Is that Mdina?

And I’m back – to a cold and wet UK, to an icy flat, to a half dead houseplant (I don’t think it likes the cold), to no post, a ton of washing and a hundred or so emails. Oh yes, good to be home.

Rather than a full on update on the trip (which I’ll probably never get around to finishing) I thought I’d go for the basics. The need to know stuff. Maybe split into a few sections too – we’ll see. Anyway, onward.

Lovely sea

The weather in Malta is great – I stupidly never considered getting a sunburn in February so never packed any protection. My poor, poor head. Not sure I could face the full heat of summer! The folks are nice enough and all speak English so I didn’t have to embarass myself to badly trying to talk to order things in shops. The countryside is pretty barren and unexciting – lots of rock. The rock is mostly crumbly limestone and combined with the dry weather and fact that half of Malta seems to be a building site, you get a dusty, grubby feeling to a lot of places. The ocean however is beautiful – so clear and green. As I mentioned, there is a lot of building work with lots of ugly tourist resort hotels popping up.

We went to Ħaġar Qim but were a little dissapointed as it wasn’t exactly exciting. If you want to see the Hypogeum, book well in advance (we missed out even trying five days in advance in the quiet season). Definitely visit the catherdral in Valletta – doesn’t look like much on the outside but inside….

Jebus

Go and see Gozo and spend a few days relaxing there. If you do, then The Grand Hotel is lovely. Cheery staff, a room that was bigger than my flat and a balcony overlooking the sea where we could sunbathe and drink wine (tho the balcony did cost extra but worth it in my opinion). Don’t stay here in Silema unless you want something cheep and not very cheery. Our room was small, grotty and had two single beds pushed together (and single sheets). Luckily when I asked about getting some double sheets we got given a much nicer room which was twice the size. Result! Place also seems full of old people….

Castella in Gozo

The booze is cheap (especially if you go with the local stuff) and they seem to like 80s music. The food is nice. Bus trip are fun. Half the busses are older than me. I noticed the speedo was broken on one but as we never reached more than 20mph I don’t think it mattered. The drivers also seem to get to decorate them as they wish and pictures of Jesus or statues of the virgin Mary are pretty common.

church roof in Gozo

Oh, in case you were wondering about the photos, they are a beach on Gozo (which took us a fair jike to get to as they are so few and far between), inside Valletta church, street in Victoria (Gozo) and the church ceiling in Victoria. The last one is lovely and I took a few but unfortunately they involved placing the camera on the floor on a timer in order to keep it still enough to get a clear shot. It was only later I found my head appears in the corner of most of the pictures as I peer over to see if it’s done. As for the title of this post, it’s a reference to a rather annoying English woman we shared a bus with. Every town, village, hut or rock we passed she would turn to her husband and say “Is that Mdina?” Apparently Mdina is a nice town to visit. We never did. Up next post, food!

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