus to a hotel to wait for Lara. Who arrived soon after me! Yay!
A very early wake up saw us sitting on the plane to Malta at 6.30 (after the airport bus first took us to the wrong plane!) waiting to leave. Our scheduled departure time was 6.30... we left at 7.30. But no matter - our holiday was just beginning - we had no where we needed to be in a hurry.
From the moment I stepped out of the airport in Malta I knew I was going to love the place. It was gorgeous - outisde the airport was palm lined streets... in general though there was not much in the way of genery, not many tree - the whole place was very sandy coloured - emphasised by the buildings that matched perfectly. The heat was gorgeous though. Even better the bus into town was exceptional value at something like 47c too!
We spent the first day exploring Valetta - the capital city. It was a delightful small city, full of character. Built on a penisula it was surrounded on three sides by water. We even went down to some boat sheds and slipways... where I did just that - slipped right on my ass! But no matter - nothing was broken and I just had a very slimey bum. Most exciting was a daisy bush I found which was the same as the daisies we get at Church Bay back home!!! We unfortunately didn't get to visit St John's Church (Cathedral? Bascilica?) to see the paintings, as it was closed - we didn't mind at all though as we got to witness a very special funeral procession, complete with a marching band. We found out later it was the funeral of the first president of Malta who had died at the extremely respectable age of 99.
Oh also worth mention is the delicious Maltese flavoured icecream we had, it was delicious with peel and hazelnuts in it... yummy!
Ok time to get the bus to the hotel... around an hour's trip this set us back 58c! The hotel was charming in it's own sort of way. It got away with being a bit tired and having questionable flushing mechanisms on the toilets because of it's stunning views thanks to it's exception position looking down on Mellieha Bay. We found a lovely restaurant where lara took on the daunting (well daunting to me!) 4 course Maltese dinner: a platter, rabbit spaghetti, rabbit stew, and Maltese sweet with Maltese liqueur. I had canelloni.
Lara had the great idea of taking a tour around Gozo the following day. This was a fantastic was to get around the sights and learn a bit. The exciting start to the tour was a trip across on a large ferry. First stop was a Church which was nice, but just another Church. Then a folklore museum which was ok, but in a gorgeous old "mansion" - the rooms were tiny though but the courtyard in the nmiddle was delightful. We also saw the Azure Window (a big hole in a seaside cliff), the Inland Sea (a lagoon), a tourist popular swimming beach Xplendi Bay, a traditional cottage craft area famous for lace making, the citadel in Victoria and most exciting the oldest freestanding stone structures in the world Ggantija... built in 3600 BC.
Back to the hotel for cocktails by the pool, then an easy tea at the hotel of mostly pizza.
Day three. Beach, sun, sun louger... need I say more! We did almost nothing. It was great! It was only almost nothing and not just nothing as Lara did manage to slice the top off her little toe (poor Lara!) and we both got a bit sunburnt. More cocktails in the shade then off to find tea. Another restaurant - this one with a very interesting colour scheme - bright peppermint, and pink! Lara had octopus, Mindy bravely tried a tiny bit (not admitting the visible suckers put her off a little) and then enjoyed her ravioli! Hehe.
Day four we went home. Which was not the smartest idea we've ever had. But it was a really wonderful holiday! Thanks so much Lara!